Over the next several months, many people in America will notice a sharp rise in gas prices. Today, the national average hovers around $3.60 a gallon, and there are several predictions that it could reach $5.00 a gallon by next year. Fortunately, there are several ways that consumers can save money on gas.
1. Reduce the weight of your vehicle. For every one hundred pounds of weight that you take out of your vehicle, you can expect to use about two percent less fuel. Besides cleaning out your car, consider talking to your local auto body shop about replacing your car parts with lower weight versions.
2. Look for sales and specials on gas. Using certain credit cards when you buy gas can help you to save a few cents per gallon. There are also some national chains that offer discounts when you pay with cash or make a purchase in the convenience store.
3. Make sure your vehicle is operating properly. There are a lot of ways in which a car can lose fuel efficiency. Keep up with regular oil changes and change your air filters often. Also be sure to check your tire pressure.
4. Combine trips. Plan your trips carefully, and try to combine as many errands into one trip as possible. Try to get errands done on your way home from work or after picking kids up from school.
5. Use your car less often. An even better idea than combining trips is to avoid running errands all together. Consider shopping online and having needed items delivered to your door instead of driving out to get them. While you may have to pay for shipping, it will probably be cheaper than paying for the gas needed to get to the store and back.
6. Get some exercise. Whenever possible, walk or ride a bike to your destination. In addition to saving money at the gas pump, you’ll also save money on gym membership fees. Furthermore, you may qualify for a discount on your health insurance. At the very least, you’ll feel better and healthier.
7. Consider car pooling. Even teaming up with just one other person to get to and from work can cut your commuting bill in half. In addition to cutting costs, you may also find you have extra time in the morning and afternoon for work or reading.
8. Change your schedule. Instead of working eight five hour days, try to work four ten hour days. This will cut your commuting time by twenty percent, and give you an extra day every week away from work.
9. Work from home. While few jobs will let you work from home all the time, many bosses can be convinced to try it out for one day a week. Create a proposal that specifies how you will do your job from home, and propose a trial period. Ideally, the arrangement will turn into a permanent one, but in the meantime you can avoid the high gas prices over the summer.
While there are plenty of people who will be affected by the higher gas prices this summer, these steps can be used to make sure that you are not one of them.