Summer Gas Saving Tips Part 3

Welcome back for the third and final part of our 3-part blog series on summer gas saving tips. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the series so far and that some of the tips that we have brought you have already started helping you to increase your MPG, lower that sting at the pump and have a great first week of summer. So without further prattling, here’s part 3. Enjoy

Before you pack up the car and the kids to go to a specific stop, shop, business or restaurant, make sure that you know the hours that they’re open. There are few things worse than making a long drive crammed in the car with a bunch of excited kids only to find out that it’s closed when you arrive. (Trust us, we know.) Do yourself a favor and call ahead to wherever it is that you want to go and save yourself a lot of gas and a big headache.

Most newer smart phones have a GPS navigation system built-in, something that you should definitely use if you’re going somewhere for the first time or somewhere off the beaten path. If you don’t have a GPS system, make sure that you either have directions that are well written or a map of your destination. Remember how we said that getting somewhere and it being closed was the worst thing that could happen? Going somewhere and getting lost four hours (or days!) along the way is almost as bad.

If you’re going to be making a large purchase, like a new car, appliance, furniture and so forth, do as much research online as you can before getting in the car. You may very well find the best price ahead of time and only have to go to one store or one dealership rather than several, saving time and gas in the process. Even better, there are several apps available that will tell you exactly where the best price to be found on your particular item is located. In many cases, it may be through an online retailer, eliminating the need to use your car at all.

Many of your local businesses have inexpensive or free delivery services. When possible, you can let them do the driving while you relax at home, saving wear and tear on your car and gasoline at the same time

Unless you have to be somewhere at a specific time, try to avoid driving during peak hours, when the chances that you will get stuck in traffic are much greater. This will save you gas and also a lot of frustration.

If you have several errands that you need to do, or several places to bring the kids, try and do them all in one big trip rather than making several smaller trips. If you’re going to do this, think about where you need to go ahead of time so that you can also plan out the best, shortest route.

Since the kids are out of school and have tons of pent-up energy, if you have biking trails or safe biking routes in your town it’s definitely the time to use them. If it’s safe for you to accompany your children on bicycles to local stores and shops even better.

If the only car that you have is a large SUV or truck you may wish to consider renting a smaller vehicle if you’re going on a long trip. Unless you actually need the space, a smaller car will almost always get better gas mileage and may even save you enough to actually pay for the cost of the rental car itself.

Carpooling is one of the oldest money-saving tips there is but here’s a new take on it; moms carpooling with the kids. If, for example, you and your neighbor were both planning on going to the local water park, you could drive together, have a nice conversation along the way and save a little bit of gas in the process.

Unless you are using them almost every day, get rid of any bicycle racks or luggage racks that you have on the roof and even on the trunk of your vehicle. These can cause a tremendous amount of extra drag and actually decrease mileage by up to 5%.

In some areas of the country where there is a lot of snow, people place bricks or bags of sand in their cars for better traction. Well, it’s summer now, so get rid of that extra weight as well as any other stuff that you have in your car. The lighter your car ways, the less gas that will use, it’s just that simple.

When starting your car, especially in the summer when it’s hot, make sure that all of your electric devices are turned off, like the radio, air-conditioning, cell phones and so forth. This puts less of a strain on your engine and thus causes it to use less gas.

While the joy of having a sunroof or a rag top are great, realize that having either one open is going to cause a lot more drag and use more gasoline.

With that we’d like to wish everyone a happy summer and safe driving. We hope that these tips have been useful and that will save you lots of money, headaches and of course gasoline all summer long. Make sure to come back and visit us again soon for more tips, advice and ideas about all subjects financial. See you then.

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