One of my biggest expenses, besides bills and tuition, is gas. This summer was torture, with gas prices hurtling up past the $4 mark. Half my paycheck from my minimum wage, part time job went straight to the gas tank. Luckily my parents are members at a wholesale club, which sells gas at a cheaper price than most other gas stations, but the dent in my wallet was still quite large. Thankfully, gas prices have begun to decrease recently, and now in my area, gas is below $3. Although me and my wallet breathed a collective sigh of relief, the cost of filling up my gas tank still outweighs the cost of pretty much everything else I spend money on.
So how can you save on your gas mileage, while still maintaining your social calendar? I've recently learned of a thing called "hypermiling" Wayne Gerdes, of CleanMPG coined the phrase. He and his team currently hold the record for most mileage on one tank of gas — a whopping 2,250 miles in a single tank. That works out to a staggering 165 miles per gallon. How does he do it?
According to an article by CBS, Gerdes has some key advice:
- Don't break or accelerate as heavily or frequently
- Don't idle excessively
- Cold weather and taking a lot of short trips reduce fuel economy
- Remove cargo and take off cargo racks
- Don't tow anything unless it is absolutely necessary
- Cut down on using mechanical and electrical accessories (such as air conditioning)
- Try to avoid driving on hilly or mountainous terrain if possible
- Don't use four wheel drive unless necessary
- Maintain vehicle
- Maintain correct tire pressure
Gerdes was even featured on the CBS Morning Show:
Another good thing to do is to check which local gas stations have the lowest prices. Gas prices generally vary from county to county and depends on the gas station. The Gas Buddy Web site is the best I've found for this purpose. All you have to do is type in your town or zip code, and the site will show you the prices at gas stations in your area, starting with the lowest price. You can also look at a map of the entire U.S. to see which states have the highest and lowest gas prices.
By utilizing these simple tips, hopefully you can cut down on your gas expenses and save some money.