Great Savings #30 – Save Gas


Pumping gasoline.

Are you shocked by the high cost of a single fill up? Have you ever considered how much you spend filling your car up over its lifetime?

We’re making this easy. We did the math for you. If you drive your car 100,000 over the course of its life and get 25 miles to the gallon, you’ll end up buying 4000 gallons of gas. Assume gas costs an average of $4 per gallon. That equates to $16,000 you’ll need to, “Fill it up!” And when you start tacking on other expenses like oil changes, repairs, new tires, insurance and the like that figure can easily double. That’s a lot of cash.


Unfortunately, not everyone can afford  a new super-efficient vehicle. Thus, to get the best efficiency from your existing car, be sure to use these 8 quick tips for saving money at the pump:


Cutting miles means using less gas. It's that simple.

Pull in for gas less frequently. Plan ahead.

(1) Map the route before you go. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary side trips or duplicate effort. Thus, if you have several errands to run, plan out the best route to take that minimizes the number of miles you travel. Less miles equals less gas.


There are several ways to significantly cut down on your gas consumption.

Maybe a scooter isn’t an option, but any method that uses less gas leaves more money in your pocket.

(2) Share rides or driving duties whenever possible. You could also try telecommuting, biking or taking the bus to work at least once a week. Eliminating the number of trips you make, means less miles driven and that could easily cut your gasoline usage by a quarter to half or more depending on your situation


Jack rabbit starts and quick stops severely impact mileage.

How do you drive? Do you slam on the brakes? Do you drive over the speed limit? Driving habits make a huge difference when it comes to getting better mileage.

(3) Smooth out driving by increasing following distance. More space between cars allows more opportunity to avoid braking and the associated re-acceleration. Also, avoid quick stops and quick starts to improve mileage. Not only will you save gas driving this way, but your chance of getting in an accident goes way down.


(4) Check tire pressure frequently. Keep tires properly inflated as under or overinflated tires use up more gas. You can get an inexpensive air gauge at the local hardware or auto supply store. Make a habit of checking the pressure every couple weeks.


The best way to improve on mileage is to follow a few simple tips.

What’s in your backseat? How about the trunk? Reduce your car’s weight to improve mileage.

(5) Remove all the extra junk in the car. Extra weight burns more gas. Clean out that trunk. Pull items off the back windowsill. Look under the seats and remove trash. Not only will your car weigh less it will smell and look better.


(6) Use the recommended grade of gas in your car. Most cars do just fine on regular fuel. Use it and you won’t pay the “premium” for premium.


(7) Drive the most efficient car. If you have more than one car in your household, drive the one that has the best mileage (a) as often as possible and (b) on the longest regular commute.


Engine oil can also affect mileage.

Use the thinnest grade of oil your car manufacture recommends to get the best mileage.

(8) Use the right oil for your car and change it regularly. Changing your oil per the manufacturer’s recommendation is the best and easiest way to (a) keep your engine running smoothly, and (b) help to maximize its efficiency and that means better mileage.


Another Great Savings Tip From taking the 8 steps above really make a difference? Let’s find out. If you can increase your mileage just 5%, to 26.25 miles per gallon the cost for driving 100,000 miles at an average cost of $4 per gallon goes from $16,000 down to $15,238. That’s a savings of $762! And that’s just the beginning if you really want to work at it. To find out how to get the most mileage out of your car and for much greater detail be sure to see our post, 27 Tips For Saving Gas.


Action Item: Identify 3 ways you could be saving more gas. Could you carpool? Can you clean out all that junk in the trunk? Are your tires in good shape. Go down the list and find 3 ways to cut down on your gasoline consumption starting today. It’s not only good for your wallet, but burning less gas means creating less pollution and that’s good for the environment.


For more ways to save money and build long-term wealth see our Great Savings Tip page.



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