Slacker’s Guide to Saving Gas

To save gas, make sure your vehicle's speed doesn't exceed that of a pronghorn antelope. At up to 60 mph, pronghorns are the fastest land animals in North America. (Photo donated by Helena Reynolds)
I don’t personally gas up my car very often for two reasons. First, I drive a hybrid. Second, I tend to “conveniently” run out of gas just before my husband plans to take my car. In my mind, having him deal with the gas station, instead of me, is tantamount to receiving flowers on my birthday (well…almost).

If you, too, are looking for easy ways to avoid the gas station, here are some money and planet-saving tips.

1) Bum a ride – Carpool with reliable friends and colleagues. Or, look into safe rideshare options, like NuRide, that provide additional incentives for smart commuting. Alternatively, mass transportation will take you out of the driver’s seat altogether.

2) Work fewer days (in the office) – Ask your employer if teleworking or working a condensed schedule with longer hours (ex. 9 days on, 1 day off) are options. While you’re at it, see if there’s any flexibility with workday start or end times that might allow you to avoid gas and time-wasting rush hour traffic.

3) Think small – When renting a car for your next vacation, think small–or hybrid, if available–as they tend to be more fuel efficient. If you’re in the market to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle, try the U.S. Department of Energy’s Find-a-Car Tool.

4) Slow down and hang back – Aggressive driving (speeding, tailgating, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.

5) Pump it up – You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. For step-by-step instructions on pumping up your tires, visit wikiHow.

6) Plan one epic journey – Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

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My Fling with the Chevy Volt

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