How to Save Money on Gas

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

High summer gas prices are on their way, and USA Today is already reporting that gas prices could reach a record high this summer. 2008's gas prices skyrocketed to $4.11 per gallon, but experts are estimating gas prices as high as $4.25 per gallon (if not higher) this year.

The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch has responded to these impending price hikes by releasing some tips for keeping your gas bill low in 2013. This post makes the very valid point that gas prices are still much higher in other areas of the world, but still provides advice on reducing consumption by driving slower, avoiding aggressive driving tactics, and rolling down the windows rather than turning on the AC.

The tips are good, but The Wall Street Journal neglected to mention the most obvious gas-saving tip of all: stop driving so much.

Admittedly, this isn't the first solution most people think about. Most people assume that they have to drive.

However, there are plenty of options for driving less. You could put together a car pool, or take advantage of the park-and-ride system. 

Nobody's saying you have to give up your car entirely if you feel that isn't really an option for you, but you should be aware that you do have options for driving less.

By doing so, you won't just save money. You'll get more mileage out of your time, too. If you're not driving you can check your e-mail, read or compose reports, or just take a few moments for yourself. You can remove the stresses that come with navigating traffic and start your day feeling calmer and more alert.

If you can't incorporate public transit into your commute, why not explore your options for shorter trips? For example, if you really only need to dash around the corner to pick up milk then perhaps you could try walking or biking to reach your destination.

You won't just save on gas. You'll get exercise, too, which means you might also save money on gym fees.

One thing is certain: gas prices will only continue to rise, and spending less time behind the wheel is likely to become less optional for more and more families. Thus, it is important for Idaho to grow its public transportation infrastructure now, so that our state will be ready to manage the increased demand that's coming.