Consumer Comeback Blog

Why is gas so expensive? Because you drive too much.

Why is gas so expensive? Everyone wants someone to blame: Obama, the greedy oil companies, increased demand from India and China… Does it really matter? Gas is getting expensive and it’s likely to be more expensive tomorrow.  There’s little that can be done about it.  That’s really all you need to know. And if you want to escape the clutches of rising gas prices, the best way for you to do that is to learn how to use less.

cost of gas
Photo Credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ejcallow/3823944464/

Take the bus

Any mass transit will do. Even a park-and-ride closer to home will save you a bundle on gas. This doesn’t just go for your daily work/school commute, either. Gas prices have gotten to the point where taking the bus, train, or even flying can be much more cost effective than driving longer distances, especially if you’re traveling by yourself. Leave your car at home as much as you can. That’s the idea.  There’s a nice

Carpool

Don’t be ashamed to ask a co-worker and/or friend to share a ride. In fact, it’s nice to have company especially during those longer commutes. For every person you add, you each practically cut your commute costs in half. Just make sure you’re schedules are consistent…

Work from home

Not everyone can do this, but even one day a week will pay you back over time. Another option for some might even be the 4-day work week. (4 10-hour shifts) Don’t be afraid to ask your boss if it’s possible. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Either they say no or you cut your commute costs up to 25% and even potentially have a 3-day weekend.

Move closer to work

Location, location, location. If you’re looking for a place or simply find yourself with an unnecessarily long commute, it’s a good time to think about living closer to work. If you drive to work 10 miles, both ways, 5 days a week, you’ll commute over 5200 miles per year. That’s the equivalent of driving from NYC to LA and back and still have enough left to drive down to Washington D.C. If you moved just 2 miles closer to work, you’d shave off over 1000 miles and save about $200 per year on gas.

Ride a bike

What can be better than saving money while getting a little exercise? Sure, you have to live relatively close to your work, with bike-friendly roads, contingent on weather and it certainly isn’t for everybody. But having done this when I have the chance during the warmer months, it’s actually something I started looking forward to around this time of year. I highly recommend it.  Just be safe!

Shop locally

Support local shops and stores, also support locally grown/made foods and products. Not only is your drive usually shorter, but locally grown and made foods (and other products) tend to have more stable prices because transportation costs are minimal.

Improve Gas mileage

Finally, if you simply must drive, it doesn’t mean you can improve on traveling and commuting costs. You simply need to think of ways to improve and optimize your gas mileage. There are a ton of great ways to improve gas mileage. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Get a more fuel efficient car…duh!
  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Proper maintenance
  • Avoid traffic/rush hour

Gas rewards programs

I love these.  My local grocery store and a close gas station paired up to offer this and it’s a win-win.  I saved $.40/gallon the last time I filled my tank, just for buying groceries I would normally buy anyways.  In fact, the more I cook at home, the more I save on both food AND gas!

What other Gas saving tips do you have?

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