Thursday, March 6, 2008

51 Ways to Cut Fuel Costs

I don't have to tell you that fuel costs--both the fuel to run your car and the fuel to run your home--are out of control. Here's some ways to conserve this precious resource (and save you lots of money in the process):

  1. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  2. Use Mapquest ( to figure out where you're going before you leave the house instead of driving aimlessly to find your destination.
  3. Take all of the excess weight (golf clubs, etc) out of your car.

  4. Use Gas Buddy ( to find the lowest gas prices in your area.

  5. Do all of your errands at the same time instead of a few each day; group your errands for the most efficient use of your gas.

  6. Use public transportation four or five days a week and only use your car for the day you do all of your errands.

  7. Use the lowest octane gas your vehicle can tolerate.

  8. Fill up your tank during the coolest time of day.

  9. Don’t drive like a maniac. Reving the engine, racing, quick stops and starts—all are gas wasters.

  10. Drive a more fuel efficient car.

  11. Sell all of your cars and use public transportation (buses, cabs for errands) when necessary. Don’t laugh—some people could take a cab five days a week and it would still be cheaper than their lease payment, gas, and insurance.

  12. Keep your car in optimal condition (tuned up, filters changed, etc).

  13. Change your work scheduled to avoid driving during the busiest parts of the day.

  14. Drive smoothly—smooth starts, smooth stops instead of jamming on the brakes, a firm foot on the gas instead of “on the pedal, off the pedal, on the pedal” driving.

  15. Buy locally grown food (at the grocery store or farmer’s market); it’s cheaper than having your oranges driven in from Florida.

  16. Shop second hand; this reduces the cost for fuel used for packaging and transportation of new goods.

  17. Save a trip. Shop online, have items delivered to your home, call if you have questions instead of going to an office to have them answered, have your pizza delivered, etc.

  18. Hop a ride with a neighbor who is heading in to town.

  19. Use Traffic Land ( to see how traffic is in your metro area before leaving the house.

  20. Use Public Routes (http://www.publicroutes/) to plan your trip by public transportation.

  21. Grow a garden—save the huge cost of transporting your food from all corners of the country, the cost of commercial, petroleum-based pesticides, and the fuel costs for having your produce commercially prepared and packaged.

  22. Carpool. If you must drive, ride with others to save gas.

  23. Look into vanpooling, worker-driver buses, and other transit options if you work for a large company.

  24. Use Flex Car ( or other car sharing options.

  25. Challenge yourself to go one day, one week, even one month without using your car.

  26. Look at options for telecommuting, either for a few days a week or permanently.

  27. Quit your job. In two income families, the costs for transportation (not to mention, food, clothing and daycare) can quickly surpass the income the lowest wage earner is earning.

  28. Lower the heat in your home and put on a jacket/blanket.

  29. Trade in your gas-burning lawnmower for a push mower.

  30. Garage your car during the warmer months and drive a moped or motorcycle instead.

  31. Install an on-demand water heater—these save a considerable amount of fuel.

  32. Hang your clothes outside instead of using your gas-fired dryer.

  33. Look into fuel banks (

  34. Do your errands online—pay bills, banking, order library books, buy postage—many of your errands can be accomplished online and save you the gas you would otherwise use driving around town to do them.

  35. Communicate online instead of driving to your friend’s house. Use a chat/video conferencing program to accomplish this.

  36. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving—you’ll save gas and get healthy at the same time.

  37. Drink tap water—it takes lots of fuel to create the plastic bottles, fill, and transport bottled water.

  38. Wear natural clothing (cotton, wool), man-made fabrics are usually based on petroleum products.

  39. Read about other’s fuel reduction efforts ( and become inspired.

  40. Switch from high fuel hobbies (car racing, flying, boating) to low fuel hobbies (fishing, hiking, basketball).

  41. Think reusable instead of disposable—canvas shopping bags, containers instead of plastic baggies, books instead of magazines.

  42. Move closer to where you work or work closer to where you live in order to save transportation costs.

  43. Avoid situations where you will be idling for long: drive-thru bank or restaurant lines, crowded mall parking lots, roads that are under construction, etc.

  44. Let your kids walk, ride a bike, or ride the bus to school instead of driving them every day.

  45. Vacation closer to home to reduce transportation fuel costs.

  46. Use “old fashioned” methods of cooling your home (open the drapes on the cool side of the house then close them to keep out the mid-day sun, open windows in the morning and evening but close them during the heat of the day) instead of the air conditioning.

  47. Mail small gifts (ie: gift cards) instead of larger items that cost more in fuel to ship.

  48. Reduce electricity use (which costs fuel to generate).

  49. Pull out your gas fireplace and install a super efficient wood-burning stove
  50. Eat at home—imagine how much fuel goes into restaurants—transporting the food to the restaurant, fuel for the stoves and heating/AC system, employee’s transportation cost, etc.

  51. Just think--no driving means no tickets, no accidents, and no insurance claims.


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!