Can We Save Money at the Pump and Impact Prices?

A man with a knife in his hand shouted, “The flux capacitor is…” His adoring followers responded: “Fluxing!” Cheers went up from the crowd.

He took the knife and began to sharpen the end of a stick into a fine point, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, be prepared to…”

“Die” They shout in hearty reply.

Finally the man put a marshmellow on the stick, put it over the campfire and said, “But we still have a hit record..”
He hears the response, “Yes, you do–the one hit wonders!”

He purposefully picks up a graham cracker, “You’re killing me Smalls. First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the mallow. When the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate and cover it with the other end. Then….”

The kids yell, “YOU SCARF!”

No, this is not a secret meeting of the deranged and demented, it’s our family sitting around the campfire shouting lines from our favorite movies (the above quotes are from Back to the Future, Princess Bride, That Thing You Do and The Sandlot.) It’s one of those family traditions that make forever memories. But many families’ camping days may be coming to an end this summer because of crazy gas prices and the cost of hauling a trailer to the mountains.

There are emails floating around that tell us 1) buying gas from only certain pro American stations (in order to boycott Middle Eastern oil prices) will bring down the price of gas and 2) ways to save money at the pump by only pumping gas in the morning, don’t buy if there’s a truck delivering gas there, buy the top half of the tank and pump the gas very s-l-o-w-ly.

You’re killing me Smalls!

I checked out these emails at http://www.snopes.com/ and guess what? They are a bunch of horsefeathers! Buying at certain stations will only cost you more money and they do not reduce the price of middle eastern oil–nada, zilch. Following all the rituals for buying your gas can not be proven, either. There are much easier (and painless) options for pruning back prices at the pump:

  • Prices – Go to sites such as http://www.gaspricewatch.com/ and find the cheapest price for gas both at home and enroute.
  • Pace Your Driving – Jackrabbit starts and constant speeding up and slowing down cost precious gas mileage miles. Instead, pace yourself.
  • Pushing It Up! — Will only speed up your fuel consumption. According to the Department of Energy (DOA) it takes a lot of energy for your vehicle to push the air out of the way as you speed down the road. Driving the speed limit of 65 versus 75 can save as much as 15% on fuel consumption because of the energy needed for higher speeds.
  • Puhleeze Give Me Some Air — At speeds of 40 mph or greater, it costs more to leave the windows open (due to drag) than it does to run the air. In a place like Palmdale, CA where the summer temps reach 110 degrees that’s good news!
  • Pitch the Junk! — Take your golf clubs, soccer chairs, Salvation Army book donations and all the other JUNK out of your TRUNK. Otherwise, you’re paying more to haul it.
  • Pressure and Maintain – Make sure you have the correct air pressure and maintain your vehicle with regular tuneups to save another 5%
  • Premium, Schmium — According to AAA, only 5% of vehicles in the US require the premium gas–it does not help your vehicle for you to pay more for it. Buy the regular stuff and have no worries.

By following these tips, you’ll be back on the road as Happy Campers!

Ellie Kay

America’s Family Financial Expert (R)

http://www.elliekay.com/

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