It’s no secret that with Russia’s war on Ukraine, gas prices have skyrocketed. Sanctions have been placed on the oil-supplier to pressure them into ending their invasion and to drain their economic resources fueling the war. While this decision is most definitely for the best, it has led to an increased cost of fuel across the world. Here are some simple ways to reduce your personal consumption of gas and help ease unnecessary strain on your pockets–while reducing your impact on the environment, too! Here are my tips to reduce your gas use, or otherwise lower your cost to fuel up.
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1. Invest in a bike. If you live close to shopping centers, investing in a bike can be a great way to counterbalance the rising gas prices. While you won’t be able to buy tons of groceries at a time, you will be able to grab the necessities whenever you need them. This may end up lowering your grocery bill in the long run, because you won’t want to add extra items to carry home! You can find bikes with baskets already installed like this one, or you can purchase them separately and attach them yourself. There are also adult-sized tricycles with storage in the front and back that you can look into! Another option is to bring an insulated backpack with you to carry your groceries in. Be sure to find a good lock and chain to keep your bike protected while shopping, and practice safe biking habits on the road, including wearing a good helmet. You don’t need a fancy bike to get the job done, either, and may be able to find a great option for under $100! Take a look on Facebook marketplace for used bikes, or get a new one from a local shop, such as Walmart, Target, or a small business that sells and repairs bikes.
2. Invest in a fuel-efficient car or motorized bike. The best way to reduce the cost of gas is to stop using it; if you can afford to invest in an electric vehicle or a hybrid, consider making the switch. Keep in mind that your electricity bill may rise if you don’t have a sustainable power source set up at home, although according to Kelly Blue Book, the cost per month is usually around $51. If getting a battery powered car or scooter isn’t for you, consider low-input options like gas-powered bikes. I work at a gas station, and recently met someone who puts about $3 worth of gas into his scooter every week. He let me know that while he drives pretty far with it (across a few cities everyday), he doesn’t have to fill up more than twice a week.
3. Carpool with friends. Heading out for a night with friends? Consider carpooling with them. Ask around your friend group and find out who has the best mileage to the gallon, and see if anyone would be interested in starting a carpool. Everyone can pitch in, reducing the need to refuel as frequently, and lowering costs overall. Consider carpooling outside of recreational travel, too, for things like weekly shopping and bank runs.
4. Get everything done on a schedule. By scheduling your errands, you’ll reduce the need to leave home on small trips throughout the week. Plan your stops ahead of time, and make your trips efficient. Map out your route to avoid driving back and forth across town. If you know you’ll be going to the bank on Friday to deposit a check, and you want to go grocery shopping once a week, block out time to do both at once. Not only will this reduce gas use, but you’ll also make more time for yourself to be at home. I suggest using a planner like this one to stay organized!
5. Keep it local. If your area has a park or other public places to visit, explore them instead of traveling outside of your town. Reserve trips out of your general area for special occasions until gas prices come down. If you live in a more rural setting, you may want to pre-plan outings to be cost efficient in ways other than gas cost. Be more frugal with dining out, avoid expensive shops, etc.
6. Share what you have with neighbors. If you have a garden, consider swapping your fruits and veggies for some grown by neighbors! Or, if you don’t have a garden but your neighbor does, trade them something else, such as handmade soap, infused oils, or even simple services like doing laundry or washing cars.
7. Take advantage of price dips. When you see the price of gas has gone down significantly, fill up and let your friends and family know about the price change. Start a little group chat for gas prices or an email thread to make sure everyone knows when gas is down.
8. Look for discounts and savings programs at your local gas stations. You never know what promotions may be running, so keep an eye out! For example, Wawa is doing a 15 cent discount on every gallon of gas purchased when you pay using their app (until May 8th, 2022). If you aren’t sure if your gas station is running a promotion, ask a cashier or open up their website!
9. Download and start saving money on gas with GasBuddy. By using GasBuddy, you can avoid having to sift through dozens of apps to find the perfect deal. It shows you the closest gas stations, their prices, and also offers a couple ways to get cash back on your purchases. By linking your bank with gas buddy, you can save money without having to have separate rewards cards for all of your gas stations. Simply enter your information using their secure platform and use the free gas buddy card they send in the mail to make purchases on fuel. A discounted cost will then be withdrawn from your regular bank account. This is just a stand in for your regular banking card, and is NOT a credit card! It just acts as a middle man to get you discounts on fuel purchases. It’s kind of like paypal, but for saving money on gas! There are options for getting cashback at other stores, but I haven’t personally explored that avenue yet. If you enter my invite code when you sign up, we’ll both save an extra 10 cents per gallon of gas after you make your first purchase! You can click on this link to sign up with my referral code now, or type this in when prompted: EKD7XP3 You can read more about how Gas Buddy works here!
I hope these tips inspire you to make some changes in your routines, and help you reduce the amount of money you are spending on gas. If you have any tips aside from the ones I listed, feel free to share them in the comments so we can all use them!