Sunday’s handy self-help post really inspired me to crank out another…

With gas approaching 4 bucks a gallon, I’m looking for ways to squeeze more miles out of each polluting one of them. It’s easy really:

1. Don’t drag race unless you’re a man dressed as a woman – Hitting the pedal and quickly accelerating might make you feel like Milton Berle (in more ways than one…), but it’s damn wasteful on petrol. Edmunds reports this alone can save you 30% of your precious fuel.

2. Sammy can’t drive 55, but you can – The closer you drive to 55, the better, with a potential 14% savings.

3. Take a Cruise – Using cruise control can save 14%.

Now you can’t add these all up and expect 58% savings because your mix of driving will determine overall savings, but employing these tips is working for me in the real world… Well, my world. Prior to last week, the long term mileage calculated over tens of thousands of miles on my trip computer was 19.1mpg. Not bad for a 1996 Volvo with 227,000 miles, right? Well, for the last tank of gas with a kindler, gentler driver, the score reads 24.1mpg, a 26.2% improvement! Over my 20,000 annual miles at $4/gal., the savings is North of $850! When I calculated mileage the old fashioned way, it was even better:

Those are the numbers for a car that had an EPA sticker stating City 17 / Highway 24 / Average 19mpg when it was new…

4. Bonus tip – Get the body out of your trunk – Seriously, why am I carrying 2 gallons (14lb) of water and golf clubs I use twice a year?