Extreme Couponing Tip: Saving on Automobile Costs

Driving these days can be expensive, so here are some tips to help lower costs!

  • Make sure your tires are always filled to their optimal pressure. Having properly inflated tires saves more than 3% on gas mileage.
  • Unload your purchases and extras from your vehicle every time you get home. Any extra weight contributes to lower MPG (miles per gallon).
  • Plan out your shopping trips ahead of time. Map the route you can take that will be the fastest and most fuel efficient.
  • Never pay full price for oil changes! Keep a look out for discount coupons on automotive sites, weekly mailers, Catalinas, and the Valpak envelopes of coupons (the blue envelope that comes in the mail about every month).
  • Sick of the morning commute? Try out public transportation or carpooling! Not only will you save money in gas, you’ll help lower pollution. Pluses include getting to accomplish extra tasks since you don’t have to concentrate on driving– pick up a book, do work on your phone or computer, eat a snack, or talk on the phone or to your neighbor.
  • Inquire with your local store if they have fuel reward points. Many grocery stores offer discounts on gas prices at participating gas stations when you purchase a certain dollar amount.
  • When you can, bike or walk to nearby locations. This is also good exercise!
  • Avoid heavy traffic times when possible. Looking ahead at normal traffic patterns (like on Google Maps, under the Traffic feature) can help you gauge current traffic conditions or see the standard for a certain day and time of the week.
  • Accelerate and brake slowly. Sudden stops and starts lower gas mileage and are hard on brakes. Going down an incline? Coasting or simply taking your foot off the pedal to help slow down can be a good alternative to always braking. If you drive a manual, simply push in the clutch and take your foot off the gas pedal.
  • Don’t idle your engine. If you’re waiting for the kids to get out of school or at a drive thru window, turn off your car. This saves gas and is better for the environment. A idling engine gets zero miles a gallon.
    *According to the Consumer Energy Center, more than ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.  Follow the link to learn more about the minimal effect frequent restarting of engines have on auto components.