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Earlier last week my husband and I were getting some gas for our cars, heading home we were looking at stations on the way. My husband found $3.47/gallon while I found $3.11/gallon on the other side of town.

When looking at some old posts, I noticed how gasoline was about $2.07/gallon in December 2009. I can't believe I miss $2/gallon, but I do. I have a feeling we'll see gas prices fluctuate again this year.

Right now they seem to be rising, so we're looking for ways to keep our gasoline bills manageable.

Cutting Down on Gas

If you're looking to cut down on your gasoline bills, becoming a better and smarter driver is important. These tips have saved us some money at the gas pump. I hope they can help you too.

  • Use a gasoline spreadsheet. Being an organized person, my husband created a gas mileage. He keeps his receipts and enters the information in batches. He's been doing it for years. I'm not as consistent as he is, but tracking my mileage has helped me to notice how my car is doing. I've scheduled needed tune ups and repairs after reviewing gas mileage on my car.
  • Be consistent with your driving speed. Don't have a lead foot when driving. Stop and go driving decreases your fuel efficiency. Try to maintain your speed when you're driving on the highway. Try to use cruise control when it you can to help you be steady with speed.
  • Don't keep the car running. If you’re picking up someone as a favor, do yourself one and turn your car off if it'll be longer than a minute or two.
  • Keep your car light. Less weight means better mileage, so remove any junk in your trunk. Having a heavy load can take its toll as you drive around town.
  • Be a part of a carpool. Do you want to help the environment, save money at the gas pump, and reduce the wear and tear on your car? Carpooling to work or even when doing errands can be better for your finances. The added bonus is you can have some time to catch up with friends and coworkers.
  • Combine errands to minimize unnecessary trips. Instead of doing several trips around the city throughout the week, I combine trips into two or three days during the week.

Tracking Your Car's Gas Mileage

If you’re interested in tracking your gas mileage, here are some free spreadsheets I found on the web.

How do you know if your gas mileage is good for your vehicle model? The U.S. Department of Energy has the shared MPG estimates of many makes and models. Search for yours to see what you can expect. According to the government's site:

A vehicle that gets 30 MPG will cost you $768 less to fuel each year than one that gets 20 MPG (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $3.07).

That's quite a bit of money. Even if you improve your car's mpg by 5, that's still hundreds of dollars saved!

Thoughts on Rising Gas Prices

How have you been doing lately? Has rising gasoline prices affected your car driving lifestyle? What’s the price of gasoline in your area?

Photo Credit: midorisyu

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

12 comments add your comment

  1. I drive like a grandpa whenever possible. Really, it is insane how much further a tank of gas goes when you are slow on the accelerator.

    I think gas is $3.07 right now…that’s in the Midwest, though, so it’s probably lower than the national average.

    • Thanks JT for sharing gas prices in your area. I was curious to see what it’s like in other areas. I think it’s $3.40 around some part of NYC right now – glad most of my family up there use public transit.

  2. I wish the loved one would be consistent with driving speed… It always cost less in gas when I am driving. I made the spouse realize that a couple of weeks ago. Hope it will help changing habits.

    • My husband is the safer driver and after a couple of years with him, I’ve learned to stop speeding. Much better for our car insurance!

  3. I do all of what you suggest except for carpooling. Although I have carpooled in the past. A year ago, I started buying gas from Costco, The price is lower and I get a 3% rebate. I filled up a week ago and paid $3.25 (net $3.15) in California.

    • Big fan of Costco too as they tend to have the lowest price in the area for us. It’s nice to get that rebate check 🙂

      • Costco is great for gas, though keep in mind their recent class action issue w/ the gas pricing and temperature.

        Speaking of Costco, a great way to save money on gas is to stop circling the Costco lot for 15 minutes looking for a close parking spot. Just park far (e.g.: edge of parking lot) and WALK! You’ll save gas and get some exercise.

  4. These are some great tips and thankfully I live in a place where gas still hasnt topped 3/gal. It’s getting close all the time, but it hasnt hit it yet. It’s also good because I drive so much. One of the best things that I’ve found was downloading a mileage app for my android phone . I enter the price of the gas, gallons I got and odometer reading, and it saves everything else. It even keeps track of service intervals for me. It’s so nice.

    • Where are you at Jeff? I would love to be paying less than $3/gallon 🙂 Great idea on using an app to track your gas mileage. Anything that can make it easier to track your finances is something to consider. What is the app called?