Saturday, May 18, 2024

Fuel Economy

Most of us have been noticing with concern the rising fuel prices lately. Sadly, not only will the rising fuel costs affect our own cost of driving, but it always increases the costs of everything else that has to be transported from one location to another.

So, it can really put a crimp in our budgets. I thought this was a good time to re-post some fuel economy tips to help a bit.

I know many of us would love to be able to replace our vehicles with hybrids or possibly even electric cars that are less expensive to operate.  But let’s face it – taking on a new car payment is daunting to most of us. But there are several affordable things we can do to get the optimal gas mileage from our vehicles.

1) Make sure the tires are properly inflated. According to, gas mileage can increase by 3.3% with properly inflated tires. In addition, properly inflated tires are safer and will last longer, thus saving you more money.  Other sources indicate that you should follow the vehicle’s owner’s handbook for the proper inflation. Sometimes the sticker on the door will also tell you what that should be.

2) Keep your vehicle properly aligned.  When a vehicle pulls to one side, not only does it cause early wear on the tires, but it also creates more drag on the engine, thus using more fuel.

3) Clear out the trunk of unnecessary weight. Additional weight in the vehicle will cause more fuel consumption.

4) Remove roof racks that are not used regularly. Even an empty bicycle/cargo/ski rack will take away from the aerodynamics of the vehicle and increase fuel consumption.

5) Keep your car clean and waxed. A smooth surface offers less wind resistance and will aid in fuel economy.

6) Don’t drive aggressively!  Rapid speeding up and braking can cost you up to 33% increase in fuel consumption on the highway and up to 5% increase in town!

7) Routine vehicle maintenance:   Change your oil according to your vehicle manufacturer’s service schedule and use the correct grade of oil. This can improve gas mileage by up to 2%.  Additional routine maintenance helps as well, making sure all filters are replaced regularly.

8) This one is challenging is Florida, but try to avoid purchasing gas during the heat of the day! Gas is more dense (more concentrated) when it is cooler, so you’ll get more for your money.

9) Don’t top off the tank!  Excess gas evaporates so when the pump clicks off, remove the nozzle. However, before removing the nozzle, twist it slightly so it is upside down and tap it a few times. This will allow whatever gas is still in there to go into your tank instead of the person behind you. Plus it keeps it from running down the side of your car.

10) Make sure the gas cap is tightened. A loose gas cap will cause gas to evaporate. And, in many vehicles, it will cause your “check engine” light to come on, which might cost unnecessary repairs. If you lose your gas cap, it’s suggested that you purchase a new one from the manufacturer to ensure a proper fit.

11) Last but not least, consider a gas rebate card. Many companies offer cash rebates on gas purchases. However, be sure the price at the pump will still make it a better deal. If that oil company has far higher prices than another station nearby, it may not be your best option.

$10 off $50 Gas Card! – Apparently in the Publix Ad that was included in the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel on March 9, 2011 is a coupon for $10 off the purchase of a $50 Gas gift card. I often see these in the sales flyers in the stores as well.  I believe you have to purchase $25 at Publix, excluding the gas card. Be sure to read the fine print for details and exclusions. But, if this is good for a gas station you normally use, that’s a 20% savings on gas!

Walmart Deals – Head on over to Money Saving Mom for the great deals to be found at Walmart right now.

80% off at – Crazy Coupon Mommy has the scoop on this fantastic offer – just $2 for a $25 gift card! *Be sure to read the fine print.*

New club for pet owners! Publix has started a new Pet Club. Register now to receive tips, valuable coupons and advance notice of special events.  And, if you register before March 31, 2011, you will be entered into a sweepstakes to win free food for you and your pet. You can find all the details and/or registerhere.  And don’t forget they have other clubs and programs that can save you money. You can find all of them here.

PUBLIX SHOPPERS – head on over to Stocking Spree to sign up for a Publix coupon booklet that will be good for the month of April. Apparently there is a limited number available so don’t delay!  **If you find this deal is no longer available, please let me know. It appears to still be accepting requests.

For local calendar events:

For Delray Beach, click here.

For Boynton Beach, click here.

For Boca Raton, click here.

Now, on to the deals this week!

Know the Lingo BOGO – Buy one, get one free SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers) Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Whole Foods:  Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.

Publix Greenwise:  Click here for their weekly ads.

Many thanks to for their great tips on shopping at Publix!

For Publix “Super Deals” for 3/10-3/16/2011, please click here.

For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups for 3/10-3/16/11, please clickhere.

For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.

Renita’s Favorite Money-Saving Sites E-Book now available!

I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book! For more information, please clickhere.

Kindle book now available!

My book is now available for the Kindle! Please click here!

Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at

“Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals)  if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.”

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