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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coping with High Gasoline Prices

A typical speed limit sign in the United State...

Coping with High Gasoline Prices

I should have filled up the tank yesterday.  But I was tired and decided to wait one day.  When I pulled up to the gas station, the price had just increased by an additional $0.20 a gallon.  It was the same over at the next block, so there was not much of a choice.
All over the country, people are cringing as they see gas prices rapidly increasing.  I won’t tell you to go out and buy a more fuel efficient car, if you already have a “paid for” truck because that may not be practical.  Unless you are already in the market for a new car and have the funds, I would not recommend getting into more debt.  Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Combine errands as much as possible.  I am going to start mapping out a route to cover all my errands at once and avoid having to drive too much
  • Go to a grocery store that offers gasoline discount rewards if that is available in your area.
  • Consider public transportation.  If you live close to a bus line or metro rail then it is worth a look.
  • Check into van pools at work.  Our office does not have an official van pool but they have a referral service.  One lady I work with who lives 30 miles away applied and was matched up with a group.  The members take turns driving and are very organized about backups.  She has saved a lot of money since joining.
  • Make sure your car gets regularly serviced and tires are inflated properly.
  • If your child has classmates living nearby, set up a car pool with the other parents and take turns driving the neighborhood kids to school
  • Try walking instead of driving, but only if it’s safe to do so in your neighborhood.
  • Drive within the speed limit.  Speeding will cause you to waste gas, and possibly get a ticket, which will just ruin your day.
  • Research the internet for lower gas prices in your area before going out to fill up the car.
  • Start cutting back your other discretionary expenses, like entertainment and eating out, to offset the higher cost of gas.
You know what happens next:  prices of goods and services, from groceries to electronics to air fare will increase.  Brace yourself.