A group of friends and I were celebrating our mid-week with a short trip to a local classy bar for some choice cocktails, prepping for the Oscars. As we roamed the empty streets around midnight on our way home we were rendered speechless at a certain gas station on a corner of Beverly Hills. Regular Gas was $5.35!! I didn’t even want to look at premium.
Here are 9 gas-saving solutions for the “high times ahead.”
1. Walk! Get out and move those muscles whenever possible. Walk to stores if you can feasibly do errands. You’ll do double time with exercise and saving gas.
2. Public transportation has been incorporating hybrid technology into their systems and allows you to multitask while you’re traveling. My friend just found out that he could take the Metro for $1.50 each way to and from work. Now instead of sitting in traffic using gas, contributing emissions, and getting frustrated he uses the time to read, catch up on phone calls (if you do this be sensitive to those around you, please!), read e-mails, etc. The time for the commute is nearly identical. The gas and maintenance savings are incredible!
3. Carpooling with friends to hangouts, the work commute, or errands makes a difference. For example, my boyfriend and I sometimes do our grocery shopping or run errands together. Not only is it a way to spend time together with our busy schedules, it also saves time and gas when we can combine trips or take turns dropping each other off instead of parking each time.
4. Plan your errands together, starting with the farthest first and work your way back home. If you don’t finish them all, you’ll be more motivated to catch the few ones closer to home on your next outing.
5. Use right turns so you’re not wasting gas idling at unprotected left-turns—especially useful in bigger cities like LA, San Francisco, and Chicago.
6. If you can, schedule your errands during the non-peak hours of day, depending on your city. Remember, safety comes first…but if you can run a few errands in the evening you’ll encounter much less traffic. Also, the little old retired ladies have it down: be there when the store opens. Most places open doors around 9am or 10am and if you can get in-and-out quickly you’ll be in a much better mood for efficiency.
7. Keep your car clean and your trunk empty. Don’t cart around unnecessary weight, thereby reducing your efficiency in gas mileage. Get those unwanted clothes delivered to the Goodwill, get that furniture out. Don’t make your backseat into your room, etc.
8. Consider a (used) hybrid car that runs on electric energy and gas. You never need a smog test, and the maintenance occurs half as frequently (although it can be twice as expensive so that part evens out). Local trusted mechanics can be a good source of great, safe deals.
9. Don’t be afraid to shop for deals. I try to schedule my tank fill-ups around my Long Beach visit since the gas is about $0.30/gallon cheaper than Hollywood.