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Saving Money on Gas is Not Rocket Science

Wow! Have you seen the gas prices lately? Every time I pass by my neighborhood Chevron I have to rub my eyes because I can’t believe what I’m seeing. As of the date that I write this article, the gas prices on unleaded gasoline are close to four dollars a gallon. Ouch! Is there anything we can do? Of course there is; we have a few tricks up our sleeve too, don’t we?

Saving money on gas is not that difficult. One of the first things you want to do is to not use your air conditioner if you don’t have to. Oftentimes, even during the winter months when it’s nice and cool outside, we love to sit in our car and cruise with the windows up listening to our favorite music while the AC is cranking. There’s no reason to have your air conditioner on when the outside temperature is 60 to 65°, correct? The latest Lady Gaga song sounds just as good with the windows rolled down.

Another thing you may try to help cut gas costs is to not go so fast. You may even save yourself a speeding ticket. It’s fun to get a nice little sports car and zip through town, but, this can lead to one of two things; wasting excessive gas and getting stopped by a city cop and handed a nice little ticket. On long trips, you may also want to set your cruise control to the maximum speed limit (if you are know as a “lead-foot”), of course, if you want, so that you can avoid pressing down on the accelerator so much and just have it automatically done for you. This will save you money in the long run.

Pretty much all major companies have a gas card. If you can get a gas card from Shell, Chevron, etc., you will usually save anywhere between 3 to 5% on your purchases. This adds up big time throughout the year.

Also, if you put your car in idle for an extended time as you’re waiting for somebody, you should know that you’re wasting excessive gasoline. If you need to wait for somebody, I recommend you get out of the car. If it’s a nice day just roll your windows down.

Here’s another tip; if you have a bicycle, why not use it to run little errands instead of getting in your car and wasting another $2-$3 of gas on every trip? All of these tips and taken together can help you save quite a bit of money throughout the year.

Use a Publix Weekly Circular and Make a Grocery Shopping List Even Grandma Would be Proud Of

When I was a kid, every time I would visit my grandma’s house, it seems she always had so many items in her pantry and her refrigerator was stocked full of goodies. Then, I would come home and look at our refrigerator, and it almost looked bare in comparison; it wasn’t that my parents didn’t take care of us or buy lots of stuff, it’s just that it seemed they were amateurs compared to the professional grandmother who for years had taken care of feeding two families.

Knowing how to make a grocery shopping list comes from experience. You have to pretty much learn the ropes yourself by following a few guides here and there and applying common sense tips through trial and error.  You come up with your own plan in the end and it can save you tons of money, energy, and time.

Begin By Looking at the Publix Weekly Circular

One of the first things I do what I’m making my grocery shopping list  I is look at the Publix weekly ads; I’ve discussed this time and time again, and it works. However, the purpose of this article is not about the weekly ads; it’s about the items you add after you add the buy one get one free offers to your shopping list.

It’s a wise choice to shop for your household needs two weeks at a time; for one, it’s can save you money on gas, and it will also force you to make a plan of eating for your family for two weeks. If you construct your shopping list the right way you will avoid having to go back to Publix or any other supermarket during the week.

The first thing I like to do when assembling a list is look inside my refrigerator. While I’m there, I’m checking for things such as eggs, milk, margarine, cheeses, cold cuts, and a few other items such as condiments, etc. I am also looking for vegetables and fruits keeping in mind that I’m not going to buy more than I can handle within the following two weeks. Since I have this down to a science through experience, I buy only what I need to get us through those two weeks. Sure, every now and then when it comes to the 12th day of our 14 day cycle we may find ourselves without a couple of apples that we could’ve eaten or a few vegetables, or maybe the milk is a little low. As a family, we just do with what we have, and make adjustments during the next shopping cycle. The only exception I would make here is necessary foods for babies and toddlers but those days are behind me.

I always plan ahead of time what I’m going to cook for the family for the two weeks as it relates to the my shopping list. This means I’ll know exactly what ingredients to buy, and I take inventory. It doesn’t take that long; maybe 10 to 15 min., and I know exactly what I need to get to fulfill my plan.

Next, I look in my pantry to see exactly what I need to get. This usually takes me another 10 min. or so and it helps me round out my shopping list. Lastly, I ask my family members if there are any special treats they want me to buy and I limit this to one per person. This will take the focus off trying to be so frugal and in the end everybody’s happy. When I visit the grocery store I absolutely stick to this list. Every long now and then, of course, I will buy something that’s not on the list that I may have forgotten. Either way, by being consistent and sticking to the list I am certain that I’m able to shave off another 2000 $3000 a year as compared to people who don’t use a similar method.