The Dollar Stretcher Blog
by Gary Foreman
Just finished an interesting week. I drove across the state for a conference. The conference was about online financial news. Many of the discussions included comments about how higher gas prices were causing big problems for consumers. (BTW, I agree that higher gas prices are causing problems for consumers. But, as you'll see in a moment, I'm a bit confused as to how consumers are reacting to the problem).
The first thing I noticed was that people were traveling a little slower on the highway. I couldn't ask them, but I suspect that they were trying to save a little gas. According to our government gas mileage decreases dramatically when you go faster than 60 mph. Until recently here in Florida the interstate moved along at about 80 mph. This trip it seemed to be closer to 75 mph. I usually try to stay with traffic, so I managed to save myself a few dollars this trip.
Next, I refilled my tank. While I'm pumping gas the fellow on the other side of the island comments "guess it'll be $4 the next time we fill up". I have no way of knowing whether that's true or not. Even the experts at the conference couldn't tell for sure. But, I am convinced that if we want to have low energy prices we'll need to address both the supply and the demand side of the issue. That means taking steps to conserve the energy we have. But, it also means using the resources we have to produce more energy. We may choose to buy an SUV to go to the mall. We can decide not to make our homes more energy efficient. We can vote not to drill for oil or build refineries. We can say no to windmills and nuclear plants near us. We can put all of hopes on tomorrow's technologies being clean and abundant. We have that right. But, let's not kid ourselves into thinking that those decisions don't have costs. They do.
Finally, a way that you can reduce your cost of gasoline. Just by buying and using a tire gauge monthly, you'll get about 10% better gas mileage (if you're the typical driver). An investment of less than $5 and ten minutes a month could save you many dollars. Along with driving slower, it's the easiest way to reduce your fuel bill. You'll find more on the subject here.
Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Gary Foreman is the editor of The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters. Not only does the site host thousands of articles on various ways to save money, but you'll also find a vibrant forum where people share their dollar stretching ideas. Comment on this entry here