Gas container

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After housing and food, transportation is often the most expensive line item in a budget. With gas getting more and more expensive, anything you can do to cut back on the expense is going to help your budget and in the process, you’ll be helping the earth too! Here are a few ideas for reducing your monthly fuel expenditure:

Drive less often. It sounds obvious, but if you find yourself constantly in the car, think about what you can do to change that. Bundle your errands into one trip per week, organize a carpool to your kids’ activities, or re-think your travel plans for the holidays to reduce the amount of time you spend on the road. If you fill up your tank even one less time per month, you’ll still save $50 – $100 each month.

Stay off the road during peak hours. Spending time in traffic is a huge gas-guzzler, so if there’s any way for you to avoid commuter traffic, do it. Can you take some work calls from home in the morning and drive into the office after rush hour has passed?

Drive efficiently. Check the air pressure in your tires and drive the right speed limit If you’re doing a lot of highway driving, making sure that your tires are the right pressure and that you’re driving at a consistent speed on the highway will help you get the maximum fuel efficiency out of your vehicle. Plus, it’s a good safety measure!

Re-think your next car purchase. Instead of a big SUV or van, seriously consider whether you could get by with a more fuel-efficient sedan. Similarly, do the math and see whether the bigger expense of a hybrid vehicle might make sense for you when you calculate the monthly amount you’ll save on fuel. If you’re feeling really ambitious, think about whether you could get by with one fewer car for a few months (or even longer)!

Anne Perkins is a freelance writer focused on how to live large on a little living. She writes financial savings tips for QuickQuid, an online short-term loan lender providing quick loans to those in need. At her blog, AnnieIdea.com, you can get tips on how to take any idea and make it easier or cheaper to complete.