Back in June of 2008 I wrote a blog post here http://realtytechbytes.com/11-ridiculously-easy-ways-to-improve-your-fuel-economy-and-save-at-the-pump/ that had 11 ways to save at the pump. I had some great comments and suggestions from readers on that post as well, so you may want to go back and check it out again.
But here it is nearly 3 years later, and gas prices are over $4.00 a gallon in my area once more. The $75.00 fill up is a reality for me again. Buying a new car is not an option…I like not having car payments…and I absolutely can’t stand the styling of the hybrids that are on the market these days. Sorry Prius owners, your car wins the ugliest car on the road category in my opinion, so I won’t be driving one of them any time soon.
So, I went on the hunt to find some ideas on how to lessen the pain at the pump and this post will share that information with you.
First, I think it’s important to know what your current fuel economy is, and http://www.fuelfrog.com gives you an easy way to see how well you are doing. Simply sign up for a free account, then add some basic info every time you fill up. After two fill-ups you’ll have a chart that will show you how you are doing.
AAA has a fuel cost calculator at http://fuelcostcalculator.aaa.com/ that will help you decide whether or not to take the car on long trips. By knowing the expected fuel costs, you might discover that flying to LA would be cheaper than driving.
Having gotten that out of the way, it might be nice to know what tips are available that could help me save money by increasing my fuel efficiency, so here four that seem to have some useful tips:
From how stuff works, we have a treatise on how to get better fuel economy: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-economy/how-to-get-better-fuel-economy.htm
An interesting blog site called Get Rich Slowly has a 2007 article with 23 tips that seem to be valid today: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/05/30/how-to-improve-your-gas-mileage-23-top-tips-for-better-fuel-economy/
It would seem to be a contradiction for a gasoline company to offer some fuel saving tips, but Chevron has an interactive tool that helps you judge how you drive and then shows you some possible fuel savings: http://www.willyoujoinus.com/usingenergywisely/fueleconomyoptimizer/?units=us
Finally, the folks over at Edmunds have actually tested some of these tips and offer us an unbiased look at the results: http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/we-test-the-tips.html
Any way you slice it, driving people around to see houses has gotten ridiculously expensive again and we need to look at any method that can help us hang on to those hard earned commission dollars when we visit the pump.
Please share your ideas and tips in the comments.