Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saving $ at the Pump

Always on the look-out for ways to trim my spending, I was excited about the new deal with Kroger and Shell stations. For every $100 you spend at Kroger (as tracked by your Kroger Plus card), you earn 100 points, which translates into $.10 savings per gallon of gaseline at Shell stations. We've been able to save gas like this for awhile at Kroger gas stations.

What's great about this promotion is that:
A. There are a lot more Shell stations around Knoxville than Kroger gas stations.
B. You get an additional $.10 savings for every $100 you spend. Since I had spent over $400 since the last time I gassed up using my Kroger card, I saved $.40 a gallon at the pump today. That was worth $7.20! I probably won't see that level of savings every trip, but now none of my fuel points will expire and I'll be able to save a lot more money than before.

I'll take this opportunity to give a few more tips for the best way to save money at the pump--consume less:

1. Don't drive out of your way to save a few cents on gas. Build it into your driving so that getting gas is always on your way to something else.

2. Cluster your errands in one part of town to minimize driving. I try to have two or three stops to drive somewhere. This is especially important with small kids in tow who only have so much patience for shopping.

3. Along those lines, build in fun for kids in conjunction with your errands: stop at the closest park on the way home, go to the indoor play area at West Town Mall, or treat the pet store like an outing to the aquarium (it works for young kids!).

4. Limit your trips for groceries to once a week.

5. Slow down and don't tailgate. Hey we all get in a hurry, but all those sudden accelerations eat into your gas bill.

6. When possible, walk. Unfortunately, that's not a reality most of the time where we live, but I like going to Market Square when the farmer's market is there and we can walk to a number of stores.

7. Pick at least one day a week when you don't drive anywhere. We call it Pajama Day for obvious reasons and Devin loves it!

8. Consider investing in an electric or hybrid car. There are some great incentives right now, $3400 for select hybrids and up to $7500 for electric. Within five years, we're hoping to power an electric or hybrid car with solar panels. Harnessing the energy of the sun to get me from point A to point B--how cool is that?! Until then, do what you can to conserve gas and save money.

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