We own two Dodge Grand Caravans, and while they are not the most expensive vehicle to fill, they are far from the cheapest. Here are a few of the things we do to try to keep our gas costs down.
For one, we don't drive unless it's necessary. My husband lives within 3/4 mile of where he works. When the weather is nice, he walks to and from work. We live only about 3 blocks from our grocery store, so unless I'm needing to stock up, I can walk to the store to get what I need and home again. My work is from home, except for the paper routes that we deliver once a week, so no gas cost out for me to work except for that. Just letting one van sit really helps on our cost. If you can avoid it, just don't drive.
If we have several places we need to go, we combine trips and try to take the most direct route possible. If you need to stop several places, ask a friend if they want to come along. Maybe one week you could drive and your friend could the next. This would be even better if there was 3 or more of you who could share the driving responsibility.
We watch our tire pressure to make sure they are properly inflated. Proper inflation is very important for maximum gas savings, although I think there are a lot of people who don't think about that. We also purchase gas for our vans from a reputable station where we know we will get quality fuel.
We service our vans on time as much as possible. We believe this has had a positive effect on the gas mileage we get. Not only that, but it helps your vehicle run so much longer and perform so much better.
Carpooling is also a great idea! If you have more than one person going to work at the same place each day, why not share the cost? I would also recommend, if you have bus service in your city, look in to what the cost would be. Most of the time it is far more economical to take advantage of the bus system than to drive yourself. In large cities, you would also probably save on parking if you took the bus as well.
Though we will probably always own a van or something similar, when we retire one of our vans, we will probably look for a more fuel efficient vehicle. We have been known to get 24-25 mpg in our 2005 mini van, which we don't think is too bad, especially considering what it is. It is helpful to have a vehicle that we can transport our whole family in, grand kids included. However, you should look at your individual needs and purchase the best vehicle to fit your own particular situation.
Gas is going to get quite high this summer, so they say, and it's already well on it's way there in eastern Iowa. If you think about it, there are many ways to save on gas. The number one way, in my book, is just don't drive if you can possibly help it. If you can walk, it helps your pocketbook as well as your health.
By Robin from Washington, IA
About The Author: Robin lives in Washington, Iowa. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott. They have two daughters, Jessica and Caitlinn, both of whom are grown. The oldest, Jessica, and her husband, just had a baby, Robin's first grandchild. They also have 3 dogs who are very much part of they family, Jazmin, Shelby and Libby. Her interests are cooking, computers, volunteering at our local animal shelter, working with the elderly and also children and music. She also very involved in her church.
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I received this email some time ago...
Tips on Pumping Gas
I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in
California we paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work
is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get
more of your money's worth for every gallon:
Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we
deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.
One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and
premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of
Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the
ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have
their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more
dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in
the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon.
In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of
the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products
plays an important role.
A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the
service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.
When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast
mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low,
middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing
the vapors that are created while you are pumping.
All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting
less worth for your money.
One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is half full. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less
air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can
imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof
serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it
minimizes the evaporation.
Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.
Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage
tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline
is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up
some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
Gas is so high it is awful. These tips are very much appreciated!
Fueleconomy.gov is a website that has some tools that will aid you in vehicle selection you can use their fuel cost calculator to compare a ride before you buy it gives you the goods on all the rides out there. I like to see what a car or truck should cost me should I drive it 300K miles when you do that you really start to understand why ever cent counts.
My 07 prius just hit 100K miles we did some AC work $1K and repaired an oxygen sensor $400 the car never has left us on the side the road zero battery issues. It gets 38 mpg at 80 mph and will transport your family 420 nonstop miles at that speed it is why I say it is faster than a sports car because of its range. Go slower get better mpg. If you are looking for a ride with range this is your car.
You can put a trailer hitch on a prius and take the boat to the lake or tow a small trailer for those times you need to carry an item back home. Either way you can cover your utility needs with a prius and still get the better mpg than anything out there.
When you buy a car usually they say buy used not so with a hybrid unless you can get it from the original owner. I have yet to find a dealership offer the car at the proper discount. Hybrid has a battery that must be taken into consideration you get it new they are on the hook for the battery for quite some time we plan to keep our car 300K miles it has taken us 6 years to drive 100K miles I suspect it shall take us 12 more years to drive the rest.
When buying a hybrid unless you get it from insurance auction and it has been totaled but still drives you are not going to get a discount. Do the smart thing get it new and take care of it. About the only used prius worth the trip are sold by rental companies.
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