Frugal ways to save money on gas for your car. We spend $10.00 weekly on gas.

United States
June 16, 2008 12:37pm CST
What are your best frugal tips for saving money on gasoline? Do you simply drive fewer places? Order more takeout so that you don't have to drive your car to the grocery store? Do you order products online and use free shipping deals, versus drive to the store? We bought a super small Saturn at police auction for $700 and it works perfectly and hasn't broken down once. It's used for errands around town and commute to work (10 miles both ways) It works so much better than the gas hog station wagon that we owned before. We spent upwards of $10 daily on gas for the big car. It was about the same size as a mini-van or SUV. With our much smaller car, we barely spend $5.00 weekly on gas. Maybe $10 weekly if he uses the car everyday of the week incuding weekends. Before we got the smaller car, my spouse had to get a part time job in addition to his full time job just to afford gas prices. How do you stay frugal with such high gas prices?
5 people like this
24 responses
@luvstochat (6914)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I do alot of walking and not going out of town. Luckily we only live around the corner from the grocery store so I just walk over there if I don't need to get very much. I only go out of town when it is absouletly necessary too and I dont drive around anymore then I need to.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Jun 08
Staying out of the car is the best way to save money on gas. If you don't use it, then you don't have to buy any more gas!
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
16 Jun 08
gas prices are really high these days. To save I only go to town one or twice a week, less if I can get by with it. I try to do all I have to at one time while in town. I don't eat out as much or pick up food at the drive throughs like I have done in the past. Long lines make for too much gas wasted. The same at the bank. Although this line goes much faster. I buy in bulk so I don't have to go to town more. Keeping in mind the closest town to me is 12 miles. There is a small grocery store owned my an older couple that is 7 miles from the house, this is the closest place to me. I have been using them for food instead of going to town unless I have to go for other things.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Jun 08
Those are really super thrifty and money saving ideas. I use an online bank with Washington Mutual or WAMU and never have to drive to the bank or wait in line. They have given me excellent service, so far. Thank you for sharing your ideas with me. Have a good day.
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
16 Jun 08
To keep my money in my pocket as far a gas goes, I use my car to drive me to and from work, and to and from the park or the library during my lunch hour. Then, once a week, I run errands. Usually, I'll wait until after work when I would normally be heading home. I'll do my errands then. So, for example...on a Friday: I will head to the gas station first since I tend to fill up after work on Fridays, then I will go to whatever store is closest to the gas station and continue on down the way edging closer and closer to home. I just do my best to keep everything in order from closest to work/farthest from home to closest to home/farthest from work. I only waste about a quarter of a tank of gas each week and that costs me $25 to $30 to top off my tank. Pretty bad considering I used to be able to fill my entire tank for that much.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 08
Isn't it the truth! Prices on everything have gone way up.
1 person likes this
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
17 Jun 08
Thank you for the best response! It means a lot to me!
• United States
17 Jun 08
You are more than welcome! I always enjoy your responses. You're lots of fun to talk with.
1 person likes this
@ShealM (388)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
I don't get how frugal ordering take out every day is personally. I'm a 7 unit family now if I were to break it down I spend 80 a week on gas for our van. 200 a week on groceries and IF I were to pay for takeout 7 days a week at 50 dollars a shot I'm looking at these numbers: Gas for one year: 3840 dollars Groceries for one year: 9600 dollars Take Out for one year (at 7 days a week\50$ a day): 16 800 dollars I think groceries are a lot more frugal than take out every day, 7 days a week and the gas is still cheaper than the take out too. Even if you add the gas and groceries for expenses together you are looking at 13 440 dollars a year which is 3360 dollars less than take out for the year. That doesn't look very frugal to me at all, it seems to be quite the expense and less healthy for the family too.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 08
Tee hee! That's a lot of math!
1 person likes this
@ShealM (388)
• Canada
17 Jun 08
It made my head hurt *lol* (the math I mean)
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 08
i do many of the same things that the other readers told you about. I do my errands after work on fridays, I don't go to the grocery store for only one or two things, we don't eat take out as much (waaayyyy too expensive, especially having kids), and we will walk to the park since it is only a block from our house. My husband and I take our lunch to work (pack a sandwich or something) so we don't waste gas going home on our break (each of us work only 5 miles from our house). Also, if I am grocery shopping, i will ask my friend (who lives in my neighborhood) if they need anything and I will pick it up while i am there and she will reimburse me. I know this doesn't seem like it saves me gas but it does because she is willing to do the same for me when she is shopping. I also don't use the air conditioner in my car when I am driving through town; it seems to suck the gas down much quicker that way. My husband is a mechanic and he says that if you keep your car tuned up (clean oil, tire pressure correct, etc) that you will get better gas mileage. Also, don't let your gas tank get lower than 1/4 tank, because it then starts to suck it down quicker (it compensates for the extra air it is taking in). It is a pain to have to fill up more often, but it does seem to work. Hope this could be of some help to you.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 08
Yes, it's true, most takeout is super expensive. Where we used to live, they had an all your can carryout plate special for $8.00. Since I didn't have a big kitchen at the time, it meant that me and the hubby could split a plate. They were giving away a huge plate of food that could feed two people for two meals. It was a large portion. So we would eat some and then save some for next day lunch. We don't have anything like that in the area now. Now that I have a child, too, eight dollars is way too expensive for one single meal for two. Now I'm sticking to basics like homemade chicken dishes and such. They only cost a couple dollars to fix and when I add a handful of cooked rice and veggies, I've got a complete and balanced nutrition meal. So, it works out good. Those are phenomenal ideas about keeping the gas tank full and car tuned up. I'm guilty of not doing both. I am happy to get some expert knowledge on this one from an industry insider. I will be writing that down for future use. I love the community shopping idea. That must save you a signifigant amount of time and effort. I hope you'll feel free to drop by again to any of my discussions and post some more. All your ideas are amazing. Please be well. Best wishes for your family, BeautyQueen
1 person likes this
• Lubbock, Texas
16 Jun 08
I'm retired so it's not like I have to drive to work every day. I haven't changed the way I've always done things, just got a lot more vigilant about doing them. When I have to go to the Dr. I make sure I have my grocery list and a list of anything else I have to do and work my way across town and back home in the shortest route possible. If I don't need to go anywhere but the grocery store and I only have one or two items that I absolutely HAVE to have, I go through the pantry and fridge and make a list of anything I might need in the next 2 weeks or so. I never go to the grocery store for one or two things. I do order a lot of things online that I used to go into town to pick up. I've found that the initial savings on many things more than makes up for the shipping price and I don't have to use gas either! Two way saving there. I make natural soaps, salves, skincare etc. I used to take orders to the postoffice to mail them. I've created an account online now and print my postage and call for a pick-up. No 10 mile each way drive to the postoffice. Ordering takeout? Much too expensive! I've never been a big one for that. When my youngest daughter was still home we had take out on payday. I cut that out when she left home.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 08
All of those are really good ideas!
@peavey (16306)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I don't drive as much to begin with. Also, I try to walk when I can, rather than driving. At the nearby mall, I park near the first store I'm going in, then walk back and forth to the rest of them, rather than moving the car - things like that. I run all errands that I can on the same day. It can save a few miles if I plan the route first. If the car is tuned up and tires are inflated to manufacturer's specifications, that helps.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 08
Of course, you'd have the best frugal tips. I love reading all your frugal tips posts. Thank you for reminding me about the tire inflation. I had forgotten that one! Best of health to you and yours. Have a good evening.
@shymurl (2768)
• United States
16 Jun 08
gas prices are outrages. my husband has to drive thirty minutes away to go to work. so he doesn't count. now with my car, we don't go to many places anymore. we take one day and do all the shopping. get what we need to last us for a week. it has helped out a lot. we also walk when the kids and I need to go to their grandparents house. or if my inlaw go into town I can get them to get me what I need, and vice versa.
1 person likes this
@judy43 (299)
• United States
16 Jun 08
we plan each trip so we do all errands at once and make as few trips as possibe At one time we were spending 40-50 dollars for gas
1 person likes this
• Australia
17 Jun 08
We have a people mover and live in Australia and spend $100-150 on petrol a week. This is the least we can spend because petrol is currently $1.67 per litre - which is amazingly expensive. Our petrol would cost alot more if we didn't do the following: We buy petrol on the cheapest day of the week. We only use the car for an 'outing' as a family once a week. My husband has to drive to work and back but does just that, when he is stuck in traffic for long periods of time he switches off the engine (he didn't used to do this because apparently it uses more petrol to turn the car off and on but he found through experience that this wasn't true.) I walk to get my groceries and carry them home twice a week - so that I can fit them all on and in the pram and on my arms. I also buy things on special in bulk so I don't have to keep going to the shops. I still can't get over that you only spend $10 on petrol weekly ---- I think it costs us automatically $10 just to pull into the service station!
• United States
18 Jun 08
litre to gallon what is the cost if it were in gallons like here in the states? I think it is hard for us americans to get our minds around your gas prices when we see 1.67 per litre and we don't know the equivilance to gallon. Ours is 3.97 a gallon for regular here as of yesterday.
• United States
18 Jun 08
I looked it up and it would be anywhere from 6.18 a gallon to 7.60 when you convert litres to gallons.
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
17 Jun 08
I'm not working at the moment, but am job hunting, so that cuts out on a lot of my driving. I am looking for jobs that are either close to where I live, or close to an area I am willing to move to (since I plan on moving anyway). I try to run most errands nearby, and do not drive around just for the heck of it like I used to. I hope to buy a bike, so that I can ride that for most of my little trips around town. Thankfully my car is fairly fuel-efficient, as I get around 25 miles a gallon. If I go out with friends someplace far away, we carpool. For example, there was a free festival at a winery the other day, which was probably a good 1 1/2 hours away from most of us who went. Six of us went, so we had 2 groups meet up in different spots and carpool. We do similar things if we drive to the shore. I realize we are still using gas, but we split gas money so no one is paying $15-$20 just to go out for the day. (Staying home would of course be more frugal, but I don't want to do that. It might be coming to that soon, though.)
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
17 Jun 08
I forgot to mention, that turning the car off when idling is another thing I do, and I think that helps a lot. That means not only in the drive-through, but also if I get stuck at a bridge, railroad tracks, etc. They say that if your car is going to idle for a minute, it actually takes less gas to restart your car.
• United States
17 Jun 08
There's a website I'm going to give you that can give you the full deal on some tips to use, I'm not sure if someone's mentioned this yet or not, but here goes: Tips to get the most Gasoline for your money: 1. Only fill up your tank early in the morning when the ground temperature is still low--the more colder the ground the more dense the concentration of the gasoline is. When it gets warmer in the afternoon the gasoline expands and your not really getting an actual gallon 2. When your filling up don't squeeze the trigger to a fast mode. Because it allows vapors to release. 3. Most important tip is to fill up when your tank is half empty--the more gas you have in your tank the less air is occupying space, gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. 4. If there is a gasoline truck at the pumps don't stop to fill up because the gasoline has stirred around with the dirt in the truck and you might pick up some of the dirt. Hope this helps, If you want to see the entire article go to aol.com search and type in Gas Secrets and Tips
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
17 Jun 08
We also got a smaller car. We went from a pontiac bonneville which ate gas and had numerous problems due to age (ten years old) to a brand new nissan versa. The versa gets excellent gas milleage and we usually only tank up once a month but then we don't go anywhere since it is off season (and even if it wasn't I live within a 2 minute drive to work) for me I am not working. So we go get our groceries and help out a friend every once in a while and that is it.
• Alexandria, Virginia
17 Jun 08
I bought a honda civic hybrid in 2003 and my pick up truck stays parked most of the time. Gas is going up to $10 agallon or more!!!
• United States
17 Jun 08
My SUV and the car I got from my dad (when my SUV gets repo'd) get about the same mileage; the only thing different is the amount of stuff I can haul. I just started making sure the fluids are up, checking the air filter, air pressure (a big reason my SUV wasn't getting good mileage!) Unfortunately, I'm driving someone to work (he pays me for the gas) and it's a 30 mile round trip--UGH! Everything around me is so far away!
@curious888 (1213)
• Malaysia
17 Jun 08
1- Remove all unnecessary things from the car. 2- Switch off air-conditioner if not required. 3- keep sufficient air-pressure in the tyres.
• Canada
17 Jun 08
If you're only paying $10 a week count yourself lucky. We pay about $100 a month! Currently we are starting to walk wherever we can, like go to the grocery store more frequently but walk there instead of driving. Also once in a while we'll do a huge shopping trip that'll last a long time so we spend less. Seriously, you're doing very well if you only spend that much! We'd celebrate if our gas was that low!
@Adelida2233 (1008)
• United States
17 Jun 08
We are only driving one car. I have a Jeep, so that one stays parked the majority of the time. My boyfriend has a mustang, and since that's decent on gas, we drive that the majority of the time. I drive my boyfriend to work and pick him up, so that saves a little bit, since both of us are not driving in the same direction in different cars. Other than that,we were pretty frugal with gas to begin with. We fill the tank up completely about once a month, and a then a quarter of a tank weekly(about 10 bucks) on top of that.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
17 Jun 08
I know our household has been doing better at combining trips. No more quick dashes to the store for just one item. We wait until we need other things, or have other errands. We also are eating or ordering out less. Even those costs have gone up, and I can cook a meal much cheaper than fast food or a restaurant charges. It used to be I'd think nothing of running into the city just to goof off. Not now, now I haven't gone into the city in weeks. And unless something comes up I wont. I'll stay home and conserve the money and gas.
• United States
17 Jun 08
There are several things you can do. 1. Remove excess weight from the car. Those tire chains and the snow shovel in your trunk should go, and everything else that isn't completely necessary. Remember energy is directly proportional to mass, so more mass = more energy expended. 2. If you have a bike rack, remove it. It puts very heavy drag on the car, lowering your fuel economy. 3. Maintain factory-stated tire pressure (or higher). Higher pressure= bumpier ride and shorter tire life, but better fuel economy. 4. Keep your windows closed (including moon/sun-roof). It adds drag. 5. Never fill up your tank, keep it under half a tank. This is an additional point to #1. 6. Don't speed. Your fuel efficiency drops very sharply after 40 mph (I believe). There are probably more, but I can't remember.