Gas prices just seem to be going up and up, with no end in sight! Some people are lucky enough to live in cities with outstanding public transportation, but for many of us, our cars are going to be a part of our lives for a long time to come. There are a few simple tips that can help you to spend less money on gas, as well as reduce the amount of gas you use for the sake of the environment.
Don't drive unless you have to. Is your destination nearby? Walk or ride your bike to get there. This won't just save you gas, but also give you some great exercise. If your destination is a little farther away, consider public transportation. You might be able to listen to music, read or relax instead of fighting brutal commute traffic.
Carpool. Check to see if your city has a casual carpool program. Ask your co-workers or parents of your children's friends if they would be interested in carpooling. Again, you won't only spend less money on gas, but you'll also help the environment and reduce traffic congestion.
Choose a smaller car. In general, smaller cars are more fuel-efficient. If you can afford a hybrid, that's great. Even those of us without a Prius in our budget can avoid driving monstrous gas-guzzling SUVs. You'll spend less money on gas as well as find it much easier to park!
Keep your car well-maintained. Get oil changes on time and tune-ups when they are needed. You'll save money in the long run by spending less money on gas.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Here again, you will spend less money on gas by using less. Your car's manual will specify what the tire pressure should be; by keeping it there, you will get more miles to the gallon.
Don't keep the kitchen sink in your trunk. Some of us drive around with most of our earthly possessions in our car. While it's nice to feel prepared, getting rid of the extra weight will save you some gasoline, and therefore, some money.
Don't idle your car. While waiting to pick someone up or waiting for an exceptionally long train to pass, turn off your car. Turning your car off and restarting it uses less gas than idling it for more than about two minutes.
Drive calmly and safely. Quick starts and stops will not only destroy your nerves, but your gas mileage. Spend less money on gas by using less when getting your car moving.
Apply for gas station credit cards. Many gasoline companies offer credit cards which provide discounts on gas. You can save 5% on gas with some of these credit cards, which adds up quickly.
Finally, buy the cheapest gas you can find, without going out of your way. Some people drive all over their city to get to cheaper gas, not realizing that in their quest to spend less money on gas, they are using gallons of it just to get to the gas station! Be reasonable — buy cheaper gas, but don't waste money, time, and gasoline driving miles out of your way to get there.