I’ll be the first to admit gas prices are awful in America right now. And they’re not getting lower anytime soon. But for how often people complain about rising gas costs, few seem to do anything proactive to lower them. You don’t have to go out and buy a hybrid; there are a great number of cheap and easy things you can do to save on gas.

by A Siegel

Find a carpool

Many carpools can be arranged by simply asking people around your office. You’d be surprised how many of your coworkers might live close by. You could all meet at a nearby park and ride or other public parking area (even on the side of a low traffic street can work if you know you won’t be towed), and then you simply alternate driving on different days. It’s surprising how effective this is and how much money you will save. Can’t find anyone to carpool with at your work? ERideShare and RidePro are great online resources to find car poolers near you. Of course, you can always try public transportation as most cities have bus-lines that go 25 miles outside of downtown.


Many people don’t realize or utilize this great online resource that helps you find the cheapest gas near your current location. You can even use this with any smartphone, be it iPhone, Droid, or Windows. Those with smartphones need to simply start the app which uses GPS and cellular triangulation technology to provide listings for gasoline stations in the immediate area. From there, make your best choice and start saving!

Drive Intelligently

There are actually plethoras of ways you can drive smarter to get better mileage:

• Don’t make fast starts or sudden stops. I see around 50% of drivers in my city slam the gas and break constantly to take any available space on the road in front of them, particularly when there’s traffic. Perhaps they’re worried about cars cutting in front of them, but this style of driving will take its toll on your car and your gas bill while actually saving you very little time on your commute. The key to perfecting smooth acceleration and breaking is to try to control your speed with the accelerator pedal alone; the more you break, the more you lose inertia and take more mileage to accelerate again.

• Plan your errands into one trip, taking the most efficient route. Not only does this save on gas, it saves you time as well. I simply keep a weekly list of any groceries and other items I’m looking to purchase and usually try to do all my shopping in one route over the weekend when I have time. Of course, purchasing items online removes the need to run errands and can also save you money if you get a discount on shipping.

• Drafting. Drafting is the practice of following another car semi-closely to use their wind resistance to get better mileage. Every moving car causes the air in front of it to split around the car as it drives through. However, when drafting in the slipstream behind a moving car, you’re already driving through less wind resistance as most of the resistant air is already pushed around your car. This does not mean you should tailgate every driver; particularly if they break a lot, the inertia you’re losing by breaking is not worth the resistance of drag through drafting. But for long highways, drafting is a fairly common technique.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

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