Gas Money: Start Saving Today

Representing Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Nearby Areas of Florida

Cars are just part of life. We rely on them greatly. But what doesn’t feel so great is spending an arm and a leg on the gas that powers them. With regularly sky-rocketing fuel prices, a few tanks of gas can bust the monthly budget before we know it. So here are a few ways to rethink how we drive and how we can cut back on amount of gas we consume.

Drive less. The biggest way to save is simply by using your car less. There are a variety of ways you can start doing this a little more each week: carpool, take public transportation, ride your bike and telecommute.

Buy green. Next time you buy a car, seriously consider a hybrid or a more fuel-efficient vehicle, which are slowly becoming the norm. You might trade a little space for efficiency, but you may find the small sacrifice is worth it in the end.

Maintain your car. Regular oil changes and routine maintenance checks keep your car in tune and burning fuel more efficiently.

Inflate your tires. While it’s a minor savings, properly pressurized tires make your car move more effectively, wasting less gas, while also making those treads last longer.

Avoid the rush. Whenever possible get out of rush-hour traffic, which burns unnecessary gas while you sit idly. Pinpoint a few days a week when you can get to the office early, stay late or swap duties with a significant other to avoid driving in the rush.

Eliminate the idle. Ah, one of the biggest gas guzzlers is idling: You spend gas and get nowhere in return. If you’re going to idle more than a minute, cut the engine.

Change driving habits. Driving slower (the actual speed limit, that is), while reducing the amount of times you accelerate and brake is the most gas-savvy way to drive. And don’t forget that energy-saving friend, cruise control.

Stay cool. Hot gas expands, which means you’re getting less when you buy it in extreme heat. When possible purchase gas in the cool hours of the morning or evening. Park in the shade, too. Gas evaporates more from hot cars.