But first, the good news. After last filling up the tank of my Buick Century on April 18, I was able to hold out for almost three weeks before making another trip to the pump this morning. If I wasn't taking my kids to swimming lessons all the way out in East Meadow, I could have easily made it to this weekend.
And now for the bad news. When I last filled up my car with gasoline, the price at the local Amoco station was 3.60 per gallon (incidentally, I dispense with the 9/10ths of a cent crap and just round it off to the nearest penny!). Today it had risen to 3.92 per gallon. If I had filled up the tank this past weekend, when the price was 3.86 per gallon, I could have saved six cents per gallon. In other words, with gasoline prices continuing their steady march upwards, the longer I hold out going to the gas station, the more I end up paying.
In response to this dilemma, I have decided to try a new tactic. I will try to limit myself to using a quarter tank per week, and every week buy $10 worth of gasoline. That way, I will still be keeping my fuel costs low, but I won't be leaving myself vulnerable to sharp price increases. And of course, if gasoline prices should dip once in a while, I will be able to get a little more bang for the buck. I see it as working somewhat like the dollar cost averaging strategy that some stock investors employ.
I have also devised some other tactics to reduce fuel consumption. Idling at stop lights waiting for the light to turn green means that a vehicle is burning fuel while not going anywhere. I have discovered alternate routes to avoid some red lights at intersections. If I drive to stores and shopping malls, I park further away rather than closer. My house is close to an intersection, and I try to time when I start the car after the light has been red about thirty seconds to reduce idling time when I have to go that way. While these tactics will only save me a few drops of gasoline here and there, I figure every little bit helps.