10+ Ways to Save on Fuel

May 29, 2007

by Jenny McKinney and Patrick McKinney, Retirement Planning Guides at About.com

With the price of gasoline constantly increasing, we are all looking for ways to save on this necessary liquid. If you own a gas guzzler, you might need to look for all the help you can get just to be able to afford the fuel for necessary trips.

Here are 10+ ways to help save on fuel. If you have some tips you’d like to add, email them to Jenny and Patrick at retireplan.guide@about.com.

1. Be sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much air you should have in each tire.

2. If you get a discount for using a store card, use it. If you get a discount for a credit card, use it only if you plan to pay off the balance when it’s due. Your savings on gasoline might be lost if you have to pay interest.

3. Keep your highway speed to around 55mph. Faster speeds can consume more gasoline.

4. Don’t accelerate up and down while driving. Try to keep a constant pressure on the gas pedal.

5. Plan your trips. If you have to drive very far to the market, make sure you purchase everything you might need for several days.

6. Have your automobile checked by a reputable mechanic to be sure it is tuned up and running it’s best.

7. When possible, walk instead of driving. It’s healthier and will save gasoline.

8. Carpool whenever possible.

9. Keep your car clean and waxed. Dirt and grime can cause a small decrease in gas mileage.

10. Watch for things that can obstruct the air flow on your automobile. Things such as the car top carriers can reduce gas mileage.

11. Use cruise control if you car is equipped with it.

12. Let the kids ride the school bus insead of driving them to and from school.

13. Never let you car run while you dash into the store, post office, etc.

14. Use your air conditioner instead of opening the windows while driving at high speeds.

It’s hard enough to save money for retirement without having to spend unnecessarily on the necessities of life. Almost everyone has a car and relies on gasoline or some type of fuel so it makes sense to try to economize whenever possible. We should really try to save on fuel even if it weren’t so expensive.

Wondering what prices are at some of the stations across the country? fueleconomy.gov is a handy web site that will answer your questions.


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Kristine McKinley, CFP®, CPA, is the founding principal of Beacon Financial Advisors, LLC, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and serving the greater Kansas City area.

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In the News

Investment News – Kristine McKinley discusses the 0% Social Security COLA (for 2016) in No Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.

Kiplinger Magazine/NAPFA – Kristine McKinley answered reader’s tax questions during the 2013 Jump Start Your Retirement Plan Days sponsored by Kiplinger magazine and the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation.