Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thrifty Living Series Part 3

Saving money on gas. 
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.

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.


  1. Great tips - I especially like the one about the A/C. I'd much rather have my windows open, so cutting down on A/C won't be a problem for me.

  2. Great tips! We pay around $9.80/gallon so we are super careful with gas these days. We've figured out that keeping the engine around 3000 rpm is the most efficient. We also use the slightly higher octane gas and it burns much more slowly - it actually works out cheaper for us. We also have a small economy car that we LOVE!! I've been following all these posts and love them! Thanks for posting these great tips :)

  3. Very good tips! I remember well what it was like to have a big family and lots of places to go every day! It's a challenge but you've got great ideas for handling it! Enjoy your day and thanks for sharing! ♥

  4. I find here that gas is cheaper usualy on Wednesdays. Last week I went by the gas station and thought I would fill up on my way was 314 and that was low. So then I saw it for 309 and filled up. I went by the gas station that had it for 314 and it had gone up to 349 in one hour. That is the part I don't understand. It is something we have so little control over. MY husband drives two hours a day for work. Even though my kids are grown I transport the little ones to and from school that I care for.
    Wow, you spend alot on gas.

  5. Hi Elaine! Thank you for these tips. Although among all those given, i believe that staying home is the best way to save :) rest and bond with the family is the best :)

  6. Super tips. I try to make as few trips as possible. I do drive a small car, so at least that saves on the gas. Hugs, Marty

  7. It's trickier when you have multiple drivers and cars in a household! Great tips, Elaine, I agree with every one of them.


  8. I hear you!! I don't go out much anymore either. Don't need to be running around using gas spending money on things I don't need....

  9. Good tips! I think my biggest expense in gas right now is the twice monthly trip I take to see my Grandson, but it is worth it to me. I do stay home as much as possible and make all my errands in a loop. It does help!! hugs, Linda

  10. I remember those days with young drivers in the house, and it is hard. You have some great tips to share!!!
    So did you glad decide if you are coming here for our next outing?

  11. Gas is a budget killer for us as well. We have a 72 mile roundtrip daily commute. Fortunately, most days we ride together, but the days not are awful.

  12. Awesome tips! I save all my errands for mostly one day too. I hardly go anywhere during the week and if I do, it is literally up the street. It has helped a lot. Summer time there is more travel and I do see my expenses go up with gas.

  13. We are home a lot more these days. It's so much harder for families these days. Good post!

  14. I don't recall what gas prices were when I was driving my kids to and fro. They're both in their thirties now. That would definitely up the gas usage! My daughter the realtor puts a huge amount of gas in her vehicle every couple of days to drive potential buyers around.

  15. Since we live in the country we have always tried to cut down on trips to town. But some days we go in 2 or three times. Ouch! We did buy a Ford Focus that has really helped with the gas mileage.

  16. When we go fill up the tank, my daughter uses her phone to find the station w/the best gas prices in town. That helps! And I'm teaching her to be aware of these things, too.

  17. We send our kiddo to college with out a car and really she walks every where and has lost seven pounds. It is a smallish campus and she is doing fine without one. She did not have a car at her small junior college either. That has saved us a lot of money. She also did not get a license until she was 20 and that saved us insurance. Joe has a motorcycle and uses it for saving gas. Our gas bill due to his job exceeds one thousand a month. I do not leave the house except a couple of days a week. I do travel to our yellow house but we consider that essential at this point because of church and family.

  18. Great post! Not only is it not a good idea to buy a new car because it costs a lot of money, but they also depreciate like crazy in the first couple years. Why pay for that?

    I'm with you on combining trips. I sometimes feel like a hermit, but I'm not going to spend money on fuel just to go out window shopping.

    The public library has this great 'interlibrary loan system' :-) And if I'm going to watch a movie, rather than buying a big-screen TV, I can pull the chair closer. lol

    Enjoyed your post. Thrifty living in this economy is imperative!

  19. Holy Moly...
    seeing the numbers on the price increase of gas is shocking!
    I guess we felt it when it first started going up...and then.. you become grateful that it isn't up to $5.00 a gallon .....yet.

    Time to get out the old bike and pump up the tires :)

  20. YEOW!!!! Those stats are crazy!

    I find that where I live--and the distance to the stores--I can save money by buying online with online coupons for free shipping especially once gas is up in the mid to upper $3 per gallon.

    You sound like you have a good plan in place for your family! Go girl!

  21. Great ideas! We noticed on our trip out to CA last month that the gas prices where about 30 cents higher than here. Depending which corner you turn! One thing we have in in FL is a local grocery store is offering gas points on goods purchased at their store - including pharmacy - which is big for us! Sometimes I save $1 a gallon! Ann

  22. Thank you for visiting my lil'blog and leaving sweet comment :)

    Greetings from Australia♥

  23. Gas prices are so crazy. I have noticed that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually good days to get the lower prices. I spend very little on gas anymore. I am lucky that most of the places I have to go, grocery, library, post office, and UPS are within a mile of my home. I do have to go to auctions and thrifting for my business, but I limit those trips and combine as much as possible. I can't imagine having to spend what you do on gas each month.

  24. Great tips! I live in a rural area, so I drive more than I would like, but am too trying to find ways to conserve! Thanks for showing off! Your blog was chosen to be my blog of the week next week! Please email if you are willing, and I will give you the info. I am featuring this on y facebook page!