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Last week the gas stations nearest our home crested the $4 a gallon price for regular unleaded gasoline. It was the tipping point for me.

I decided it was time to cut back on gas consumption and started thinking about changes we could make to cut back on gas use. One plane of attach is to increase gas mileage.

Another tact is to make lifestyle changes to cut consumption. I came up with this list that is fairly easy to put into action.

Pack Lunch

Living close to the office has the added benefit of getting to go home for lunch every work day. Even though I wasn't buying lunch out, it probably was using 2-3 gallons a week. I'm going to start brown bagging it one day a week initially.

Combine Errands

On the weekends I try to combine errands mostly for efficiency sakes. Now, I have my wallet to think about and will try to make sure there are at least two tasks that can be accomplished on every trip.

Walk Instead of Drive

We do live close enough to stores, banks, and restaurants that it is feasible to walk. It may take more time than driving, but you get in your exercise time along with finishing tasks. I wouldn't do this for large shopping trips but for when you need a few small items.

Consider Gas When Making Plans

Last weekend we went out to breakfast and were debating the restaurant selection. All factors were pretty even except for location. When we figured out it would use $6 worth of gas to get to one choice that helped point us to the closest restaurant.

Shop Online

I like to shop online to avoid the malls and ease in finding desired items. A big benefit is that your purchase is delivered to you instead of using your gasoline. Don't waste gas driving to the store and then circling looking for a parking spot. Let your mouse drive you.

A few simple adjustments can make the difference in your monthly budget. Have you made any adjustments due to rising gas prices?

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13 comments add your comment

  1. Two to add, which require more commitment, but which will have a much greater impact.

    1. Sell a vehicle. If you have two or more cars, do you need them all? Could you get by with just one? Or if you have one, and live in the city, could you get by with no car at all (or by renting as needed)?

    2. Commute by bicycle. Gas savings + exercise + fun + sense of accomplishment.

    • My husband and I could get by with one car, but haven’t made that commitment yet. He only fills the second car up once a month so it’s not costing us much. Great ideas!

  2. Wow Kay, Im working on a post on the same topic–it’s true then, GREAT minds think alike! (OK, YOU have a great mind and I’m still working on it, but intentions count for something 😉 )

    But seriously, when ever gas prices start to rise, everyone scrambles to find ways to cut consumption. The best thing we can do is to prepare before prices rise, when we have more options. The whole situation in the middle East is so chaotic that we have to be ready for higher prices all the time.

    I have a feeling that many of the people who bought SUVs after gas prices pulled back in 2008 are going to be sorry soon, if they aren’t already!

    • Before the last gas price run-up, it seemed everyone in California drove an SUV or min-van. I didn’t see them rush back to these bigger vehicles when gas prices relaxed.

      There are a lot more small and/or hybrids on the road here.

  3. While this doesn’t really save on gas consumption I like to subsidize my monthly gas expenses by redeeming my Air Miles rewards points for $20 gas certificates. Since we use our credit card to buy everything I am able to get about 1 gift certificate per month and subsidize our fuel costs by 20%.

    I live close to work too and usually go home, but I like your suggestion of packing a lunch at least once or twice a week.

  4. Good ideas! On weekends, I try to use my bicycle instead of the car as much as possible. Don’t forget keeping the car well maintained helps getting the best MPG>

    • @Retireby40, that’s a great idea just not practical in my neighborhood which is too suburban for good transportation options.

      @Krantcents, I need to buy a bike. The hilly terrain in my neighborhood is what has been putting me off, but it should would help me get in shape.