There is a lot more to saving money and making each dollar stretch, so I decided to continue the series I started yesterday. Today topic is the dreaded rising cost of gas (although, in our area it has stabilized, and gasp, even lowered some over the last month or so; it is still way high though!); so here are some tips to avoid being gouged at the pump...or at least make it hurt a little less!
- Hybrid Cars. Buying a hybrid is certainly the most expensive option (upfront anyhow), but maybe the most likely to pay off in the long run...the very long run, since these cars are not cheap! A new Toyota Prius gets 46 miles/gallon and costs about $21,300; a new Honda Civic Hybrid will run you $22,600 and get about 42 mi/gal. You can find lots more information on hybrid vehicles at www.hybridcars.com
- Fuel Efficient Cars. A more reasonable (yet still potentially expensive) option is a more fuel efficient car. For those of us driving SUVs, we know they are gas guzzlers (beofre gas started to go down a bit, it was costing us over $90 to fill the tank of our Dodge Durango!), and almost any compact or mid size car will be more fuel efficient. However, there are cars specially designed to be fuel efficient, so you have to fill the tank less often, which definitely translates to lower gas costs for you!
- Take the Bus. For those of us who really can't afford a new car, taking the bus can be a great option! If you live in a city with a decent transportation system, look into a bus pass! In our town, bus fare is .75, which can really add up, but you can get a month long pass for $20, which is much cheaper, if you use it enough!
- Walk. God gave you two feet, use them! Really though, as a society, we use our cars so much, even when we don't need to! One of our grocery stores is right down the street, so when we are buying a few things (not potatoes, etc), we will put Cheyenne in the Beeb Along, and stroll down the street! Saves gas and is great exercise!
- Ride Your Bike. Same idea as walking, it's free, and good exercise. May not work as well for grocery shopping, but can be great for getting to work!
- Carpool. If you live near someone who you work with, try carpooling! It will save you both gas, and having someone else in the car can be great company. Carpooling also works well for longer trips! Double points if the person you are carpooling with has a fuel efficient car or a hybrid!
- Plan Your Route. Plan out your route ahead of time to eliminate, or at least reduce unnecessary zig zagging. When we are doing multiple errands, we try and do as close to a loop as we can.
- Minimize trips out. While you are planning your route, try to fit as many errands into one trip as you can. The fewer times you leave the driveway on 4 wheels, the better it is for your wallet at the gas pump!
- Time for School! For parents with school-aged kids, try and use one of the methods above for getting them there. Having them walk, ride their bike (you can go with them if they are young), take the bus, or carpool will save you money and be a good example for your kids!
- Comparison Shop. That's right, gas prices vary from "brand" to brand, and from one location to another. Generally, the more populated and closer to a freeway, the more gas is going to cost. We have several Shell stations in town. Two are within a block of each other, and can be more than .10 different in price! And the third station about 2/3 mile away is the cheapest, often being more than .15 cheaper than the expensive one! We have had really good luck with Costco gas lately too, it is generally much cheaper than anywhere else!
PS-Here is my newest set of cloth wipes! I think they turned out very cute!