How I Control My Gas Expenses

by on January 8th, 2011
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The price of gas is a ridiculous $3.60 a gallon in my area. Filling my tank costs $72. That’s more than I spend on groceries and essentials for the week. In fact, I’m lucky to have $72 for groceries, essentials and gas, so it’s imperative that I budget wisely when it comes to putting gas in my tank.

How Much Money Do I Have

The first thing I determine is how much money I have to spend for the week. This gives me a general idea of how much gas I can put into my car. Usually, I can put between $10 and $20 in my tank, and I don’t want to put any less than $10 in it.

Combined Trips

I go to the gym three days a week with my brother. These are scheduled, and since I know I’m going out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I can plan to do all my shopping on those days. This eliminates any need to do any extra driving. It also helps that the gym is next to the gas station, several fast food establishments, two banks, and three grocery stores. It’s not going to cost me any extra gas to visit those establishments if I do it before or after the gym.

If I were to go to the store, bank, or gas station on an off day, I’d drive between two and 10 miles out of my way. Since my car gets 19 miles to the gallon that’s a wasted 39 cents to $2 in gas.

Cruise Control

To lessen the effect my foot has on the gas pedal, I utilize my cruise control on lightly trafficked city streets. The large street between my apartment and the gym is five miles long and contains three stoplights. If I set my cruise control on 40mph, I can usually drive straight through without hitting any of the lights. This saves on stop, start, and idling gas usage which saves me another 10 cents to 20 cents per trip.

Coasting

I am notorious for coasting to stop lights. The minute it turns red, and I’m between 300 and 500 feet of the light, I let off the gas. There’s no point to keeping my foot on the gas all the way to the white line. I’m not going to get to where I’m going any faster, and I’m wasting gas by driving straight up to the light. This also saves on the wear and tear on my brakes because I’m not braking as hard. This is another 20 cents to 30 cents savings per trip.

Out Of Gas For The Week

If my tank hits “E” before the end of the week, I stop driving. Usually this happens between Friday night and Sunday. When that happens, I park my car and wait till Monday to put more gas in my car. It means I spend more time at home, but if I’m at home I’m not making any purchases, and I’m not burning any gas. As far as gas goes, this is another $3 to $5 savings.

All in all, by utilizing these gas savings techniques I save myself $34 a month in gas which translates to a yearly savings of $408.


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