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Frugal motoring

January 16th, 2008 at 05:10 pm

About the only thing we can do about high gas prices is to combine trips out the wazoo. I did that tonight - dropped my daughter off at swim practice, bought dog food, got gassed, went to get my hair cut but it closed early tonight, had a $1.27 (with tax) salad at Wendy's, got the car inspected, bought some motor oil and windshield fluid cheap at the grand opening of a new conveniently located auto parts store, then went back to swimming and walked until my daughter was done. The only downside is I bought a new brand of dog food that was cheaper and highly recommended by the store, but the dog won't eat it! And of course it's a 40 pound bag. I've been putting treats in it, but so far she has been eating around the food!

Back to topic, I have also been driving like an old man. I call it the "poor man's hybrid". The key is to use the brakes as little as possible and to plan ahead as far as possible. For instance, as soon as I see a light turn red, I lift off the gas and coast up to the light, unless there is someone right behind me. It is actually sort of a fun game, seeing just how much I can optimize. And as a benefit, I give myself plenty of room in front to avoid hard braking at all costs. Of course this style of driving is much easier and more effective with a manual transmission car where you get engine braking. When I drive an automatic transmission car, I can just feel the gas and brake pads being wasted.

11 Responses to “Frugal motoring”

  1. luxliving Says:

    Oh Ralph I do the same thing...every time I put on my brakes, I feel like "There I go SPENDING my brakes again!"

    Maybe when you get a second bag of the dog's normal food you could mix it in a 3-1 ratio?

  2. Ralph Says:

    Thanks, luxliving, that's a good idea. Here I thought the poor thing might like a change after six years of the same food! Of course it MAY have been a little wiser to buy a small bag first!

    I tell people all the time that I think hybrids are a waste - just buy a Corolla or equivalent and drive it frugally and forego all the possible high maintenance costs.

  3. denisentexas Says:

    "got gassed" LOL Ralph! That must have been fun!

  4. Ralph Says:

    Not really Denise - it cost me $35!!

  5. scfr Says:

    Do you have any of the old food left? Try mixing the 2 types together, adding more of the new food gradually until she (and her stomach) gets used to it.

    I know how you feel about the driving. I ran my saved-up errands yesterday and made 6 stops. Also, DH & I have figured out which roads are less likely to be travelled by pickup-truck driving gunners, so we can drive at our gas-saving pace without risking our lives. We notice lots of grey hair on the routes we take!

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Have you checked to see if you could take the dogfood back to the store?

  7. boomeyers Says:

    It is great that you are making a game out of saving money-making it fun and challenging! As for the dog food, well we live and learn ! Smile

  8. Carolina Bound Says:

    Or, if your dog won't eat the food even when it's mixed in with something else, you can donate it to a pet shelter. No money in it, but a little goodwill!

  9. Ralph Says:

    Well, I think she is starting to eat the food. It was funny how she just stared at me when she first sniffed it!

  10. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Can make your own windshield fluid. Fill the old jug with water, add a few drops detergent (same that you use to wash car--personally I just use dish detergent). Add 1/4-1/2 cup rubbing alcohol if you like. Use this mix only in non-freezing weather, though alcohol will lower the freezing temp of the mix. If you live in a very mild winter area, the mix is okay for winter.

  11. ralph Says:

    I've always thought of making my own, but these were on sale pretty cheap. Still, I realize that blue water has a huge profit margin - maybe next time! I usually dilute it 50-50 in the summer.

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