Saturday, February 09, 2013

19 Ways to Offset High Gas Prices

Gas prices have been steadily increasing for the past few years. The high gas prices have had an adverse effect on the economy and consumers. Many small businesses are suffering or have gone out of business while hhigh gas prices put further strain on American families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Oil production was increased worldwide and U.S. oil production is the highest it has been in the past eight years. However, the U.S. has relied on the least amount of foreign oil in the last 16 years. Gas prices are affected by the declining value of the dollar overseas, the threats of war or fuel shortages, natural disasters and increased demand.  Some experts predict the U.S. dollar will continue to decline in 2013.

In 2004, gas prices were $1.61, in 2006 $2.86, in 2007 $3.11, in 2008 gas prices reached $4.12. Gas prices are near or at $4.00 a gallon for regular gas.  I am perplexed as to why Americans aren’t complaining about gas prices.  When gas prices soared in 2008 Americans protested and voiced their concerns.  Gas prices affect everyone but no one seems to care anymore that gas prices are high.  According to the US Energy Information Administration gas prices consists of 4 factors: crude oil 53%, federal and state taxes 22%, refining costs and profits 14%, and distribution and marketing 11%.  When crude oil prices increase consumers see an increase at the gas pump. 

To permanently lower gas prices we must explore oil exploration and alternative oil sources. Brazil uses Ethanol and is no longer dependent on gas.  Brazil is the largest exporter of ethanol. Bioethanol reduces air pollution and reduces global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Several studies have shown that sugarcane based ethanol reduces greenhouse gases by 86 - 90%.

Gas prices will continue to spike through the summer as many people drive to visit their favorite vacation spots too offset the travel costs of flying.  Other alternatives to high gas prices are using public transportation, walking, carpooling, telecommuting and using shared car services such as Zipcar.  Here are 19 ways to offset high gas prices. 

  1. Do more than just complain take action.
  2. Lock in gas prices with or
  3. Demand lower gas prices from the government and oil companies.
  4. Comparison shop using websites such as
  5. Buy a prepaid gas card. When you purchase the pre-paid card if the prices rise, you pay the locked in price, if the prices fall, you pay the cheaper price.
  6. Compare the cost of taking public transportation each day versus driving each day to work and places you travel the most and select the cheapest option.  Research community buses, carpool, and shared rides .
  7. Consider walking a portion of the distance or walking the entire distance for a destination.
  8. Map out the quickest routes when driving and alternate routes that take a little longer.  Try to take the quickest routes more often when driving and combine trips in the same area on the same day
  9. Ditch the gas guzzler and buy a more fuel efficient car
  10. Buy regular gas unless otherwise noted in the manufacturers guide
  1. Drive the speed limit, drive with the windows down instead of using the air conditioner, buy gas early in the morning, drive 2-3 car lengths behind the car in front of you and keep tires properly inflated.
  2. Consider getting rid of your car. The cost of owning a car includes depreciation, sales tax, gas costs, interest (car loan), maintenance and repairs, and insurance.  Filling up your gas tank can be expensive and can cost up to $20,000 over a 5 year period assuming an average of 12,000 miles driven per year using regular gas or 26% of the sales price. 
  3. Rent.  Rent a car to go on long weekend road trips.  Even if you don’t own a car keep your driver’s license up to date in the event you need to drive a car.
  4. Resources.  You can use tools like to find services and attractions in a certain neighborhood that can be useful if you bike or walk.
  5. Move.  Consider moving to the city or a downtown area to eliminate the need for having a car.  Consider getting a job that is closer to a downtown area or train station.
  6. Bike.  Buy a bicycle and look for roads that have bike lanes to travel onto ensure you can ride your bike safely. You can also buy a motorbike or scooter to get around town.
  7. Carpool.  Consider joining a carpool to get to work or to take children to school events or other events.
  8. Taxi.  Take a taxi if you need to get somewhere and don’t want to bike or walk.
  9. Shopping. If you are walking consider getting a wheeled cart to carry groceries or other items. Also consider shopping online.

1 comment:

B and W Trailer Hitches said...

Another way is by traveling with your family.. i.e caravans or trailers. They are a good way of travelling while saving money on hotel fees.