|I can't afford a super fuel-efficient Smart Car, |
so I'll have to think of something else
- Walk while in town. As soon as it started getting nice outside, I made the vow that if I'm staying in town to go to something, I'm going to walk there rather than drive. This works out well anyway because parking downtown at night is always a hassle, and plus I live in a pretty city and have a scenic walking route. The only times this vow backfires is when I need to pick up or drop off a heavy item, which rarely happens, and if it does, see #3 below.
- Public transit. This one is a no-brainer, and on particularly hot days, we get one of those lovely ozone advisories and the statewide bus system is free for all! If I don't feel like walking the whole way to where I'm going, or if where I'm going is just slightly too far to walk and arrive in a presentable (read: not sweaty and out of breath) fashion, I hop on the bus and cut the journey in half.
- Cluster errands. I have a friend who told me that she only goes to stores if she has to go to a meeting nearby. This not only cuts down on her shopping, but it saves gas since she can claim back the miles from work. I haven't gone that extreme, but I've been clustering my errands more and more and finding it saves me time and gas. If I have to go to Target, I always go before or after work since it's closer; I go to the grocery store across the street from work; if I have to go to the post office or UPS store, I do it on my way home from work. It's the one handy thing about having two jobs, the plethora of stores near work.
- Windows down while in town. I rhymed it so you'll remember. When you're on the highway, having the windows to your car open creates drag and actually makes you use more fuel, but when you're start/stop driving in town, having the windows open is much more fuel efficient than running the air conditioning. If your car is unbearably hot after being parked in the sun (note: park in the shade whenever possible), run the A/C for a little while with the back windows open to vent out the heat, then shut it off and bask in the breezes.
- Bike. This one is pretty obvious. I actually don't have a bike and I'm afraid to ride with traffic, so I'll skip this one, but you brave biking folk look so sleek and speedy when you zip by me. Just obey the rules of the road!
DailyWorth.com has a huge list of other fuel-savings tips on their comment board--see if there's anything else there that can work for you.