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Posts Tagged ‘Gas’

So, earlier this year when gas prices were still pretty high…..oh, let’s say around $4.31 a GALLON, I posted what I was doing to save money on gas.  Basically, I started filling up once a week when my car hit 3/4 of a tank, and I started buying mid grade.  It seemed to help a little bit.

Now that gas is going down ……mid-grade is $1.72 here (which is nothing short of a miracle.)  I’ve decided to keep the same gas purchasing habbits to see if it really does make a difference, and……….

Back in the old days (when gas was $1.25 a gallon) my habbit was to fill up my car every two weeks when it was on empty and buy the cheapest gas I could find.  In those days, I averaged $47.00-$52.00 a month on buying gas.  I still own the same car and by using midgrade and filling up at 3/4 of a tank, I am now  spending on average $40.00 a month on gas…..which means that if I’d know then what I know now, I would have probably only spent about $30.00 a month in gas.  I was talking to my mom about this the other day, and really back in those days when gas was so inexpensive and you didn’t have to BUDGET for it, we really wasted a lot of gas.  It took paying almost $5.00 a gallon for people to find creative ways to save money on gas and to use less gas…..I’ve decided that I’m going to be a mid-grade user for life.

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I am a VERY thrifty person.  I don’t like to waste any money and I’m always looking for ways to save money.  We all know that most single moms don’t have very much money, and even the ones who do have much better things to spend it on than putting gas in their cars.  Back in the day (five years ago when I bought my car….) I could fill it up for $23.50, and it lasted for 2 weeks.  (Gas was $1.29 a gallon then…..those were the days…..)  If I let my car go to empty and fill it up now, it costs me almost $60.00.  WOW.  That’s a lot of money.  It still lasts for two weeks, but that’s $120.00 a month in gas compared to the $47.00 that it used to be.  (I know that some of you who drive trucks, SUV’s and Vans pay WAY more than this, but I choose to drive a small car and I’d like it if I could spend less money in this area.) So I keep thinking “HOW can I save money on gas?” 

If you read my post  “Things I Can and Can’t Control”  you know that the price of gas is in the circle of influence.  It is something that influences our daily life, but we have NO control over it, so we have to accept it and try to change what we can control, right?

For weeks, I’ve been pondering this topic.  Can I cut back on my driving? No, I’ve cut back everywhere I can and I am very organized about running my errands so that I’m not waisting gas.  I turn my car off when I go to the drive up window at the bank and I try to park and go into fast food places instead of waisting my gas sitting in line.  I only run my A/C when necessary, and even then I keep the fan on 1 or 2 once the car is cooled down….I buy on-line whenever possible….all of these actions combined are not helping very much……so I’m back to square one.  How can I save money on gas?

Then I remembered something that my Uncle told me several years ago…..never let your tank go under 1/2.  Your fuel burns more efficiently when your tank is fuller than when it’s going empty……(my Uncle actually fills up every time the needle moves a little under full…..but that’s a little too OCD for me.)  Hmmm….he told me this tip back when gas was $1.29 a gallon and I didn’t CARE how efficiently my gas was burning…….now the price of gas here is $4.35 a gallon and I’m CARING how efficiently my fuel is being used. 

Another tip that my mechanic told me was to buy the mid-grade gas.  He said that he did a little study on it and it’s anywhere from .10-.15 cents more per gallon than regular, BUT it gives you several more miles to the gallon than regular gas does, so in the long run, you are SAVING yourself several gallons of gas a month by buying the mid-grade.

OK, so I tried it for myself.  I’ve been doing this for the last 6 weeks….Here’s what I do:  I buy the mid-grade AND I fill up when my tank is right at 3/4, which for me is usually once a week.  Now when I fill up, it’s $25.85 a week, which comes out to 103.44 a month……I just saved myself $16.56 a month on gas!!!!!  It may not sound like very much, but that’s a couple of trips to McDonalds for Grace and I, and it equals a savings of $198.72 a year.  WOW!  That’s money that I can put in the bank, put on a bill, or use for having fun.  I’d much rather give that $198.72 a year to McDonalds than to Exxon……I’m already giving them enough.

You may have already heard these tips, so this may be old news to you, but it’s a new revelation for me, so I’m very excited about it.

So, what ways have you found to save money on fuel?  I’d love to hear them!

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