Gas prices on the mind

Gas prices on the mind

Champaign-Urbana blog Smile Politely asked its readers (politely) what they're doing now that gas is in the $3.70 per gallon range.

They've gotten some feedback, which tells me gas prices are probably on at least a few minds.

Smile Politely brings up a good point - the best way to conserve gas is to find an alternate mode of transportation. I'm all about walking, biking and even rollerblading places I need to go.

But as a reporter who covers regional news and commutes about 30 miles each day to work, that's not a daily option for me. I am making some changes, though.

For example, this weekend, I made the largest purchase of my life: a gently used Chevy Malibu with a four-cylinder engine. Its nifty in-radio computer display tells me it averaged 34.2 miles per gallon this morning on my way to work. That's awesome, especially after driving a 15-year-old car since high school.

Probably the reason I got such great mileage is that I drive a little slowly. As in, so slowly that when my coworkers pass me on the highway, I turn my head, hoping they won't notice it's me. One referred to me as "The youngest granny in the state."

My dad also promised to teach me how to check my tire pressure to make sure that's not dragging my miles per gallon down. And I try to avoid idling for long periods of time.

What do you to conserve gas? Do you have any tips I need to try? Have gas prices changed your lifestyle at all?

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