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How to decrease gas expenses?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

At this point in time, I'm filling up my car 4-5 times a month. It feels absolutely ridiculous. 


When we go to the city (about 30 miles away), we generally take mass transit. The problem is driving near home. I feel like I avoid driving as much as possible, but still end up driving a ton. 


Part of it is that I'm going to school 3 days a week and when I go to school, I'm dropping off DD at one of her grandparents' houses (which is 54.7 miles or 26.4 miles round trip depending on which house I'm driving to). The semester is almost over and I'm hoping that DD will be able to go to the preschool on campus in the fall, so I'm not really looking to revise that part. 


So how do you decrease your gas use in general? I already keep up on maintenance and stuff. My car is a bit older (2003) and it's gas mileage has definitely gone down over the past few years, but it's also definitely not in our budget to get a new car. I'm thinking about keeping a book in my car and writing down all the miles I drive? Any other ideas?

post #2 of 8

There are some good tips in this link.  The biggest thing for me is watching my speed.  Our car has an instant read gas gauge and we really do well driving 55-60. 


It would probably be good to keep a weekly mileage log of some sort, maybe it will make you aware of how those little trips can add up?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

That's a great link! Thanks!

post #4 of 8

You are filling up at least 1x a week and try not to drive that much?  School must be way far away.

I would absoluetly combine trips.  Run errands when you are out for school days.  Is grandma on the way to school? Can grandma come to your home 1x a week etc?

Next semester is there an option for online classes? (probably not as fun but with the cost of gas something to really consider)

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

School isn't too far away, but with driving to grandparents, then school, then grandparents, then home, it gets to be a lot. I feel bad asking them to come pick her up outside of emergencies because they're already doing me a favor by watching her. They love to watch her, but they shouldn't have to pay extra gas to come get her. 


Next semester, as I said, she'll probably be in the preschool on campus. That would save a lot of money just in decreasing trips for dropping her off, but beyond that we may be able to take mass transit up. Can't do online classes because I'm saving the few that I can take online for after we have our next kiddo. Not many classes are offered online because I'm a science major and labs can't really be done online. 


I do try to combine trips, but I think I'll try to do that even more. Thanks for the suggestions!

post #6 of 8

It doesn't sound like there's much you can do right now as far as driving any less right now, which would obviously save you the most money.


Things I would suggest would be to check your air filter often, because that can decrease your gas mileage.  You could also buy a high performance one (K&N) They are slightly more initially but they are re-useable so they will save you money in the long term (they sell some sort of cleaner to clean them out when they get dirty every few months or so)  They are thinner and allow better air flow so you get better gas mileage.  You said you do the regular maintenance on your car, but you can also make sure you keep up with things like changing the spark plugs, and keeping the tires at the suggested pressure.  You can also make sure any weight is out of your car that isn't necessary... If you drive around with a car full of stuff, you're adding all that extra weight on the engine.  I think sometimes using a better motor oil will help the engine run smoother especially on an older car (switching from a regular oil to synthetic may help with less buildup and get you better mileage).  They are all small things you can do for little money over time that might help you out in the long run.


ETA: sorry I didn't click on the link and read the article till after I posted this... Didn't realize most of what I said was already mentioned duh.gif

post #7 of 8

I would try to only drive on those three days a week. If there's an errand you have to do, make sure it happens while you're out on those three days. Grocery shopping on those days, whatever it may be. The other four days of the week, stick close to home or use mass transit. 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

That's actually a really good idea SubliminalDarkness! I can certainly try to do that at least for the rest of the semester (which is about 2 weeks actually). 


And thanks for the info JesKace. I did read most of that in that link, but I didn't know about the reusable filters. That's a really good idea. 

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