Virtue – The Heart of Discernment

I know you just want to get to the meat of how to save money on gas, but let me just lecture for a moment.

Petroleum products, including gas, are not going to become cheaper. One of the reasons for this is simply that they are limited and more and more people are competing for a diminishing supply. This is Economics 101 stuff and is known as supply and demand. As supply goes down and demand goes up, the price goes up. Anyway, when was the last time you saw major price reductions on a commodity like gas?

At the same time, people around the world are beginning to realize that not only are petroleum supplies limited, but the effects of burning gas and other petroleum products to power cars, factories, and your lawn mower are creating a highly unstable environmental situation…one which may have disastrous consequences for our children and grandchildren if not for us.

Therefore, these tips not only tell you some  spielregeln24  ways you can simply save money on gas, but also nudge you a little bit along the path of change. As we have often heard, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting.” We have been getting more pollution and higher gas prices. Isn’t it time to make some sort of change?

Now, who am I and where do I get my info? Well, I have done a lot of research and reading, but I have also been a long-haul, over-the-road trucker and owned my own truck. With a vehicle that got 6 to 8 MPG and with 300 gallon tanks to fill every couple of days I became attuned to ways to reduce my out-of-pocket expenses. Last year, I traded my Dodge Intrepid and Isuzu Rodeo for a Toyota Prius hybrid…which is a great car. While you can do all sorts of things, including walking, in order to save money on gas, here’s my top five picks.

1. Trade in the gas guzzler: Now, I don’t have hard and fast figures on this, but I am willing to bet, based on personal observation, that at least 50% of people have much bigger, gas-guzzling cars than they need. Although I am off the road as a truck driver, I sometimes write articles on places I have visited, and this requires a certain amount of travel. All day long, whether in California or in Georgia, I see big SUV’s and trucks that only get a few miles to the gallon being driven by one person. I also see a lot of hot-looking, and sounding, cars that I know get really bad mileage. A lot of people drive these back and forth to work every day!

I was talking to a guy yesterday at a motel in Abilene.  samuel von zeitgeist  He’s going on a trip to the Grand Canyon with his kids. His truck gets 15 MPG! Where he is going, gas is hovering close to four dollars a gallon. If he only goes 1,000 miles each way, he needs 133 gallons. That comes out to about $500 just for gas at $3.75 a gallon. If he were to have a smaller, more fuel efficient car that got around 30 MPG, he could cut that in half. If he had my Toyota Prius, it would cost about $150.

How about commuting? Let’s imagine my new friend from the Abilene motel drives 10 miles to work each day. At 20 miles a day, that’s 140 miles a week. Since he’s probably going to get stuck in traffic sometimes, I’m just going to say that his average gas use is 14 MPG (easier math) and he needs 10 gallons of gas just to get back and forth to work each week. Let’s just say gas costs $3.00 a gallon. That’s $30 a week for gas just to get to work and back. Again, getting a smaller car with double the mileage would result in a $15 a week savings. That doesn’t sound like much until you think about it as an extra $60 a month (pay your water bill?), or $360 a year.

Oh yeah! With a Toyota Prius (Can you tell I like it?), he would save over $80 a month or $480 a year.

2. Keep your tires inflated properly: Proper tire inflation saves money on gas. One study conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association estimated that only 15% of drivers check their tire inflation properly. It is interesting to note, by the way, that the study also showed that more people check their tire pressure as gas prices go up! Not only can proper inflation save you money on gas, but it saves you money on tires themselves. Properly inflating your tires can help handling and cut down on wear and tear on steering components.

3. Slow down: Here’s a little fact for you – Fuel economy drops about 10 percent between 55 mph and 65 mph, and 17 percent between 55 mph and 70 mph. Do I really need to say more? Come on, tell the truth. How fast were you going on the Interstate this morning on your way to work?

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