How to Save Gas - combine trips
This is one good suggestion on how to save gas - combine your trips. Instead of trying to get more miles per gallon, let's use our vehicles less frequently and more wisely. This will help us save gas no matter what kind of fuel economy we get from our vehicle.
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Frugal living demands that we save fuel and increase the efficiency of our transportation. Getting from one place to another is often at least 15% of our household expenses, so it pays to know how to save gas.
If you save gas, you'll be able to reduce this relatively large portion of your cost of living.
Combine trips. Regardless of your mpg, we should all know how to save gas by combining trips. This reduces the amount of gas we use to run errands and shop. Combining trips reduces the number of trips we take, so we drive fewer miles. We could make three trips to an area of town to visit three different stores, but it would be much wiser if we make one combined trip. The combined trip eliminates the need for two other trips.
When you combine trips, you are also using a warm engine for multiple stops, and a warm engine always gets better gas mileage than one that just came out of the garage.
Combining trips can be accomplished by:
- Running errands and shopping together.
- Stopping at the store on the way to work (from home or lunch).
- Stopping at the store on the way home from work.
- Combining medical appointments with errands and shopping.
- Delaying trips until you have several things to do at the same time in the same general area.
To help combine trips, you should keep a list prepared of the things you need and the activities you must do. Then, you will be certain to get and do things on your list when it is convenient to combine them.
A key to staying focused on how to save gas is to know how much gas you are using. If it helps, figure the mileage of trips to various shopping areas, and put dollar figures on each trip. Then you can assign a dollar figure to a particular activity to determine whether that activity is worthwhile.
Instead of thinking it is 35 minutes or 25 miles to the mall, figure it is $5 in fuel. Now, that $10 purchase that you want to make will be a $15 purchase once you consider the cost of fuel.
Example: I live in the country. My mailbox is an 8 mile round trip. At $3.41 for a gallon of gas, that’s $1 to go mail a 41 cent letter. Going to downtown Cheyenne is a 36 mile round trip, and that’s $4.40 to make a visit downtown. If I travel around town and do multiple stops for errands and shopping, I could easily put on 50 miles as a round trip. That’s $6 to run errands around town.
Each of the distances I drive has a cost, and that cost depends on what vehicle I use and the price of gas. If I use my truck, the cost of each trip doubles.
Now, you can probably imagine that I know how to save gas by not using my truck unless it is necessary. I don’t run to town with my truck unless I have something to do that is worth the $12 cost of the trip.
Think of combining trips in another way. There is a “startup” cost of using your car to go somewhere. This cost can’t be avoided if you really need to use the car. Adding stops along the way will increase the overall cost by small increments for each stop, but makes best use of the “startup” cost of making the trip in the first place.
The big advantage of combining trips is that you eliminate many single purpose trips, each with their own “start-up” costs. Each trip you eliminate allows you to leave the car at home in the driveway. This is how to save gas – by not using any.
Cost or difficulty: 1
Frugal living doesn't mean you have to stay in one place and suffer without transportation, but it does mean that you should know how to get the biggest "bang" for the transportation buck. Practice some of these techniques and be one of the frugal folks that knows how to save gas.
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