Ebony lives in Illinois, where gas is now averaging more than $4 a gallon for regular unleaded in some places. We can all sympathize. Gas prices have skyrocketed in 2012, and most of us are at a loss to explain why.
I admit that I have no idea what geo-political and economic forces are responsible for our current fuel cost woes. But I do know that it cost me $70 to fill my tank this weekend. And I do know that a lot of people are struggling to pay their regular bills, let alone pay to keep pricey gas in their tank.
Ebony wrote to me with a complaint about gas prices and I've decided to do what I can to help. I'm sending her $200, which should be enough to fill her tank for a couple weeks - maybe longer if she drives a hybrid or fuel efficient car. I didn't ask what model she drives! Regardless, a little help with the fuel bill should brighten her day.
If I didn't respond to your email this week, there are still steps you can take to save money on gas and keep some cash in your pocket.
- Make only necessary trips. Driving to work is necessary. Driving to Burger King for a snack is not.
- Plan ahead and consolidate trips. I can't say how many times I've made three or four trips out to different stores to do my weekend shopping. If I had planned ahead, I could have saved myself time and money by doing all of my shopping in one trip.
- Walk. This one's pretty simple. If you're physically able, skip the car and walk for trips within a mile or two of your home. Walking not only saves gas, it's healthy and good for you. Just be sure to use sidewalks to stay safe. If walking isn't your thing, you could also invest in a bicycle and use it for trips around town on nice days. You can usually find an adult bike for $20 or $30 at garage sales in the spring. It won't take long at all to recoup that investment.
- Change your air filter and inflate your tires. Dirty air filters reduce air flow into your engine, reducing combustion efficiency and causing you to use more fuel than you normally would. Keeping your tires at optimal pressure could save you up to 5% on your gas costs.
Hopefully you found today's post not only inspiring but also educational. I'll be back soon with more good news.