Gasoline in Los Angeles has recently broken past the $5 barrier and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna be going down again anytime soon. It’s important that we, the people who rely on our cars to get us to and from the gas station, cultivate money-saving habits when it comes to the pump. But besides the normal, common-sense things that all the other blogs yap on about like “check your tire pressure” and “don’t ride the break” and “don’t drive anywhere unless you have to,” I decided that practicallyserious.com should offer some non-traditional gas-saving advice that you can’t get anywhere else. Here are my 5 money-saving tips when it comes to pumping gasoline.
1. Don’t fill up your tank with leaded fuel if your car takes unleaded: The only thing worse than paying $5-a-gallon to fill your tank is paying $5-a-gallon on the wrong kind of fuel. And I’m not a car guy but I bet this mistake could end up costing you even MORE than you paid for the gas! Please, just put the kind of gas in that your car wants you to put in.
2. Don’t fill up your tank with diesel if your car takes regular gasoline: On the surface this rule may seem merely to be a cheap ‘filler’ rule (no pun intended) to help me get all the way to 5 rules, but it’s not. It’s much more than that. This rule is nothing like the Rule #1, and it is possibly more important. How so? Because very few gas stations even have “leaded” fuel as an option, but many stations legitimately offer diesel, increasing the chance that you’ll eventually decide to put it in your car. Just know this: if you make the decision to put diesel in your 1997 Jeep Wrangler it will end up costing you dearly—you’ll wish you just chose regular gas. So, like I said before: just put the kind of gas in that your car wants you to put in.
3. Always complain to all of your neighbors and friends that you are “running on fumes”: Even if you have a full tank of gas never admit this to anyone. It could cost you gas money. If people think you belong to the “1%” (the percentage of people in your city driving around with more than a half-full tank of gas at any given time) they will think you owe it to them to share your good fortune and drive them to the store and to other places. That’s money out of your pocket. So make sure you whine loud enough and often enough for everyone to here: man I don’t know how my car survived last weekend’s 80-mile trip to Vegas…on fumes!
4. Don’t recruit your children in your scheme to siphon gas from the neighbors: It may bolster your confidence and profits to enlist your three pre-teen children in your siphon-the-neighborhood’s-cars scheme, but if you inculcate your children with how to stick the rubber tube in and suck out the gas and get it into a bucket, your kids may eventually go mad with power and siphon your own car! Why would they do this? Because gas is expensive these days, and so is Playstation 3. So if you’re gonna do it, do yourself a favor and don’t pass your skills on to your kids.
5. Don’t buy gas if you don’t even own a car: If you don’t even have a car to put it in, don’t buy gasoline at all. What are you going to do with gallons of gasoline if you have nothing to use it on? Where would you even put it when you squirt it out of the pump? A bunch of buckets? Why would you even bother when you really don’t have to? It makes sense for people that own cars but if that’s not you then just don’t buy the stuff at all—you’ll definitely save plenty of cash.
I could come up with a dozen more money-saving rules but then everyone will save so much money it might offset the economy and send us all into our worst recession yet. If nobody has any jobs then they won’t even have enough money to buy a car, and so then only rule that would mean anything to them would be number 5.