Save Money on Your Gas Bill
Gasoline prices continue to soar at ridiculous heights. As supplies shrink and demand increases, what can regular people with regular jobs do to keep up with the continuous oil price hike? Try these road-tested ways to slash your gas bill, pile up on the savings, and eventually, make us less beholden to those who control the oil supply.
- Take public transportation. It saves the country on billion gallons of oil a year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons. Get your fair share of the savings by looking up the local bus route or climbing on the subway. After all, as a taxpayer, you've already invested in the service. While you still have to pay bus fare or subway tickets (and let go some comfort or convenience), you’ll save wear and tear on your car and will do less swearing during a traffic jam.
- Drive away bad habits. If you really cannot bear the thought of leaving your car in the garage, you can at least drive the car you own to greater fuel-efficiency. Driving smartly and scheduling regular vehicle maintenance lessen the pollution your car produces. If you contribute to less burning fossil fuel, then that will lead to less smog, less asthma, less acid rain and less of a contribution to global warming. Start by inflating your tires to the recommended level. Visit your mechanic for a tune-up if you're due. Be sure to have your tires aligned, your air filter checked and your oil changed if needed.
- Plan your trips. When you have a day job, think of how you can combine errands with your already hectic schedule to cut your gas bill in half. For example, you can bring the kids to school in the morning and do the grocery shopping before you go home at night. If you have extra minutes during lunch break, maybe you can squeeze in paying bills at the bank.
- Carpool. If your kids ride the school bus, share your trip to work with officemates and split the bill. Of course, you want to make your trip as pleasant as possible so find people you love to hang out with. But if you focus on the savings, then a few minutes to the office can still be bearable even if you don’t like the people inside your car.
- Replace your car with a fuel-efficient model. Of course, not everyone can afford to replace their car or buy a new one but try to make a goal before the end of the year or in five years’ time max. You can save a lot of pain at the pump if you trade in your gas guzzler for a fuel-efficient model.
- Walk or bike. Even when your commute is long, why not try an electric bike instead? It will keep your wallet fat and your pants loose. Drive your car for rainy days. Or maybe just buy a new umbrella.
- Think of the bigger picture. Gas prices are the most painful for folks in the suburbs, where there's often no viable option but to drive from home to school, to work, to the grocery store, etc. Sprawling development gives each family God's green acre, but it makes them pay in oil. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you want to see the next generation have an easier time dealing with high oil prices (and there's little reason to expect the price of oil will drop significantly), then support smart-growth planning. Tell your representatives in Congress, the statehouse, at the county commission and town council to plan for the next building boom now, while housing starts are low. This tip won't save you a dime today. But it's well worth it for what it will save your children and grandchildren.