Frugal Driving Tips

Christy | 12:22 PM |

Most of us have enough going on in our lives to cause stress without having to search for a way to find extra dollars to cover escalating fuel costs. When your budget has already been stretched to breaking point and the dollars cannot be squeezed any tighter, it might be best to look at ways to reduce your fuel consumption.

Everyone is aware that the first steps to using fuel more efficiently are to travel less by car, carpool as often as possible, combine errands, and to plan your route before leaving home, but additional measures can be taken to lower the gallons of fuel used during a typical week. The following suggestions will help many people reduce their gasoline consumption significantly:

The Driver Makes a Difference

Developing new driving habits can improve gas mileage and reduce the wear and tear on a vehicle. It may take several weeks of working on a single change for it to feel natural, but the effort will be worth it. Work on the following changes to get the best benefits and save as much as 20% on fuel:

• Drive smoothly, easing into and out of stops.

• Maintain a consistent speed of around fifty miles an hour on the highway and resist trying to keep up with the car in front.

• Speed up just a bit before hills to maintain momentum.

• Do not follow closely behind another car so that excessive braking is not necessary.

• Use overdrive gears and put the car on cruise control whenever feasible.

• Turn the engine off when waiting in long lines, rather than idling for an extended period.

• Use air conditioning only when completely necessary.

• Remove any excess weight from the back seat or trunk before leaving for the next errand.

The Condition of the Vehicle Matters

Two vehicles of the same model, made by the same manufacturer in the same year can be entirely different in gas mileage because of the way their owners maintain them. The following maintenance tasks will increase fuel efficiency and gas mileage, resulting in lower fuel costs:

• Maintaining properly inflated tires can reduce fuel needs by as much as 20%.

• Having regular tune-ups to keep the engine in perfect working order may result in fuel savings of up to 40%.

• Using the motor oil that is recommended by the manufacturer can result in fuel savings in the long run.

• Replacing clogged air filters on older model vehicles may increase fuel economy.

While riding a bike or walking may be the best ways to lower the cost of transportation, these are not practical for everyone or for every trip. By developing the best fuel-saving driving habits and keep your vehicle in the best possible condition, drivers can rest assured that they are getting the most out of each gallon of gas.

This is a guest blog post from Jane Simpson, who enjoys finding ways to reduce her spending. She used an auto payment calculator before she purchased her car and uses the frugal driving habits in this post to stay within her monthly budget.

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Frugalful.com is a collection of frugal-living articles and resources for women trying to save money- while still being able to enjoy the luxuries of life.