We think there’s a reason cars have proven to be more popular in America instead of virtually anywhere else. They represent freedom. Freedom of movement, freedom of intention. Even if there are things you have to do, such as work or running errands, your car is like a little home away from home. Heck, if you get lost, you just turn on whatever GPS tracking solutions you like, and you’re back on your way before you know it.

But like all other forms of freedom, there’s a cost. In this case, it’s the hard fact that gas can be expensive, and right now the price is shifting upwards. We know, we’re not thrilled about it either. But necessity truly is the mother of invention. Over the last few days, we’ve been sharing some helpful suggestions to help you save money with gas consumption. Keep reading for our final series of tips to help keep things reasonable at the pump.

  • This tip won’t apply to you if you drive an automatic, but for those of you with a standard transmission, listen up. Remember that your lower gears have more power, are used for acceleration, and use more fuel. Whenever possible, upshift until you get to a steady speed, then keep the gear where it’s at.
  • Most people tend to be creatures of habit, especially behind the wheel. We like to take the same routes, and we often drive the same way. Think about the routes you take. Are there any places in particular where you slow down, or you tend to get stressed out? By analyzing where you drive and how you drive, you can spot problem areas and make changes for the better. Plus, when you change a driving route and stop driving on autopilot, you force the neural pathways in your brain to reroute, which strengthens brain functions.
  • The odds are pretty good that, on your daily drive to work or on errands, you pass scores of people also driving, but they are the only ones in the car. While it may not always be a practical solution, imagine how much pollution could be reduced and how much money and time could be saved if more people got involved in carpooling. If people in your office are coming in from the same general area as you are, consider starting up a carpool.
  • This tip requires a little bit of advanced planning. If you’re rolling up to a red light, try switching your gears to neutral until you come to a stop. Ordinarily, your vehicle will use gas trying to maintain a steady rate of deceleration. By putting it into neutral and gently tapping the brakes, you can save a little on fuel. Here’s the thing…don’t forget to shift into first gear when the light turns green. Accelerating in neutral won’t get you anywhere, it wastes gas, and makes you look a little goofy.
  • Here’s where it gets tricky. What if you’re following all these tips, but you’re not the only one driving your car and the fuel consumption still isn’t going down? If you share your car with someone else in the household, it might be time to talk with them about driving habits and routes. If they can get on the same page as you, then you’ll save even more in the long run. If they can’t, maybe consider a bike or public transportation for yourself?