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Obscure gas saving ideas

Gas prices climb, and we’ve all probably heard enough when it comes to stating the obvious: “gas prices higher than ever,” “gas prices may hit $5,” etc. And we all know we should carpool when we can, take public transit when we can, walk when possible, but what to do when you just can’t avoid getting in that car? Plan a little better, follow a few rules, and keep in mind that if our cars ran on Snapple or iced tea, we’d be paying around $10 a gallon!

Woman with Gas Tank

Give up the drive-through

If you just can’t give up fast food altogether, don’t idle in a long line of cars. Instead, park and order inside. It will probably take about the same amount of time, and you won’t be sitting in your car wasting fuel.

Un-junk your trunk

What you have in your car contributes to the type of gas mileage you get. Of course, you can only do so much about the people in your car, but you can do a lot about the accumulation of stuff actually in your car. What you have in your trunk, for example, may not look heavy, but all those miscellaneous items add up to serious weight. Only drive with what you really need.

Shop communally

Sure, you have to run errands, but if you can stay close to home and bring along a couple friends and/or neighbors, your cost per gallon decreases. Yes, this will require a little extra planning and coordinating, but when every little bit helps, you may find a few extra minutes is worth it.

Order it online

Consider not even getting in the car to run basic errands. Nowadays, you can buy virtually anything online. I swear by Safeway’s delivery service, and you get these types of benefits from just about any store with an online presence. Many places even offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount! Be sure to pay attention to minimum order requirements to get free shipping and delivery fees waived.

Don’t drive the whole way

This goes along with my “walk when you can” idea.  If you must drive, park as close to where you came from as you can. Don’t circle the block for parking, don’t drive through parking garages looking for that perfect spot, etc.  This might not save tons of gas each trip, but it can add up. Or if you have public transportation in your city, but not close to your home, drive to a convenient place where you can catch that bus or train so you don’t have to drive the entire way.

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