Sunday Roundup – Gas Experiment Edition

This past week I (along with pretty much everyone else in the U.S.) paid more for a gallon of gas than ever before in my life — $3.959. After filling my tank and reading an interesting article over at The Good Human, I’ve decided to experiment with my driving style to see if I can coax out a few more miles per gallon.

I’m not talking about doing anything extreme here… Rather, I’ll be focusing on accelerating gradually, anticipating stops to minimize braking, and minimizing air conditioning usage when not necessary (though it just turned hot, so I’m not sure how that will work out). I’ll report back after my next fill-up. Since I typically get very consistent mileage, it shouldn’t be too hard to see an effect.

And with that, here are some articles that caught my eye over the past week…

» Save Money on Gas By Learning How to Ride the Bus
Instead of trying to save gas by driving more carefully, combining trips, etc., why not hop on the bus?

» How Will My Decision To Stop Drinking Soda Affect Our Finances?
NCN is kicking the caffeine habit. I did the same thing back in late February and haven’t regretted it for a minute. Also be sure to check out NCN’s latest project, 99 Changes, where he’ll chronicle 99 different lifestyle changes that he’ll be implementing over the coming months.

» From Bad Investing Habits To Investing Sins: Many Unhappy Returns
This is an interesting bit of behavioral finance that looks at the many pitfalls of being human (and an investor).

» Is it the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?
Apparently the Justice Department has recently reached an antitrust settlement with the National Association of Realtors. Gone are the days of Realtors locking up MLS data and keeping it for themselves.

» 29 Free or Low Cost Ways to Save Energy & Money
Nice collection of earth-friendly money saving tips.

» Can Saving Prepare Us for the Oncoming Recession?
Whether or not we’re currently in (or entering) a recession, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the economy is in the crapper. Unemployment is up, inflation is up, and housing prices are down (among other things). So how are you dealing with it?

» Financial Independence as a Goal
This is an interesting look at how people progress through various stages of financial independence throughout their lives. We’re currently working on the ultimate level: freedom from financial reliance on employment.

» Free Summer Movies for Kids – 2008 Edition
Got kids? Check out this rundown of free summer movie promos at major regional/national theater chains.

Finally, Jim at pfBlueprint put together an e-book for recent college grads.

6 Responses to “Sunday Roundup – Gas Experiment Edition”

  1. Anonymous

    “I’ll be focusing on accelerating gradually, anticipating stops to minimize braking, and minimizing air conditioning usage when not necessary…”

    I’ve been doing this, as well as combining trips and driving less, in general. I’m quite certain that the subtle changes in my driving methods, such as what you describe, have improved my gas mileage a significant amount and thus have saved me some money.

    “A/C tip… Esp for short car trips I shut it off about 1/2 way to my destination. The cool air it generated hangs out in the car.”

    This may especially be true if one using the air-recirculation setting.

  2. Anonymous

    Good luck with the experiment. I’ve done a little experiment of my own recently and actually attained an average of 30mpg over 2 tanks (and the highway mpg estimate on my 9-year-old-car is 30). There are lots of tips out there. Reduce weight in your car. Use cruise control on flat highways, don’t drive faster than about 60. One interesting tip I’ve heard is to drive barefoot, if you feel you can do it safely. I’ve heard that your foot it more sensitive to the gas and brake pedals without a shoe, so you won’t hit the gas or brakes as hard without even thinking. Cut the car off instead of idling for longer than 30 seconds. String together errands so that you minimize cold starts.

  3. Anonymous

    A/C tip… Esp for short car trips I shut it off about 1/2 way to my destination. The cool air it generated hangs out in the car. It is usually that first bit where the car was sitting in the sun heating up all afternoon that is TOO HOT!

    Also my husband never wanted to ride to work with me before because I left 20-30 min before he was ready. Filling up his truck is $100 or so now. We ride to work together most days of the week now since gas went over $3.50.

    Last fuel economy tip I have is to plan ahead and map out your errands so that you don’t make special trips to that one far away store. We are currently waiting for another excuse to drive down to the S side of town so we can buy some supplies our marine fish tank needs.

  4. Anonymous

    It’s been well over $4 a gallon here in Chicago for a while. It still slays me in this day and age to see people gunning it from stop light to stop light in suburban neighborhoods, only to slam on the brakes at red lights. I learned long ago you just can’t beat traffic control devices. I’m also more concerened about the cost of groceries then I am with gas. Driving is a privilege and you can get by without it. Eating, not so much.

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