8 Basic Ways to Save Gas

  1. Walk – What’s within walking distance of your home? You could walk your kids to school instead of driving, walk to the store, and so forth. You can also walk between destinations that you drive to. If you have two errands too far from your home to walk, but close to each other, drive to one then walk to the other.
  2. Ride a bike – Great exercise and faster than walking for those errands where you won’t be carrying much weight.
  3. Take the bus – It’s not as fast as driving yourself, but may not cost as much.
  4. Carpool – If you and a friend have similar destinations and schedules, carpooling is a great way to save on gas. You can share trips to work, the grocery store or the mall.
  5. Combine errands – A little planning goes a long way. Your car uses more gas when the engine is cold than when it is warm, and you’ll save a lot of back-and-forth driving as well.
  6. Avoid rush hour – Stop and go traffic is terrible for your mileage and your engine. If your employer offers flexible time, go in to work early or late, and leave the same amount early or late.
  7. Shop online – Decide if it is worth your money to buy your groceries online if such a service is available in your area. You can also buy all kinds of things at places such as Amazon.com.
  8. Treat your car right – How you maintain and drive your car can make a difference in its mileage. This includes:
    • Go easy on the gas and brakes. Fast starts and stops greatly increase wear and tear on your vehicle.
    • Avoid long idle periods. Idling for more than a minute or two can use more gas than restarting your car. If you know you’ll be waiting for a few minutes for someone, go ahead and turn the car off.
    • Clean out your car. Excess weight causes your car to use more gas. Don’t keep things you won’t be using in your trunk.
    • Obey the speed limits.
    • Open the windows rather than use the air conditioner. On all but the hottest days for many areas of the country, an open window will cool the car quite effectively.
    • Watch your tire pressure. Low pressure increases gas usage.

Of course, choosing a vehicle that has good gas mileage, to begin with, is an important step too. Try to use the car with the highest gas mileage most often, saving the less efficient vehicles for times when you need the space or other features they offer.