Okay, now onto the meat and bones as they say. This week we are all sharing how we save on gas while still getting the errands ran and in my case getting kids to and from. If you don't think gas has gone up that much here are some statistics that are going to floor you. I knew we were paying way more for gas in the last couple of years but the hard numbers almost made me cry.
The average price for a gallon of gas on 1/26/09 was $1.84
The average price for a gallon of gas on 1/23/12 was $3.39 (and in L.A. it was 3.69)
An increase of 84%.
Friends we are paying 84% more to drive than we were three years ago and the far reaching effects are that everything that is shipped with gas has skyrocketed too. So now that I am depressed and you are as well I will share how we are trying to save on gas.
On average our monthly fuel bill is $680. I know it is crazy. That is for my husband's small Ford Focus he commutes in and our other two cars. A truck and a mini van. Some months it can be lower if I am able to stay home more. This is killing us. That is not insurance and maintenance. We bought the small car used for the gas savings and it is a big help but we are three drivers and three cars. It is not prudent for us to buy new cars to replace the bigger ones as that takes lots of money and we need the truck and one large vehicle for when we all go somewhere.
So here is what we have done to help lower this where we can.
1) Our oldest who is in college and works has now got to pay for her own fuel. She drives the truck and sees how costly it is to fill. Life lessons she needs to learn. We keep this vehicle because it is paid off and we use it to tow our trailer when we camp. She will buy her own car shortly but then daughter #2 will be driving and we will be again fueling this car. She has a job but we will help her in the beginning like we did #1.
2) We stay home. Especially me. If I can help it I don't even start my car. On weekends I use the small car for driving around as it has better mileage.
3) I combine errands. I try to see where I will be going at the beginning of the week and plan errands for days I will be in that area. Plan your errands in a circle. I start with the farthest stop and then just pop in wherever I need to go on my route back home. This is perfect for my shopping days. I don't want to waste gas while trying to save money with deals at the drugstores and such. That would defeat the purpose.
4) I am sure most of you know these tips but here are some other things we do to save on fuel consumption.
-Keep tires properly inflated.
-Drive slower. Accelerate slower too as this is where most fuel is used.
-Carpool if you can. My husband is able to do this some weeks and though it takes a few extra minutes to meet up with the guys, the savings on gas and miles on your car are too good to pass up.
-Reduce weight in your car. Don't drive around with extra stuff in your car you don't need. Takes more fuel to move a heavier car.
-Reduce use of A/C. I am guilty of this as I don't like my windows down but I read recently that this can save on fuel. Turn A/C off five minutes before you arrive at your destination and try to park in the shade. This is new to me so I will start this immediately.
-Watch how you brake. If the light ahead turns red let off the gas an coast since you will be stopping anyway. This helps save on brakes as well.
Now some months like while the kids were on break I was able to stretch fueling to almost two weeks but I also stayed home 11 days in January and for us that is big. School starting up does not afford me that luxury but I do it on the weekends a lot. I usually stay home on Saturdays if we don't have plans.