First Person: The Price of Gas Doesn't Affect My Family Budget

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First Person: The Price of Gas Doesn't Affect My Family Budget
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Rebecca riding a trike on a bike path in Davis, CA.

Ouch! The price of gas can be painful for those who must drive for business and/or family functions. As a workshop-presenting etiquette professional, I travel for business quite often and have felt the sting in the past. However, I cut my gas bill by two-thirds with a few simple changes. Follow along as I share my favorite gas saving tips.

Save on gas and get the wind in your hair by biking.

Other than my business trips out of town, I get around quite nicely on my three-wheel cycle. Fortunately, I live in a bicycle friendly environment filled with bike paths and lanes. The three wheels offer more than just stability--it is a heavy cycle. Always considering safety, I sit tall allowing those in vehicles to see me. Moreover, the width between the back two wheels allows for a large basket, which is perfect for my shopping trips. There's now no need to jump into the car for weekly grocery shopping anymore.

In total, I travel to socialize, shop, and for medical appointments. When I have jobs here in town, I pack my computer in my basket, hop on my cycle and I'm there in no time. I'm not only saving money on gas, but helping the environment and adding to my exercise routine.

Why ride when you can walk?

I'm fortunate to live in a small city with no hills and a central downtown center. Most everything is conveniently within walking distance. When not on my cycle, I can walk most everywhere in 30 minutes and across town in less than an hour. Therefore, when I have to go to the post office or attend a city event, I put on my walking shoes.

Use someone else's gas by riding public transportation.

As an avid fan of public transportation, most of the bus drivers around town know me well. Lucky for me, we have two bus systems in town. One is a city bus system -- better known as Unitrans -- and one is county run. Unitrans has stops all over town with all ending at our university, which is just steps from downtown. This makes for an extremely convenient mode of transportation. Better yet, there's no fee when returning home from the university. So, for a few quarters I can meet a client for coffee or attend a lecture at the university in town. For only one dollar, I often jump on the county bus to the airport--no need to pay for parking or the gas to get there.

When the need arises to travel out of town at a slower pace, I jump on the train. Luckily, our Amtrak depot is located serendipitously downtown. Taking the bus to the depot, I'm on the train within an hour. Traveling from my hometown of Davis, CA to Los Angeles is less than $90.

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