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Stretch it: Gas

This is a series I am going to call stretch it! Adam and I have people ask us about ways to cut spending all the time. I thought this would be a great way to share with everyone at once and get in depth with each topic. If you remember a ways back, we did a year without spending. While we didn't end spending as little as we started, we learned a lot of things about how we spend our money and why. I want to share what we learned with all of our readers. I would love to hear what area you would like to learn about, too!

I don't usually fill up the gas tank, but a couple weeks ago I did and saw the cost...STICKER SHOCK! We already had some gas saving measures in place, but I can tell you that it made me want to do as much as I could! So here are some areas that We have worked our money saving magic...

-Make your trip worth the while. We live in a small town and drive to the nearby city for many things. We used to go in several times a week and now it is a maximum of 1. We keep a note pad on the fridge that write the things we need to do on. We think about the item that we need. Is it essential to have the item now? Not usually. So we add it to the list. When we go into town we make sure that it is not just for 1 stop and we plan the most efficient way to get them all done.

-Use your feet. We walk when we can. We are lucky enough to live close to things like the library, post office, and small stores. We walk to them, always, no exceptions. When we can we find a central location to park our car and walk to all the stores. You get some extra exercise, and you save money on small drives from store to store.

-Bike it. For longer trips, not walking distance, we bike. We bike for quick trips to the grocery store, Adam bikes to work, and we even bike 10 miles to go to the free movies in town, that's 10 miles back too. Not only do you save money on gas, it can help you save by not having a gym membership/driving to the gym if you walk/bike everywhere you can. If you aren't going to be carrying much, you don't need your car to haul it. When you don't use your car, you don't use your money. It is all about weighing the options.

-Stretch your gas. Do some research on your car to find out what the highest speed is that continues to get you the best mileage. For our car that is 55 mph. Yes, everyone passes me at 65 mph on the highway, but It makes my gas last longer and only adds about 2 minutes to my drive to work. Give it a try some time and see how much longer it really takes you to slow down a little. Sometimes being in a hurry can cost you money when you least expect it.


Anonymous said…
Also--look for coupon deals in your town. For example in Rochester, MN on Tuesdays the SA stations will double all competitor coupons if you bring them in and get gas with them. Just doing this believe it or not has saved me about $10-$15 a month from using my gas coupons that I acquire from Cub foods. At Cub in Rochester for ever $10 of food you buy you can $0.01 off of gas. So after I have spent my $100 of groceries and diapers for the month at Cub I save that $0.10 off per gallon coupon for the SA gas station double Tuesdays for $0.20 off a gallon. (I have to drive my clients around a lot for my senior elder care jobs.
Also I have friends who give me their gas coupons from Cub foods that don't want theirs, and I have found several of those unused gas reciepts on the ground a lot in the Cub parking lot actually!
Another place is fleet farm--just buy a candy bar and get the 4cent coupon and wait until Tuesday at the SA--then you have an 8cent off per gallon coupon to use. :D

Michelle said…
That's a great tip! It makes me wish I lived by an SA! I know a few people who drive all the way in from stewartville just to get $.04 off their gas at fleet farm and drive back home...that would be the wrong way to save! For us, it costs roughly $4 to get into rochester and back. So for the people who do this, it really is counter productive. If fareway ever closes, I think I will be heading to cub though : )

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