Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half! by Sallie Stone - HTML preview

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Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half!

 

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Table of Contents

 

Part I: Save Money on Gas for your Car

 

Automobile Features That Can Save Fuel

Buyer Beware: Products that Increase Your Gas Mileage

Change Your Driving Style to Conserve Gasoline

Coast Your Way to Gas Savings

Cool Off Your Fuel Consumption

Decrease Your Speed, Decrease Your Fuel Consumption

Driving Fast Will Cost You Money!

Driving Slow to Save Some Dough

Easy Methods of Saving Gas

Free Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage

How Maintaining Your Car Helps You Save Gas

How to Organize a Car Pool to Reduce Gas Expenses

Less Junk in the Trunk, More Cash to Pass

Little Known Ways to Improve Fuel Economy

Plan Your Trips Ahead To Avoid Wasting Gas

Save Gas By Performing Simple Maintenance

Simple Vehicle Maintenance Can Save You Money on Gas

Simple Ways to Stay Away from the Gas Pump

Slow Down to Save Gas

Stay Away from Air Conditioning, Stay Away from the Pump

The Best Ways to Use Less Gas

The Cost of Driving at High Speeds

Using Public Transportation to Cut Gas Costs

Using Your Car’s Features to Minimize Gas Use

Why You Should Avoid Fuel Economy Products

 

 

Part II: Frugal Living

 

Frugality Can Equal Happiness

Frugal Rules

Do Your Homework

Six Traits of the Frugal Shopper

Being Paid to Shop

Is Being Frugal Worth It?

Just a Few Changes

Frugal Living - What It Is and What It Is Not

Supermarket Smarts

Frugal Food Saving

Save a Fortune on Food

Frugal All-Purpose Baking Mix

Frugal Recipes Using a Basic Baking Mix

Frugal Recipes

Spices the Frugal Way

Ten Frugal Gardening Tips

Frugal Gifts for the Cook

Frugal Floor Cleaners

Frugal and Safer Air Fresheners

Frugal Cleaning Products

Frugal Pest Control

Frugal Clothing and Transportation Hints

Looking Like a Million on a Budget

How Can I Be Frugal?

Bathroom Decorating on a Budget

Home Decorating the Frugal Way

Frugally Safe

Save on Communication and Electricity

Stay Cooler Frugally

Saving Money on Car Gas

Painless Ways to Cut Vacation Spending

Low-Cost Frugal Vacations

Frugal Winter Fun

Low or No-Cost Gift Ideas

Frugal Gifts for the Housekeeper

Frugal Gift in a Jar Ideas

Frugal Indoor Kid's Activities

Go Fly a Kite!!

Frugal Homeschool Tips

The Frugal Lunchbox

Frugal Living - What It Is and What It Is Not

 

Part III: Groceries

 

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Get Free Coupons in your Mailbox

 

Part IV: Links

 

Favorite Links

 

 

 

 

 

Automobile Features That Can Save Fuel

 

Drivers seem to let out a collective groan whenever they realize that it is time to stop to fuel up their automobiles, thanks to the sky-high gas prices these days.  You would be hard-pressed to find a driver that would not like to save a bit of money at the gas pump, but many people simply do not know how to achieve this.  Many consumers turn to products that promise better gas mileage, only to be disappointed.  Others believe that they must buy a smaller vehicle or sell their current one, due to the expensive fuel problem.

 

What many drivers do not know is that there are many ways to use less fuel, some of which are so laughably easy that you will be stunned that you had never thought of them before.  You do not have to buy expensive products, as most of the best ways to conserve fuel have no cost, or at least a very small cost.  Indeed, some of the easiest ways to increase your gas mileage are right under your nose when you drive- literally!  Read on to find out how some of the features in your car can help you save gas!

 

One of the favorite features a car can have for many drivers is cruise control.  Long beloved by drivers who must endure long trips, cruise control has a number of different benefits, although it is a very simple feature.  For instance, many people have earned themselves speeding tickets by having a heavy foot that got out of control, but with the cruise control set, you can drive at a consistent speed without glancing at the gauge every three seconds!

 

Did you know, though, that setting the cruise control can help you to save gas?  That’s right, since your car will be driving along at a consistent speed, there won’t be the little accelerations here and there that the inexact science of using a foot pedal can result in.  These slight accelerations cause the car to work a bit more every now and then, which obviously results in increased gasoline use.  Imagine- a convenient way to drive that offers greater fuel efficiency as well!

 

A somewhat less used feature for most drivers is the “overdrive” feature.  Many people do not even know that their car has overdrive, or what it can do.  Basically, overdrive allows your car’s engine to work less hard at higher speeds.  Again, as we mentioned earlier, when your engine works less, you use less gas, so setting the overdrive on can help you to easily save a little gas!

 

You probably look at your MPH (miles per hour) gauge quite often, if you are like most drivers.  However, how often do you look at the RPM gauge?  Probably not nearly as much!  If you drive a manual transmission especially, keep an eye on your car’s RPMs.  After all, the higher your car is running in the RPM range, the harder your engine is working.  If you do drive a stick, make sure that you are changing gears before you get too high in the RPM range, and use your higher gears at a consistent speed whenever possible!

 

Not all features are beneficial for gas usage, however.  If you are a big fan of using your car’s air conditioning, you are costing yourself in fuel efficiency!  Having the air conditioning on makes your car work much harder, as you can tell because of the lessened power and responsiveness when you accelerate.  Whenever you can, try to drive with the air conditioning off!

 

As you can see, these are some fairly simple ways to take a little of the pain of filling up your car’s gas tank away.  Remember that if you can try to control your fuel usage, you can lessen your gas expenses without having the ability to change the price of gas itself!

 

 

Buyer Beware: Products that Increase Your Gas Mileage

 

Everyone is reacting differently to the continued increase in gas prices that we have experienced over the last several years.  Many drivers have taken to doing whatever they can to increase their gas mileage, which has created a market for products that claim to do just that.  The companies that manufacture these products seem to have a great idea, since they know that the public is desperate to decrease their fuel usage.  The question is, do these products really provide a big difference, or are these companies just making a quick buck off of consumers who are sick of paying so much at the pump?

 

It can be easy to get roped in by the very gaudy claims that the companies who make these products are making.  Do these products really provide increased gas mileage?  Can they prove the claims that they have made?  That depends on who you ask.  However, the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, has tested a number of these types of products, and has not found one yet that significantly increases gas mileage.  This means that the foremost authority in fuel economy has yet to certify one of these products as being legit.

 

That is not to say that the products do not work.  Perhaps they do provide gas mileage increases in certain vehicles, or maybe they increase gas mileage by a marginal amount.  However, since there is no concrete evidence of such an increase from testing done by an unbiased party, so there really is no proof available yet.  Again, this does not mean that the products are altogether worthless or useless.  However, it is debatable whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on these products, especially when there are very cheap (or even free) ways to increase your gas mileage alternatively.

 

For instance, you can do something as simple as put the proper amount of air in your tires, and check their air pressure regularly.  This simple task will usually cost you nothing (although some gas stations may have machines that charge a quarter or two), and will help you to save some of your precious gas when you drive.  This is just one simple act of maintenance that can help you to preserve your fuel.

 

Another cheap way to increase fuel efficiency is to change your air filters regularly.  Although this costs more than most fuel economy products do, it also provides proven benefits that are pretty substantial in regards to fuel efficiency.  If you have the choice between spending some money on an unproven method, or something that is proven to work, what would you choose?

 

These ways of increasing fuel efficiency are just the tip of the iceberg.  You can do simple things like avoid packing your trunk with excess junk that increases drag and decreases fuel mileage, or make sure you use the proper grade of motor oil.  Even simple things like avoiding the use of the air conditioning system can provide a marked increase in fuel economy!

 

In short, there are just too many cheap or inexpensive ways to improve gas mileage to be able to recommend buying costly products that may not work much, or at all.  With so many easy ways to increase your fuel economy, why pay money for something that is not proven to work?

 

 

Change Your Driving Style to Conserve Gasoline

 

It seems as if the massive increase in gas prices over the last few years have had drivers everywhere trying to make sense of it all.  Why are the prices so high?  What can we do to save a bit of money at the gas pump?  While the first question is not so easy to answer, we have quite a bit of control ourselves over the second one.  After all, there are a number of relatively easy ways that we can conserve gas and therefore, make less frequent stops at the local gas station.  One of the easiest ways that you can increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency without spending a dime is by making some simple tweaks to your driving style.

 

Most drivers are not thinking of fuel consumption when they decide what kind of driving style they will have.  In past years, that may have been a perfectly reasonable thing, but with the gas prices getting to be so high, we must all think about how we can reduce our gas usage.  After all, it is getting harder and harder to be able to afford frequent fill-ups at the gas station!  What follows are a few pretty basic ways that you can change your driving style to a more fuel efficient one.

 

One mistake that many drivers make is accelerating too often.  If you pay attention, you will notice that the vast majority of drivers accelerate almost all the time.  It does not matter whether they are 50 feet from a red light or a turn that they will have to slow down for, they will continue to have their foot on the gas right up until they have to brake.  This is a mistake for a number of reasons, all of which can affect fuel consumption.

 

First of all, it makes no sense to speed up towards a red light that you will have to stop for in a short distance.  Instead, why not take your foot off the gas and coast a bit?  This will not only allow you to save your brakes, but if the light changes, you can continue coasting until it is time to accelerate, and you may be able to do so without ever having to completely stop.  Your car will use a lot less gas starting from a coasting speed of 20 miles per hour than it would from a complete stop.  Again, the light is red anyway, there is simply no need to accelerate towards it.

 

If you have a turn coming up shortly, there is also no need to accelerate right up until the point where you must turn.  Why do so, when you will then have to brake aggressively in order to safely make your turn?  Instead, when you reach a close distance to your turn, take your foot off the gas pedal and coast a bit before slowly easing on the brake and making your turn.  Doing so will not cost you much time, and it will save gas as well as your brakes, both of which cost a fair amount of money.

 

Finally, try not to tailgate behind other drivers, and anticipate future stops or having to slow down.  If you give yourself a good amount of distance between yourself and the car(s) in front of you, you can see whether people are stopping or turning with much more notice, which allows you to coast a bit rather than having to slam on your brakes.  Again, you’re only wasting gas if you speed up to ride the car in front of yours’ rear bumper.  This is needless and can also be the cause of an accident!

 

These subtle tweaks to your driving style won’t cost you any time, and will save you a lot of gas and wear and tear on your car.  Also, if you drive less aggressively, you will accumulate less traffic tickets and accidents, which can cost you way more money than gas ever did!

 

 

Coast Your Way to Gas Savings

 

Everyone is frustrated about the continued price hikes for gasoline, but there are very few concrete answers or solutions to the problem.  At this point in the game, many drivers are looking for ways to alter the only thing they can truly control, which is their own personal gas consumption.  Luckily for thrifty drivers, there are many very simply ways that you can ease up on the gas, and in the process, ease up on your gas usage.  If you become a more opportunistic driver and are aware of what is going on around you, there are many times when you can let off the gas a bit and save some fuel, as a result.  These minor changes to your driving style can pay you big dividends in the end, as you will use much less gasoline.

 

Many drivers suffer from a bad case of lead foot, and not just on the highway, either.  If you look around the next time you’re on the road, you will see many such drivers.  Is it a result of impatience, or just bad habits?  It could be both, but it is not hard to change your driving style for the better, without costing yourself extra time on the road in the process.  This way, you can spend less money at the gas pump, while going a bit easier on your car as well.

 

The gas pedal is not always your friend, as many drivers should be able to attest to.  If you are among the many drivers who is nearly always accelerating, think about whether that is a smart decision or not.  If you are nearing a stop light or stop sign, do you really need to continue to have your foot pressed down on the gas right up until it is time to stop?  Doing so does not save you any time, as you will have to stop anyway, particularly at red lights.  There is no prize for reaching the light in a quicker amount of time, as you will have to wait for it to turn green, anyway!

 

Instead of impatiently roaring up to a red light, if you notice a light has turned red, take your foot off the gas.  You can begin coasting, and if you are lucky, you will still be doing so when the light turns green again.  Then, you can merely put your foot back on the gas and continue on without ever having had to stop.  Your car will work a lot less if it can accelerate to a good speed from a “rolling start” rather than from a complete stop, so if you are going, say, 20 miles per hour when the light changes, you are saving your car a lot of gas.  Like we discussed, since the light is red anyway, why would you speed towards it as quickly as possible?  This kind of driving causes wear on your brakes, increased gas usage, and doesn’t get you where you are going any more quickly.  The same kind of strategy applies to turns.  Do not accelerate until the last minute, then slam on the brake to make your turn.  Instead, coast for a few seconds, then ease on your brake before the turn.

 

It simply makes no sense to always be accelerating on the road.  There are times, such as when someone ahead of you is turning, when it makes much more sense to simply coast until you can accelerate again (once they have turned out of the way).  Sure, you could stay on the gas pedal and accelerate right up to their bumper before getting on the brake.  How would this benefit you, though?  It doesn’t!  Since driving a little bit less aggressively will save you gas (which saves you money) and does not cost you any time, why not make a few changes to your driving philosophy today?

 

 

Cool Off Your Fuel Consumption

 

If you are one of the many drivers who is looking anywhere for answers in relation to the extremely high gas prices, look no further.  There are many simple ways for you to reduce the amount of gas you use without spending any additional money, or making difficult changes.  It is really quite easy to maximize your car, van, truck or sport utility vehicle’s gas mileage, and as mentioned, you will not have to spend a fortune to do so!

 

It is important to know that you do not have to spend money on expensive products that claim to increase your gas mileage or decrease your fuel consumption.  The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has tested many such products, and has yet to find one that causes a dramatic increase in fuel efficiency for any vehicle.  Therefore, it simply does not make sense to spend extra money (gas is expensive enough as it is) for a product that may only have a negligible effect on your gas mileage, if it has any effect at all.  Many of the alternative methods for increasing fuel consumption are as easy as turning a knob or two!

 

For instance, you can save a lot of gas by not using the air conditioner in your car.  If you have ever paid attention to how your car’s engine sounds when you drive, you have probably noticed before that when your car’s air conditioner is on, the engine is a lot louder.  At the same time, your vehicle will not accelerate as readily when press down with your foot on the gas.  These are all in result to the car’s air conditioner being on.

 

In addition to decreased engine performance, running your vehicle’s air conditioner also causes your vehicle to use more gas.  That is why, unless it is absolutely necessary, you should try to leave your vehicle’s air conditioner off whenever possible.  After all, if you are like so many other drivers today, you are probably not interested in using any more gas than you absolutely have to.  More fuel consumption leads to buying more gas, which leads to you not having as much money as you would like!

 

There are alternatives to running the air conditioner in your car.  For instance, you can try to avoid driving during the hottest parts of the day, and take trips whenever possible during the cooler hours of morning or evening.  If you know that you have to go to the grocery store, for instance, try to wait until the sun goes down to do so.  This way, you will be less tempted to turn on the car’s air conditioner, as it will be much cooler outside than it would be earlier in the day, when the sun is beating down on you.

 

You can also simply roll down the windows if you need to cool off a bit.  This works particularly well on the highway, since the wind will be coming in your car very quickly.  Not only does this save you on the gas you would spend to have the air conditioner on, but it also feels great to enjoy a nice breeze on a hot summer day!  It is true that you may lose a little fuel efficiency by having the windows open, since this will create more “drag” on your car, causing the engine to work a bit harder.  However, this is not nearly as big of a deal as having your air conditioner on is, and you can offset some of the drag by going a bit slower on the highway.

 

In the warmer months, everyone wants to cool down a bit.  However, most of us would like to cool down on our fuel usage as well.  While you may be a little warmer in your car than usual, avoiding the use of your car’s air conditioner will make you feel pretty “cool” when you can drive by the gas pump without having to stop!

 

 

Decrease Your Speed, Decrease Your Fuel Consumption

 

It is becoming a more and more painful experience to have to fuel up at the pump nowadays.  Gas prices have continued to rise with no sign of letting up.  It is sometimes hard to justify making extra trips or car rides, simply because you know that when you have to visit the gas station, it is going to seriously cost you.  Luckily, there are easy ways, such as slowing down your speed, that you can control your fuel consumption.  If you are willing to do such a simple thing as to ease off the gas pedal a bit, you can benefit with some seriously decreased fuel consumption.  This will lead to less money spent at the pump, and more money kept in your wallet!

 

There are many products on the market today that claim to help increase your fuel efficiency.  However, it makes little sense to spend money on a product that will supposedly save you money, right?  Fortunately, there are several very easy ways that you can save money spent on gas without having to pay for extra products in the process.  One of these ways is to simply ease up on the throttle a bit!  Let us discuss further this concept.

 

Various studies have indicated that going faster than 55 miles per hour, which is the speed limit on many highways anyway, can really cost you in fuel efficiency.  For instance, studies have shown that going 75 miles per hour can increase your fuel consumption by one-fifth, or even one-fourth, versus the amount of fuel you would consume by going twenty miles per hour slower.  As you can see, there is a lot of money to be saved by keeping your speed down when you drive on highways or other roads with a high speed limit.

 

If it seems like a real pain to have to take your foot off the gas and drive 55 miles per hour, keep in mind that it is a much better alternative than continuing to fork out excess money at the gas station!  It can be difficult to go at this speed, especially when people may be passing you left and right while going 10 or 20 miles per hour faster than you, but remember the fuel savings you will be experiencing!  Most of the time, unless your trip will take you further than 60 miles away, you will only be costing yourself five or ten minutes of extra driving time.  This is really a pretty small amount of extra time spent driving, when considering how much fuel you can save in the process.

 

If the idea of driving 55 miles per hour makes you feel as restless as Sammy Hagar, remember that you do not have to drive that slowly to realize the benefits of decreased fuel consumption.  Even if you slow down only five or ten miles per hour from your normal speeds, you will experience at least some savings.  If driving 55 miles per hour simply is not going to work for you, then simply try to drive as slowly as you can, and be mindful of the fuel consumption that excess speeds costs you.

 

Also, if you do frequently drive over 70 miles per hour in your car, you probably have had a few speeding tickets over the years to show for it.  Another useful benefit of easing up on the gas pedal is that you will not only save on fuel consumption, but you will also attract less attention from the “boys in blue”.  With speeding tickets being quite expensive themselves, it is important to note that you will save money in more than one area by driving a bit more slowly on the highway.  As you can see, there are plenty of reasons, including safety as well, that you should slow down a bit when you get on a highway.

 

 

Driving Fast Will Cost You Money!

 

Drivers these days are prisoners of high gas prices.  The worse thing is, there is really nothing that any of us can do to help control the price of gas itself.  However, we can control, to a certain extent, how much gas we consume.  Think about it: the less gas we use, the less we have to buy!  If your idea of conserving fuel is simply to make less trips in your car to different places, remember that there are other ways to control how much gas you use, as well.  For instance, if you prefer to drive at high speeds, you are saving yourself a little time (and maybe having some fun), but you’re costing yourself a lot of money on gas!

 

Life moves very fast nowadays.  Most people have a lot of responsibilities to attend to, including work, family activities, or any number of things.  These types of things lead to people having to rush to get around, which in turn leads to a feeling that “faster is better” when it comes to driving.  While it is obviously true that you will get where you are going faster if you drive at a higher speed, you will also spend more money on gas if you drive that way!

 

It is a basic fact that any vehicle, be it a smaller car, or a large van, truck or SUV, consumes more fuel when driven at faster speeds.  Chances are that your vehicle gets its best gas mileage at 55 to 60 miles per hour.  Therefore, driving faster than those speeds is going to increase your fuel consumption, which means you are going to buy more gas.  Buying more gas?  Well, we all know what that means, and we would all like to avoid having to do so.  If you are feeling the pressure of high gas prices, maybe you should consider reducing your speed a bit, so that you can buy less fuel.

 

There are a lot of speed demons out there who routinely go 75 miles per hour, or even faster!  For these folks, it is important to note that not only are you greatly increasing your chances of a traffic ticket for speeding (and increasing your chances of death or serious injury in an accident), but you are also greatly increasing your fuel consumption, by as much as 20% or more!  That’s right; someone driving at about 55 miles per hour will only consume about four gallons for every five that the speed demon uses.  At upwards of four dollars per gallon of gas, no one can afford to use more gas than they need to!

 

It can be a big change to have to control your speed on a busy highway or a high-speed freeway.  After all, you will see impatient drivers passing you constantly, all while you feel like you are practically standing still.  However, if you can successfully make the change to driving at slower speeds, you will definitely appreciate the money you are saving on gas expenses!  It’s also worth noting that you do not necessarily have to slow all the way down to 55 miles per hour to experience the benefits of increased fuel efficiency.  Any reduction in speed will net you some sort of decreased fuel consumption, though obviously you will save more gas the more you slow down.

 

You may want to pick and choose the times when you put the proverbial pedal to the metal.  After all, if you are running late to an important meeting, you may be able to justify driving a bit faster.  If you are simply on your way to a weekend cookout at Uncle Jimmy’s, it is not quite so important to drive 80 miles per hour to get there.  If your trip is relatively short, you will only cost yourself a few extra minutes of driving time, anyway.

 

 

Driving Slow to Save Some Dough

 

You are not alone in your frustration over gas prices these days.  Everyone who has to pull up to the gas station and fuel up their vehicle shakes their head when they see the price, after all.  Along with the frustration over gas prices, many people feel helpless.  What can you do to lower gas prices?  It is not as if you can simply stop driving altogether to send a message about your feelings on gas prices!  That may be true, but there are things you can do to reduce your spending on fuel.

 

While the price that you pay for gas per gallon may be well beyond your control, the amount of gas that you use is something that you can change.  You can do this in a few ways, such as buying a more fuel efficient automobile, or staying home instead of driving around so much.  However, for those who do not want to buy a new vehicle or who can not just stay at home indefinitely, what options are there?  One of the simplest options, actually, is something that can be done quite easily.  Simply put, you can slow down!

 

When many people think about slowing down their driving, they are primarily thinking about either avoiding speeding tickets or becoming safer drivers.  While it is true that slowing down provides these two important benefits, you can also save quite a bit of gas by slowing down your speed, both in town and on the highway.

 

Too many people ride the accelerator as they drive in city situations.  They speed up, even though a red light is ahead, or someone ahead of them is slowing down.  If you can take your foot off the gas and coast a bit, you can save some gas and avoid having to quickly brake when you get to where you have to stop.  This means you can conserve gas as well as your brakes!  Who knows, you might be coasting when the light turns green, which means that instead of starting from a dead stop, you will start to accelerate with some momentum already built up.  This also saves you gas.

 

Even more gas can be saved on the highway.  While your driving style in city situations can raise or lower your gas mileage, it does not affect your fuel consumption as dramatically as does your speed on the highway.  You can save a lot of gas by driving at 55 miles per hour instead of 75 miles per hour, for instance.  How much?  Estimates vary from as little as 20% to all the way up to 30%, but either way, that is a substantial amount of gas!  When you figure in the cost of gas right now, it really does pay to slow down a bit on the freeway, interstate, or highway.  Again, not only will you save on gas expenses, but you will also avoid traffic tickets when you drive at lower speeds.

 

It can be very difficult to slow down your speed when driving, especially if you are used to driving quite fast, or if you are impatient.  Remember, if you are not running late for something important, you do not need to race to your destination!  Doing so will only cost you gas, which costs you money.

 

 

Easy Methods of Saving Gas

 

Gas prices are always a hot topic these days, as they have continued to rise and rise, with no sign of stopping or even slowing down.  Many drivers are understandably frustrated, as they are being squeezed hard by the high prices, and seem to have no way to make gas more affordable for themselves.  Since it may be foolish to expect a drop in gas prices anytime soon, one of the best ways to deal with the ridiculous price of gas is to look for whatever ways you can to reduce your gas usage.

 

Many of the best methods for reducing gas usage are also among the very easiest!  This is very fortunate for those who do not have mechanical expertise or extra money to invest in products that make exaggerated claims of increased fuel efficiency.  If you number yourself among the many that are growing tired of spreading themselves thin because of gas prices, take a look at some of these very simple and free ways to free yourself of some of the cost of gas.

 

Of course, it is obvious that when you do not drive your car, you use no fuel, which is easily the most affordable option of them all.  However, if your car stays parked at home, so do you!  What are the alternatives when you have places to go and people to see?  Well, a car pool is a great option, if you can make it work.  Car pools have been around for years and are quite common.  With a car pool system, you can reduce your impact on the environment while you also reduce the impact of gas prices on your wallet!

 

Most people think of car pools as a way to get to work, but if you know someone who lives near you that has other places to go, you can still car pool!  If you have to go to the mall, for instance, check and see if one of your neighbors wants to go, as well.  Maybe next time, they will return the favor.

 

Smart trip planning is another weapon that consumers have to fight the roaring albatross that is gas prices.  To swing this deadly blade and slay the beast, simply plan ahead when you go out to make sure that you consolidate all of your shopping and errand-running needs into one trip.  If you live in a small town and must take the highway to get shopping done, it is even more important to plan your trips well to avoid excess driving!

 

One big “no-no” that is easily avoided is leaving your car’s engine on when you are not going anywhere.  This can include when you run in quickly to the store or gas station, or when you are waiting for a friend to come outside so you can go somewhere together.  In most cases, it will make much more sense to simply turn your engine off.  If you are not currently moving, there is no reason to have your engine on, anyway!

 

Finally, avoid having excess weight in your car when you are driving around.  This means that you do not want to leave items that you do not need in your car for long periods of time, particularly if they are somewhat heavy.  This also means that you probably want to make friends with very light people!  Well, that may not be true, but it is important to reduce the weight in your car, since every 100 pounds can cause you a loss of 1 or 2 percent of your fuel economy.

 

It is plain to see that increasing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency does not have to be a complicated or expensive process.  It is important to remember that there are alternatives to simply staying home and not driving if you want to save money on gas.  The trick is simply to be a bit smarter about where, when and how you drive!

 

 

Free Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage

 

Companies are well aware that consumers are desperate to reduce their fuel consumption.  That is why the market has been flooded with products that supposedly increase your gas mileage significantly.  Let’s ignore the fact that none of these products’ claims have been proved by the Environmental Protection Agency for a minute.  It really does not matter either way, because the fact is that there are plenty of ways to increase your gas mileage without having to spend a dime!

 

It is rather unfortunate that many of these extremely easy ways to increase gas mileage are still unknown by much of the general public.  The gas prices and their constant increases have caused the economy to sputter, and have put a lot of pressure on lower and middle class families.  It is important for these folks, along with everyone else that drives regularly, to know that they can save on their gas costs without making any extra financial investment!

 

Many of the methods for increasing gas mileage are quite simple.  For instance, did you know that having the proper level of air pressure in your tires can help you to save gas?  It is true!  Best of all, most gas stations and even car washes have free air machines that will help you to monitor and adjust your tire pressure according to whether it is a bit high or low.

 

You can also increase your gas mileage by avoiding certain things while driving.  For instance, you can avoid using the air conditioning system in your vehicle, since air conditioning makes your engine work harder, which in turn means that you use more gas.  At the same time, you can drive with the windows up on cold days, which will also improve your aerodynamics, and thus, your gas mileage.  Open windows increase drag, which causes resistance that your car must overcome, after all.

 

Another great tip for increasing gas mileage without spending a penny is simply to slow down a bit on the highway.  If you stay at the speed limit for most highways (55 miles per hour), you will be operating your vehicle at right around the optimum speed for maximum fuel efficiency.  Any faster than that, and you will be sacrificing fuel efficiency to get to where you are going just a little bit earlier.

 

You should avoid doing certain other things, as well, such as idling your engine while you run errands or buy items at the store.  It is always better for your gas mileage for you to turn off the engine when you are stopped, even if you are only going to be gone for a couple of minutes.  You are wasting gas if you leave your car running, since you have no need for it to be running when you are not going anywhere!  You also do not need to “warm your car up” in the winter, as the only way to truly warm an engine up is by driving.  If you want it to be warm inside when you get in, try to limit the amount of time you warm up the interior of the car, at least.

 

These are just a few of the free methods for increasing fuel efficiency.  Try these ideas, and see how well they work for you!

 

How Maintaining Your Car Helps You Save Gas

 

If you drive even somewhat regularly, it is likely that you are as sick of high gas prices as the rest of us are.  However, there is very little that any of us can do to directly affect the price of gas, so we are forced to turn our attention to doing whatever we can to limit the amount of gas that we use.  You may or may not be aware that there are very easy methods for increasing the gas mileage you get in your car, van, truck or sport utility vehicle.  In fact, many of the ways that you can help your vehicle’s gas mileage are through simple maintenance that you should be performing on your vehicle anyway!

 

It is unfortunate that many who are attempting to escape high gas prices have turned to costly products that claim they can help your vehicle get more gas mileage.  Of course, it makes little sense to spend money in order to save money, particularly when these products are largely unproven to begin with.  That is why when you are trying to dramatically increase your vehicle’s gas mileage, it is better to stick to the more reliable, more basic methods instead.  These methods definitely include performing the regular maintenance that your car requires already.

 

Most drivers are fairly diligent about getting oil changes regularly for their vehicle.  After all, regular oil changes are among the most fundamental (and cheap) ways to maintain your vehicle’s performance and condition.  Many people do not know, however, that regular oil changes also help to limit fuel consumption!  That means that you will save money in the end, even if you have to spend money to perform an oil change or have one done for you.  Also, while you’re at it, make sure that your car is running on the appropriate grade of oil.  This can reduce your fuel consumption by one or two percent.

 

One of the better ways to easily increase your car’s gas mileage is also one of the easiest.  The next time you pull up to a gas station or car wash that has an air pump, check the air pressure in your tires and add air, if necessary.  At many gas stations or car washes, this will not cost you anything.  Even if the only machine you can find is a pay machine, it will still likely only cost you as much as fifty cents.  The price (or lack thereof) and simplicity of this method makes it a great way to help keep yourself away from the gas pump.

 

Another type of regular maintenance that your car requires consists of regular tune-ups.  Tune-ups help to ensure that your car is performing as well as it should be, including in respect to gas mileage.  Also, most tune-ups include a check of other important areas, which may reveal a problem with your car that is costing you valuable gas mileage.  Fixing many of these areas may result in drastically improved performance and gas mileage, so that is a side benefit of tuning your car, as well.

 

The vehicle maintenance that will net you the most improved gas mileage is definitely that of checking and replacing dirty, clogged air filters.  If your air filters are filthy, make sure to switch them out with clean, new ones right away!  Doing so can boost your gas mileage by one-tenth!  That is a pretty significant amount when you consider today’s unsavory gas prices.  Think about one-tenth of a gallon of gas where you live.  That’s how much you can expect to save, per gallon, if you drive with clean (rather than a dirty) air filters.

 

These types of relatively simple vehicle maintenance prove once and for all that it is not necessary to buy costly products to increase your gas mileage.  Simply do the maintenance that you should already be doing for your car, and you will reap the benefits!

 

 

How to Organize a Car Pool to Reduce Gas Expenses

 

Who would not want to spend less money at their local gas station every week?  It would be hard to find someone who is not interested in conserving gas, but doing so is much harder than it would seem to be, at times.  One of the most obvious ways to reduce fuel expenses is to simply not drive, but for many people, that is really not feasible.  After all, most people have responsibilities that require them to be at specific places at certain times, and this in turn requires them to operate a motor vehicle to get there.

 

However, many people are not taking advantage of the somewhat popular practice of car pooling.  Car pooling has been around for years now, and while it has steadily increased in popularity, it still is not as widely used as it should be.  The reasons vary, as some people simply prefer to drive by themselves to and from places, and others do not know anyone that lives near them, or do not want to coordinate a regular car pool.  The reality is, however, if you want to save money on gas, there are few better ways to do so than by participating in a car pool.

 

Organizing a car pool can be fairly simple.  For instance, it can be as easy as posting a sign up at your work, or asking around to see if anyone who shares your place of employment lives near you.  If they live along your route to work, you can also simply pick them up every day, in exchange for a little monetary contribution towards the expense of gas.  This will not cause you any major inconvenience, but it will save you a lot of money spent on fueling up your car each week!

 

Many people only think of car pooling as a way to get to and from work, but there are many other times when a car pool is an equally great idea.  For instance, you can form a car pool with people that live near you for things such as going to the gym, shopping at the grocery store, or heading out to the mall.  If you are planning on taking a vacation, it can be a very expensive endeavor, especially if you will be driving.  However, if you pair up with a couple that you enjoy being around, you can all take one car and cut your gas costs literally in half!

 

It may not always be convenient to car pool, but the barriers are usually not that serious.  What you really have to consider is whether it is worth it to you to have the comfort of driving in silence and solitude, even if it means that you will pay the full cost of gas all by yourself.  Most people would rather have a little company, all while saving some money at the fuel pump.  That is why car pools continue to be a fairly common thing, even to this day.  If you have never tried car pooling before, give it a shot!  With gas prices being so high, there really has never been a better time than now to give car pooling a chance.  You never know, you may even enjoy the company and make a new friend or two!

Less Junk in the Trunk, More Cash to Pass

 

Many of the solutions to using a lot of gas are so simple, yet they somehow elude us, despite their obviousness.  After all, modern men and women have quested long and far to find any possible solutions to the problems caused by unrelenting gas prices.  While many have adopted very extreme methods of saving gas, such as becoming hermits and refusing to drive, or buying an expensive new hybrid vehicle, there are many simple ways to reduce fuel consumption as well!

 

It is important to make sure that you explore all of your options before resorting to a drastic choice such as becoming a shut-in, or buying a Toy-onda Motors Hybrid LX 1300 SP.  Many of the ways that you can decrease the amount of gas you use, and therefore the amount of money you spend at the gas pump, can be had without making any major changes to your lifestyle.  You simply have to be smart.  For instance, let’s discuss the junk in your trunk, and why you should get rid of it!

 

Many drivers make their way around town with an arsenal of items, goods and ancient artifacts in their cars that really do not need to be there.  They do this without knowing that carrying all of this extra weight in their car is costing them whenever they have to fuel up!  That is because added weight in your car makes your car work much harder to get from place to place, thereby increasing your vehicle’s fuel consumption!

 

How much does the added and unnecessary weight decrease your gas mileage?  Most people say that an extra hundred pounds can decrease your gas mileage by 1 or 2 percent.  This may sound like an insignificant amount, but think about gas prices.  Two percent of four dollars, for example, is eight cents.  Would you take some old items out of your trunk in order to save eight cents a gallon?  Most drivers will drive across town for savings like that!

 

Also, consider that you may be carrying more than an extra one hundred pounds in your car.  Depending on the amount of unneeded stuff in your car, you can be hampering your gas mileage and fuel efficiency by a somewhat significant margin!  Again, it only takes a minute to remove excess items from your car; the key is to motivate yourself to get it done!

 

Many people consider their cars to not just be methods of transportation, but also as a sort of mobile storage facility for things that they do not care about enough to keep in their homes.  That is the kind of thinking that wastes gas, ladies and gentlemen.  There are many different ways to decrease fuel consumption, of course, and this is just one of them.  But at the same time, every gallon counts!  If you can save a little bit of money at the pump, why pass that chance up?

 

It is ultimately up to you to make sure that you do the things necessary to improve the fuel efficiency of your car, truck, van or sport utility vehicle.  With gas prices continuing to go up and no end in sight, any type of relief is better than nothing!  With that in mind, get rid of that junk in your trunk and start saving!

Little Known Ways to Improve Fuel Economy