Take a Different Route - if it's available

If you take a different route or at least try one out on occasion, you might find an easier way to get from here to there.

No one enjoys crawling along in heavy traffic, so try something different.

The relative difficulty or cost of this tip is rated 1 to 10. A rating of 10 suggests that this tip is the most difficult or most costly. Expected savings are also rated 1 to 10. A rating of 10 suggests that this tip will provide substantial savings in fuel, money or both.

Take a different route. Being stalled in traffic is not fun and it isn’t going to give you better gas mileage. I can’t think of a worse use of fuel than simply letting it burn out the exhaust pipe while I creep along in traffic. I would much rather pull off the road and wait it out.

Even if an alternate route is longer, it may be one of the best ways to improve your fuel economy. It may also make for a more tranquil drive. Sitting in traffic burns fuel inefficiently, while moving along is much more efficient.

A little route planning on a trip will help avoid wasting fuel by sitting with hundreds of others in traffic. If you have ever been in heavy traffic around major cities in this country, then you know that passing through those areas during commute time is to be avoided.

If the commute time can't be avoided, then it might be wise to take a different route.

I traveled through the Kansas City area only once to know that I won’t be caught there again during the commute hours. The same is true for Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago and other areas with millions of people.

In cases where my travels require slogging through a congested area at the wrong time of day, I pull over if possible and take a break while the traffic clears out, or I take a different route if one is available. It’s my only hope for better gas mileage.

Take a look at I-94 as it travels along the lower part of Lake Michigan from Illinois through Indiana to Michigan. Whether you go east or west, it is horrible during certain heavy traffic times. I take highway 30 between I-80 in Illinois and I-65 in Indiana in order to avoid most of the mess onI-94.

When you take a different route, it isn’t always the best idea. If the traffic jam on the freeway moves along, albeit much slower than normal, then sometimes that is just as efficient as an alternate highway route that is longer and has traffic controls like stop lights and stop signs. As long as you can keep moving, you might be better off idling through heavy traffic rather than opting for the stop-frequently-and-go-a-longer-distance traffic.

Like a friend of mine in the east part of Detroit used to say about I-94 heading into the city: “It do be moving”. He was right. Check your speedometer. If you're moving along at 30 mph or better, then it might not be too slow and you would be unwise to take a different route.

If you are trying to find an alternate route for a relatively short distance commute, you might discover that all nearby arteries are just as congested as your normal route. You might also find that there isn’t a convenient alternate route to take.

Regardless, as one of many gasoline saving tips, an alternate route is worth considering as one way to avoid slow traffic that interferes with you getting better gas mileage.

Cost or difficulty: 3
Savings: 3

Done with Take a Different Route, back to Save Gas

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.