Another resource for frugal ideas and how to save on gas
I am always looking for new frugal ideas. Sometimes the ideas come from conversations with friends and neighbors or from students in one of my classes at the university. But it never hurts to expand your horizons and keep looking elsewhere. Surfing the web is a pretty efficient way of finding what you are looking for. Google keeps getting better all the time. In my latest web surfing venture, I found another resource that I want to share with you – The Dollar Stretcher (www.stretcher.com). The site is pretty expansive and covers a wide variety of topics on stretching your dollar. It targets all age groups but has a special section on baby boomers. The topics range from grocery savings to low budget cruises, including sections on credit/debit cards, coupons, travel and entertainment, and deals. I found out that the site was created in 1996 and has kept expanding ever since. Per information on their site, they receive over 250,000 visitors per week. Visitors to the site can contribute their money-saving ideas, and they can subscribe to an e-newsletter that is distributed periodically. There is an accompanying “community” website that houses a blog for online sharing of ideas as well.
On my first “cruise” of the Dollar Stretcher site, I came across an article on savvy steps to save on gas. The article quoted from findings and recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission. Here are a few tips it offered for us to “stretch” our gas dollars:
1. You can increase your gas mileage by 4 percent if you maintain your vehicle in accordance with recommendations provided in the owner’s manual for the vehicle. For example, use the proper octane level and change the oil and filters in accordance with the recommended schedule. Many of us change our oil every 3,000 miles, but some vehicles only need it every 7,500 miles.
2. You can add an extra 3 percent to your gas mileage by keeping the tires at the right inflation levels and maintaining proper wheel alignment
3. When you drive faster than 60 mph, your gas mileage decreases. Ronnie Kweller, spokesperson for the Alliance to Save Energy, was quoted as saying: “Every five miles over 60 mph is like paying another 20 cents per gallon for gas.”
4. Use smartphone applications to research the cheapest gas prices in your area. I recently downloaded the free application GasBuddy and found it to be very accurate. Without traveling too far, you can save five or 10 cents a gallon at each fill-up.
5. Take advantage of the loyalty programs offered by credit cards for “cash back” or “points” that can be later redeemed for cash. Some service stations will have a cheaper price if you pay by cash. Take the lower option and optimize your savings.
This was just a small sample of tips offered on the Dollar Stretcher website. If you have a favorite resource that you use for money saving ideas, send it in so we can share it with our Sun Day readers.
Keep those letters coming, folks. Send in your questions and ideas to: The Frugal Forum, P.O. Box 693, Huntley, IL 60142, or, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.