Pinching The Pump

Amy Dalness
4 min read
Total sale: $0. Money saved: $40. Sticking it to the man: You get the idea.
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Alright, all you car lovin’ New Mexicans. I have two words for you: three bucks. The price of gas has hit $3 in some areas of the state and some experts say it’s only going to get more expensive during the summer.

This year for our Summer Guide, we gave tribute to one of the most fuel efficient modes of transportation the world has ever seen—the bicycle. It’s quick, it’s fun and it’s totally fuel-free! If you want to avoid paying at the pump, taking your two-wheel friend to work or the grocery store could just be what your retirement plan was hoping for. But even we know that taking a bike everywhere is not possible (or probable) for everyone, everyday for everything. From the Westside to Barelas to the Northeast Heights, Albuquerque is a big town with big ambitions and lots of busy people. With that said—get out and ride your bike when you can (Bike to Work Day is a good place to start). When you can’t, there’re a few things you can do to pinch some pennies out of your tank.

First, you need gas to run your car, duh! But why not shop around for the best price like you may for a new laptop or car insurance. There are a few websites that can help you find the cheapest gas in your hometown to save a few Washingtons. and are two local sites with frequently updated info. If you’re planning an out-of-state trip, check to find out which cities have the cheapest prices. If you’re running on empty and a cheap pump is no where near, pour in a few gallons to get where you need to be and fill up when you can get the best price.

You don’t have the share the burden of fueling up your four-wheeled beauty alone—carpooling isn’t just for soccer moms and LANL employees. Get with some people from work and try to figure out a carpool as many days a week as possible. Less gas, less cars on the road, more quality time with Ken from accounting. There are also a number of websites that can help you find a ride, like Carpool New Mexico, eRideshare, Carpool World and the City of Albuquerque’s Carpool Now site.

Now you have the cheapest gas in town powering your ride
and you’ve finally agreed to drive in the pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sweet. I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of money or gas you have saved—but it’s something, and something is always good. At this point, the trick is driving economically to keep from burning extra bucks. Some tips we all may have heard before include not running your air conditioner, making gradual starts and stops and keeping your car well tuned to reduce engine friction. Those are some, and here are 45 more tips to save on gas like not speeding, avoiding traffic jams and reducing air friction by removing luggage racks and excess junk in the trunk. Check ’em out. Sometimes, you just need see it in writing to make it stick.

There is still
another way to get around town cheaply and efficiently—ABQ Ride. Our lovely pubic bus system is not perfect, but the City is trying and it is definitely a viable form of transportation. And it’s cheap. And there is wireless Internet on the Rapid Ride. In fact, there is wifi all over this city. w00t! If you ride the bus and use free, public Internet—think of all the money you can save on gas and internet bills. With my savings, I’m thinking spa treatment … or retirement fund … or some clipless pedals for my sweet ride.
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