High gas prices have us gasping for breath and they are not going to be going down anytime soon, if ever. It will affect everything that is transported that we consume. Families are scouring their budget for any way to cut expenses. Here are a few ideas to save on gas. Each one by themselves may not make a huge difference but if you try to incorporate as many as you can, you should see a noticeable difference. Every extra mile counts.
Dining Out Is A No No! All those years I was growing up, especially in my teenage years when peer pressure was abound, I realised my family almost never dined out. Sure, if it was a birthday or something but other that than… the rest of the time – we were as predictable as the sun rising in the east. When my brothers and I had the nerve to complain about wanting to eat at some fancy restaurant, we would normally get a long lecture. It usually had much to do with the sky (money don’t fall from the sky), trees (money don’t grow on trees), some family called Joneses (Don’t ever try to live up to the Joneses) or about rain (always save for a rainy day). Sure we were treated to street food once in a while, but huddled on an iron stool with a bowl of hot noodle while a stray cat rubbed itself against your feet was not what we had in mind.
Now that I’m a working adult, I finally get it. Eating out can really be expensive. It adds up and becomes quite a dent on either your bank account or credit card (depending on which source you are drawing your cash from). The situation is made worse by escalating food prices today. I now appreciate eating in, sometimes even insisting on it myself, as it helps me stick to my monthly budget. I confess that the first couple of years after I started working, I ate out with a vengeance! And that explains why I had no savings and a steadily increasing debit balance on my credit card. Lesson learnt!
Bargain Hunt When You Shop My mother made this fun – we were given a pair of scissors and were told to cut out coupons on products she had already shortlisted. I remember I was about 10 years old, and it was so exciting to be able to cut along the dotted lines as instructed. We were entrusted with those ‘gold tickets’ while mother shopped for her items and then we would hand the coupons over to the cashier at the checkout counter. My mother almost always shopped with a list.
By using printable coupons, it eliminates the hassle of having to browse and search through pages of newspapers. Now all you have to do is type the name or description of the coupon you want and it will be provided for you. Sounds easy, right?
Living Frugal This might seem like a foregone conclusion. However, I cannot stress enough that you need to embody this mantra in completeness – not just eating in and shopping during sales. My parents were happy driving around a 19-year old car, clothes were only bought when it could no longer be repaired, recycling was the main theme in my house – and I’m not talking about putting paper, plastic and glass in separate bins. To give you an example, recycling in my household meant turning old t-shirts into rags, first for inside the house then later, outside to the garage!
Consider buying a moped or scooter. Don’t laugh. If all you really need is something to buzz around town on, the average 50cc moped is capable to run at 100 miles per gallon, but in most cases only able to reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour. Some 50cc models are capable of even better fuel efficiency. As you go up the ladder the speed increases, but the fuel efficiency goes down.
Online printable coupons have become even more valuable due to high gas prices, rising food costs and the recent economy. The main advantage of using online coupons is to save money. We all work hard to earn our money so why pay full price on groceries and other good when you can use printable coupons online? All you need is a computer, internet access and a printer.
Harris Smith is a writer on personal finance education. Her article tackles the pros and cons of home equity line of credit. Largest provider of Debt Consolidation Solutions.