With gas averaging $3.60 a gallon these days, the obvious answer is to take public transportation as much as possible. Even if it takes a bit longer to get to where you need to go, it may be worth it to your bottom line. If you must drive, there are a few easy ways to ensure you are getting the most for your gas money.
Observe speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 miles per hour. As a general rule of thumb, it costs over $0.20 more per gallon for each 5 mph above 60 mph, so be mindful of the speedometer.
Empty your trunk. For every 100 pounds of excess weight in your trunk, your car loses 1-2 percent of fuel economy, which translates into $0.04 to $0.07 more per gallon.
Keep your tires filled. Bald tires are not only a driving hazard, but they burn more fuel. Keeping your tires properly inflated is an easy way to improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent, which translates into a savings of $0.12 per gallon.
Keep your car properly tuned. Keeping your car in good condition can significantly impact your gas mileage as a poorly tuned engine burns more gas. Be sure to check and replace the air filter regularly, which can improve fuel economy by up to 10% which equals approximately $0.36 per gallon.
What can people do to limit their food expenses?
Overall, food prices rose about 4 percent last year, but many of our regular food staples — like eggs, beef and certain fruits and vegetables — were up much more. In fact, the price of eggs jumped 24 percent about $1.75 a year ago to about $2.17 today. To keep your food expenditures as low as possible, simple things like eating in; comparison shopping between supermarkets and brands; using coupons; and even changing your diet can make a difference. Also, as much as possible, you may want to buy locally grown and in-season produce, usually available at produce stands and farmer's markets. Not only might the prices be a bit lower than in your supermarket, but they are also often negotiable. In New York City alone, there are nearly 50 farmer's markets selling produce, meats, baked goods, condiments and more — all produced within the region.