First Person: I Cannot Cut My Gas Expenses

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Gas prices are on the rise ...again. Shocker. Why? Because the American people are stuck. Why do gas companies charge the prices that they do? Because they can. As a consumer, what can I do? I really wish that I could use less gas. I wish there was something that I could do in reaction to these stories about increasing gas prices. However, until I move, get a job where I can exclusively work from home, or buy a solar car that does not yet exist, I am a slave to gas prices. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Tricks and tips

Certainly, there are ways to increase your gas mileage and reduce overall gas usage. Inflated tires, less usage of air conditioning and combined trips are just a few tips that can lead to cost savings. Over the long term these strategies can certainly help ease the gas budget. Buying at a warehouse store instead of a typical gas station also helps. However, it just seems these are really not going to make a truly significant difference. If I am going to make significant cuts in gas expenditures, it may require some serious lifestyle changes that I am not necessarily in a position to make right now.

Commuting and errands

The bottom line is that I need to get to work. My job is approximately 25 miles from my house. How else am I going to get there? Since I live in Southern California, there are virtually no options when it comes to public transportation. On an average day, it takes me 30-45 minutes to travel from home to work by car. At one point, I did research how long it would take for me to get to work if I took the bus. Amazingly, it would require three busses, a lot of walking and about 2 1/2 hours of time. Hardly a viable solution.

A more fuel-efficient car

I would be more than happy to drive a more fuel-efficient car. My car gets solid gas mileage, but there are certainly vehicles on the road that get more impressive numbers. However, this is one of those situations where you use the old adage that suggests you have to spend money to make money. Do I have $30-40,000 to spend on a new gas-sipper so that I can save money? Not exactly. If I was able to easily replace my car with something more efficient, I probably wouldn't worry as much about current gas prices.

For now I am still stuck, and I am at the mercy of whatever gas prices are currently being charged.

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