From an article in USA Today by James R. Healey, August 16, 2005:  
Gasoline costs are crimping everybody's budget. Some things you can do to save money:  

1. Shop for a lower price. Go to to check on the cheapest gas prices near you.  
2. Use lower octane. If your car is made to run on regular, you're wasting money buying higher-octane gas. Even if higher octane is recommended, your vehicle almost certainly will run without harm on lower-octane gas. But if your engine pings, knocks or rattles, it needs higher-octane fuel.  
Don't buy gas with ethanol. Ethanol, which is alcohol made from corn, can help reduce pollution. But ethanol contains only about two-thirds the energy of gasoline. Mixing ethanol with gas forces you to use more to go the same distance.  
4. Check your tires. Underinflated tires take more energy to turn, wasting fuel. Check them when they're cold using a dial-type gauge, not unreliable pencil-style gauges. The right inflation pressure is listed in the owner's manual or on a label on the driver's doorjamb. Do not use the pressure printed on the sidewall of the tire. That's how much the tire will safely hold and has no connection to how much should be in the tire for routine use.
5. Get a tune-up. Make sure you have changed spark plugs and filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Ignore devices or chemical formulas promising big gains in fuel economy. Most don't work.
6. Avoid short trips. An engine uses more fuel when cold than when warmed up. Combine errands so you'll be driving a warmed-up engine.  
7. Drive gently. Hard acceleration uses a lot of gas.  
8. Drive something else. Scooters are hip and give you 60 to 80 mpg depending on the model and how you ride. Regular motorcycles also use less fuel than cars and trucks do. Gas-electric hybrids combine fuel-sipping gas engines and electric motors to deliver 50 mpg or so, varying by model and use. Buy it this year and you get a $2,000 federal tax deduction.
9. Don't drive at all. See if it's possible to telecommute, walk, bicycle, car pool or take mass transit.
10. Do some homework. The federal government's gives mileage ratings for cars and light trucks and allows you to build a comparison chart. To calculate the estimated fuel cost for a trip, go to  by James R. Healey, USA TODAY  

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