Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gas Savings

Wonder how we're doing our cost savings based on where we are biking instead of driving?

1. I use MapMyRide to calculate the number of miles we would DRIVE if we were taking the car to the location. Even though we might use alternative, safer, perhaps longer routes for biking we want to know the savings based on how we would drive to the location. Please note, I kinda hate MapMyRide as I don't think it's exactly user friendly, but I don't know of a better option. I hope to kind of build up a database of places we travel frequently via bike so that I don't have to use the website.

2. I use another app, GasBuddy, (or online) to determine the price of gas based on where we normally fill up specifically for the day we rode our bikes instead of drove.

3. I have put together a spreadsheet (shut up, I'm an engineer!) with two different pages - one for savings based on driving the Honda Element and one for driving the Toyota Prius. This makes a huge difference because the Element gets about 20 mpg and the Prius is about 40 mpg. We generally drive the Prius everywhere so any time it's the two of us riding our bikes or just Dave riding his bike, we do the calculations based on the Prius. Now, when I start riding to work, because I drive the Element, the calculations will be based on that car. Here's how the calculation works:

(Miles X Cost of Gas) / Miles Per Gallon = Savings

At the end of the month I plan on adding up both spreadsheets and then keeping a master spreadsheet with these total savings to see how much I can save in a year.  It would be nice if it was actual money and we could reinvest it back into savings for a new car or something else.

What are ways that you are saving money as the gas prices hit new highs?  What are some of your general savings tips?  What are you willing to splurge on?  Do you make spreadsheets for things?


Bill Fine said...

I use Gas Buddy too, both as a way to find the cheapest gas, and also to provide updates in my local area....

As far as spreadsheets are concerned, I use them all the time. Even though I'm 7 years into my 2nd career as a middle school Social Studies teacher, my previous professional life was spent in finance and accounting, so I'm a big fan of spreadsheets. I use them for tracking our cars' MPG, my daily/monthly/annual running mileage.....all kinds of things.

Betsy said...

I am a spreadsheet nerd too. I was just complaining to Neil about losing my speadsheet that tracked all of my training miles in 2010 and 2011 when I left my lost job :(

JFord said...

I love Excel and pie charts and graphs!

Melissa C said...

I always hated spreadsheets. I must be a freak of engineering nature. I am in awe of what you are doing.

I do make them for tax season and for Christmas presents, to try to make sure everyone gets equal value gifts (and for the kids that they open the same # of packages)

I splurge on jeans and running shoes. I hate buying chicken when it isn't on sale.

Costco is ALWAYS cheaper here for gas, so that is where I go. You have to go way out to LaGrange to get anything cheaper, and then you have blown your savings driving there.