Defense: How to reduce gas costs

Everyone is feeling the pinch from higher gas prices, and higher inflation generally. Here we show how to go on defense to reduce gas usage and costs.

Things that are free:

  • Use the Gasbuddy app. People update the latest prices as they visit gas stations. You can find cheap gas in your area.
  • Join a carpool for work or school. Until recently, our kids were in a carpool for school. Having three kids in one car is far better than having one child each in three cars. It takes some work, but can lead to good gas savings.
  • From, lot of good tips:
  • Drive sensibly. That means no aggressive acceleration and braking, even coasting to a stop. The noted fuel economy benefit is anywhere to 10% to 40%.
  • Observe the speed limit. I drive 5 to 7 mph above the limit, to keep up with traffic. It is in your benefit to drive slower if you can, which reduces the gas use. Fuel savings can be 7% to 14%.
  • Avoid hauling cargo on your roof. Fuel economy benefit is 2% to 17%.
  • Remove excess weight. The site says reducing 100 lbs of weight saves about 1% in fuel.
  • Avoid excess idling. Sometimes you need to keep the AC or heat on. If you can, turn off your vehicle while parked. Fuel savings range from 2 to 4 cents a minute with the AC on.
  • Use Cruise Control on the highway. Gas engines work better at steady rpm’s.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. The fuel savings are 0.6%. This is not as much as other items. It has the added benefit of reducing tire wear.
  • Plan and combine trips. Gas engines are more efficient when warm. Combine multiple stops in one trip to save gas and traveling time.
  • Avoid rush hour. Stop and go is brutal on gas mileage.
  • Seems obvious, drive your more fuel efficient car whenever you can.
  • If you are able, switch to a work from home or remote job. Why commute, pay gas and tolls if you can avoid it? Many are finding it easier to find a job with better working conditions, better pay, better benefits, and better opportunities to advance. Take advantage.
  • Keep your windows closed while driving. I don’t have figures, but open windows increase drag, which causes you to use more fuel.

Things that cost some money:

  • Keep your engine properly tuned. Average savings are 4%, and if you fix a faulty oxygen sensor, fuel savings can be improved as much as 40%.
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil. I didn’t know this, but the incorrect type of motor oil for your engine can reduce performance by 1% to 2%.
  • Use public transit. If you live in an area with good public transit, you can use that to save on gas. It’s not an option for many. If it is, see if it works for you.
  • Buy a good electric bike. Cleantechnica has the most comprehensive list of electric bikes here. Electric bikes are way more efficient than a gas engine. It’s a good form of exercise.

Things that cost a lot of money:

  • Buy an electric vehicle for your next vehicle. Even if you don’t need it now, wait times for the Tesla Model Y are five months in the US. It’s better to reserve in advance. We have discussed the many benefits of EV’s in this blog. Electric motors have greater efficiencies than gas motors, and the electricity equivalent of gasoline is far cheaper. More and more EV’s are coming to market in more market segments.
  • If you can’t afford an EV, buy a good hybrid or plug-in hybrid. They are not much more than a gas engine, and fuel mileage is far better.

What other tips have we missed? Add it in the comments below.

Featured image: from

With peace and love,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: