Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days: Day 21 - Driving Miss Debbie

Do you consider yourself a good driver?  How about a frugal driver...a what?  Can you actually drive frugally?  I found out that you can.  We have this neat feature on our van that lets me see how many miles per gallon (MPG) I am getting at any moment.  It also keeps track of the average MPG over time.

You can tell this is an old picture.  No, not by the style of clothes or hair, but because she is actually looking at the gas pump and smiling! 

A few months ago the average MPG on our van was 23.4.  Not too shabby, but I wondered if we could do better.  I read, and my daughter confirmed from chemistry or math class, that the best gas mileage can be had at 45 miles per hour.  I checked it out on my van, and it seemed like it did do a little better than at 55 and especially at 60 or more.

Confession time - I am a bit of a lead foot.  I use my cruise control for a reason people!  It seems I'm always in a hurry and running a tiny bit behind.  We live out in the country, with a 15 minute drive to town.  I take a less traveled road to town, so I thought I'd test it out a bit.  When I had no one behind me that would be irritated by my leisurely pace, I drove at 45 mph.  Going up hill it used more, of course, and going down it would read up to 99 MPG, which confirmed what my mom had said once, that taking your foot off the gas and coasting downhill uses almost no gas...there is such a thing as a free ride!

I also started coasting in town as much as possible, like when I see a red light ahead, I take my foot off the gas and coast to the light.  Coasting uses very little gas. 

Whenever someone is behind me, I drive the speed limit of 55 though, and even at that, the gas mileage is better than at 60 MPG.  I've watched that average MPG over time go up, until now it is at 24.8 which is up 1.4 MPG.  That may not sound like much, but over a years time, at current gas prices, it will save us about $102.  Not too shabby.

 I realized a couple things too.  One, driving 10 mph slower only takes me 2.5 minutes longer to drive to town. With just a little more forethought, I can leave a little sooner, and not worry about being late. Two, it gives me a little bit more down time (driving in the country is relaxing).  I found myself noticing my surroundings more.  When I'm not barreling down the road, worried I'll be late, I can enjoy the fall colors, or the brilliant blue sky.  I'm also more relaxed.  Constant hurrying is tiring.  An added bonus is that I'm praying more during that time...eye's open of course!

If you are benefiting from this series, I’d love it if you would grab my button from the top of my sidebar.  I will be back with another money saving tip tomorrow.  I will keep up a running tally of my savings at the bottom of each new post. Just scroll down to the bottom to see.  Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll be back!

My tally so far:   (I am almost at my goal with 9 more posts to go!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment. They make my day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails