How To Beat High Gas Prices and Save Money At The Gas Pump
Published 4/24/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
Because I rely on public transportation for the vast majority of my work related commute, I don't track gas and oil price fluctuations as closely as someone who drives regularly. While I do notice the indirect correlative effects of pricier gas in the way of higher food prices (and wow are food prices getting more expensive these days), I don't usually realize how high gas prices have spiked until I find myself pumping my own gas. While returning home from a cross country drive to visit a friend in another state this weekend, I noticed I was running low on gas. I scanned the interstate highway horizon for the cheapest regular gas price I could find, and was stunned at how far up gas prices had risen. Only a few weeks and months ago, gas prices were still holding steady at $3.00 a gallon. Now they've climbed to within the $4.00 striking range. I filled up my Honda Accord and looked at the final tally - $44.50. Nearby I could hear the profanity-laden mutterings of other disgruntled drivers as they filled up their vehicles with pricey gasoline. Next to me a big pick-up truck pulled up - definitely a $125.00 filler-upper.
Until the fuel scientists and federal government decide to seriously combat the problem of high gas prices and fuel shortages with subsidies and research grants for the development of alternative energy, all we can do as consumers is to try to find common-sensical ways to reduce our fuel consumption and minimize what we pay at the pump. Public transportation options through car pooling, riding public buses, and taking the subway are some of the frugal ways to save money on gas by ditching the car altogether, but for some people those aren't feasible solutions - and for others, they simply love their cars too much. Buying a hybrid gas and electric powered vehicle is another way to save gas money. However, buying a hybrid requires a sizable upfront investment that is not suitable for many at this time. Thus, I want to turn my attention primarily to helping drivers like myself who own plain old fossil fuel gas guzzlers. Even for regular drivers like us who jet around in our old fashioned gas powered vehicles, it doesn't mean we have to give up an arm or a leg at the gas station.