Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous
97% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

20 Ways to Save on Gas

20 Ways to Save on Gas

Nearly every summer, as people head over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house, or to the beach, or out for a family camping trip, gas prices creep upward. With travelers looking for ways to lessen the hit, several email forwards have been circulating, containing suggestions on how to get the most fuel for your money at the pump.

Expert opinions suggest most of those recommendations — from never letting your tank get below the half-full mark to filling up at a slower speed — are little more than urban legends, based on shaky science. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can make your fuel dollars stretch. The following are some proven techniques from the Farmers’ Almanac for saving on fuel:

  • Go easy on the brakes and gas pedal. Maintaining a consistent speed can reduce your fuel usage by as much as 37 percent.
  • Drive the speed limit. Slower speeds can save up to 14 percent of your gas.
  • Use overdrive and cruise control if your car has them, for up to 14-percent savings.
  • If you plan to stop for more than a minute, shut off your engine. Reducing the time you spend idling can reduce your fuel usage by up to 19 percent.
  • Unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight. Every 100 pounds of weight reduces fuel economy by one mile per gallon.
  • If you have a removable roof rack and you are not using it, take it off to improve your fuel economy by as much as 5 percent.
  • Keep your car well tuned.
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil.
  • Check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflation can reduce your fuel economy by up to 3 percent. If you don’t know the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, look on the door to the glove compartment or on the driver’s-side door pillar.
  • Never “warm up” your engine before driving; it isn’t necessary.
  • Park in the shade and/or leave windows slightly open in warm weather to reduce the need for air conditioning.
  • Use API certified “Energy Conserving” motor oil.
  • Do not use mid-grade or premium grade gasoline unless required for your specific vehicle.
  • Never overfill the tank. The excess just evaporates, which means you’re paying extra just to pollute the air.
  • Calculate your average gas mileage periodically. Declining fuel efficiency can be an early indicator of mechanical problems.
  • Carpool whenever possible. Many cities and states and Rideshare program to help commuters save money and lessen their environmental impact.
  • Combine errands to reduce your number of car trips each week.
  • If possible, consider working from home least part of the time, or once a week.
  • Consider moving closer to where you work, or finding a job closer to home.
  • Plan your vacations closer to home. Learn more about the recreational and cultural opportunities available in your area.
  • 2 comments

    1 Earl Wielsma { 03.07.12 at 11:58 am }

    Another reason not to fill-up while the gas-truck is filling the underground tank is, the incoming fuel stirs up all the dirt and debris in the underground tank which gets pumped right into your cars tank (including water).

    2 barbie burs { 03.05.12 at 5:22 pm }

    Yes, I have 2 other ways to improve MPG. (1)–never fill up the car when the gas-truck is filling the underground tanks–the fuel looses kick. (2)–Don’t fill up more than 2/3 in order to reduce weight that you have to carry around while driving. Thanks.

    Leave a Comment

    Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

    If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.