Sticker shock: I pulled into the gas station one week ago. It was like any other Thursday with the sun shining a buttery color and tinting the whole upcoming weekend with beautiful prospects. And just as I was beginning to let my workweek unwind, replacing my shallow breathing with deeper, life-affirming breaths, the pump stopped and I took a peek at the price. $52.16. Oh my.
I swear I started to break a sweat. As soon as I got home I began to research ways to save money on gas—I must have been doing something wrong for such a punishing bill, right? I looked up my car’s miles per gallon data, and found that it has a measly 18 mpg in city driving, and 26 mpg in highway driving. Combined, I should be getting 21 mpg. Then I went outside and turned the car on to fiddle with the information system, which gives out a lot of useful information such as average mpg, average mph, and how many miles you have left until E.
Over the course of the next several days I played with this system on our vehicle. One really neat window I found was a videogame-like barometer that tells you if you are high on fuel efficiency or low on fuel efficiency with immediate feedback according to how you are driving. To begin with, my average mile per hour was 29, and my average miles per gallon was 21.6. I remember about a year ago I had an average of 22 mpg, and I began to wonder what had happened to my fuel efficiency.
Using the barometer window, I played around with different techniques to figure out how to keep the ticker further right towards fuel efficiency rather than further left. Each time the barometer hit all the way up to the fuel efficient way, I could hear a bell in my head going ding ding ding! It became a game. My foot began to hone in on the various tensions of the gas pedal. Drifting to a slow and steady stop half a mile up the road instead of hurrying up and waiting behind a row of cars was the order of the day. Bonus points were to be had for each red light that I successfully did not have to stop at due to slowing down half a mile or so ahead of time (I assure you I did not become a nuisance to other drivers) and deftly cruising through them once they hit green again. After three days of this, I got the best feedback of all: my mpg finally changed to 21.7. Triumph!
Even though I am beating the combined average mpg for my vehicle, I would much rather be closer to the 26 mpg average for highway driving, and so I have made it my goal to continue playing this game to see how many extra miles I can get out of each tank of gas. Wish me luck!
In the meantime, I have put together links for articles on how to save money on gas from several personal finance bloggers that I work with through the Yakezie Network. Here’s to finding some gas relief for all of us (I couldn’t help myself)!
Articles on How to Save Money on Gas
Squirrelers: Historical Gas Prices and Money Saving Tips
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff: Have you Heard of Hypermiling?
Buck Inspire Guest Posts on My Journey to Millions: Best Money Saving Tips—Go Metro
My Personal Finance Journey: 20 Ways You Can Save Money on Gas
Car Negotiation Coach: Save on Gas—11 Extreme Tips
Suba at Wealth Informatics: Road Trip Tips: How to Save Money on Gas
The Single Saver: Open For Discussion: Bringing Down the Price of Gas
Yes I Am Cheap: 10 Ways to Save Money on Gasoline
Smart On Money: How to Find the Cheapest Gas in Your Area
KNS Financial: Why a One Day Gas Boycott Won’t Lower Gas Prices
Frugal Zeitgeist: Cars with Worst Gas Mileage