5 Ways to Save Gas

by Christine Cooney

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SMART Ways to Save at the Pump

We've watched gas prices rise and fall. In fact, who knows what they'll do next. But no matter what the price it's wise to look for ways to cut our gas usage. Let's take a look at the five simple, often overlooked, ways to save below and find ways to incorporate a few into your daily life. You'll not only conserve fuel, but help save your budget, too.

  1. Set aside a special day for errands. Plan your doctor appointments, vet appointments, grocery shopping, trips to the library, trips to the post office, etc. for this designated day. Efficiency is the key here, saving you both time and dollars in the gas tank
  2. Plan your menu and then make a grocery list. How does menu planning affect your gasoline bill? Many people have no idea what to make for dinner more than several hours before the evening meal. When the decision is finally made, it never fails that a few must have items for the dinner menu are missing, forcing an emergency run to the grocery store. Menu planning allows you the comfort of being prepared. It will not only save gas on the multiple trips to the store, but time and money in groceries, too.
  3. Keep an eye on your calendar. Are there birthdays next week? How about the week after? Is your child going to need a new coat for school next week? By keeping a handle on what is going on with your family, you will have better opportunity to combine these necessary trips to the store. With enough planning, you can make the trips on your designated errand day.
  4. Maintain an ongoing list of items needed at frequently visited stores. This goes beyond the obviously needed grocery list (you are keeping one of those, aren't you?). If a discount department store is part of your errand day, then start a list for members of your household to write down the items they need from the store, too. You'll find this will alleviate the late night run to the store to buy diapers, only to have to return the next day because you discovered you were out of wipes, too.
  5. Go for a walk or bike ride. Many times, extraneous trips to the store are simply means to "get out" of the house. You're bored and want to escape. If this sounds like you, then it's time to explore your neighborhood. Grab your walking shoes, your rollerblades, or your bike and get outside. You don't have to run a marathon here, just spend 15 short minutes getting out of the house and breathing in the outdoor air. You will find yourself refreshed and your car unmoved.

Rising gas prices don't have to be the end of your budget. In fact, by incorporating the above ideas into your life, you'll find you save not only time and money, but gallons of gasoline, too.

Christine Cooney is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and two children.

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