Ways to Save on Food and Fuel

Worried about food and gas prices? Soaring costs have many shoppers looking for ways to stretch their dollars.

BY: Cynthia Ross Cravit of 50Plus


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• Avoid aggressive driving. Jack-rabbit starts following by abrupt, screeching stops can cut both highway and city mileage. Such reckless driving also puts unnecessary wear and tear on your tires.

• When idling, shut the engine off, even if you expect to be waiting for even a short period.

• Be sure to buy the right grade of gasoline. Consult your owner’s manual: if your vehicle is designed to run on regular, filling the tank with more expensive mid-grade or premium fuel will not make your car run any better.

• Buy on price and convenience. Gasoline is a commodity product and one brand is as good as another.

• Pay attention to maintenance. Change oil, engine coolant, filters and spark plugs at intervals recommended in the owner’s manual. Keeping your engine tuned will reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 per cent. For greater fuel efficiency, tires should be maintained and properly inflated.

• Try to avoid the roof rack. For vacation driving, pack as much luggage as possible in the car. A loaded roof rack can cut fuel economy by as much as 5 per cent according to the (US) Department of Energy.

• Roll down the window. Heavy use of your air conditioner can increase gas consumption by 10 – 20 per cent.

• Switch to a vehicle that offers better gas mileage. Options include opting for a smaller car or a gas-electric hybrid vehicle.

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