Good grief, those gas prices! With fuel costs on the rise across the United States, in addition to the impact of inflation and supply shortages on automotive supplies and services, driving is becoming an increasingly expensive activity. Anyone who buys gas is surely feeling the pain at the pump, and it's not clear if or when gas prices will start to come down.
So, in the meantime, it's best to have a plan for how to use as little gas as possible. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and now is the time to consider even some possibly mischievous alternatives to driving. Here are a few options.
Get Someone Else to Drive
This particular method should be at the very heart of your cost-saving plan. Why drive if you can convince some other schmuck to drive for you?
Does your friend want to hang out? Say, "Hey, old pal, rather than go to our normal place to watch the game, why don't you come over here? I'll make chicken wings." ... or something like that. Do your parents want to see the grandkids? Well, they can always stop by, rather than getting grandkid delivery. After all, you're a busy parent! Does your sibling need a ride from the airport? Tell them about Uber, Lyft, and your traditional taxi services. They're gonna love it!
You could even try and trick your spouse or significant other into driving more often. This works especially well for couples who are dating and not living together, since you probably don't share a car. It's also a great way to test their commitment to the relationship!
For a particularly dastardly escape from a gas-guzzling drive, promise the driver some intangible, perhaps even not particularly valuable kind of labor. As an example, "If you drive this time, I promise to help you clean out your fridge." Think about it: Would you rather clean out a fridge or pay a bajillion dollars at the pump? Easy choice, right?
Change Your Plans
Remember that road trip you planned to go see your Aunt Sue in Kalamazoo? Not looking so fun now, is it? Rather than bleed money all across the continental United States, consider a flight, or a train, or even just calling poor Aunt Sue on the old telephone to tell her that you're not going to make it this summer, but she's welcome to come for Thanksgiving. Aunt Sue will forgive you.
What about your job? Are you able to work remotely? Maybe you turned down this option before, but now, with your wallet draining like an unplugged sink every time you stop at the station, you've got to at least consider it, assuming it's on the table. Remote work will save you a ton on gas, and it might even help your sanity, too, assuming you don't care for traffic.
How about going to the grocery store three times a week? It was never a good idea, was it? Well, now, with the sheer abominable cost of driving, it makes more sense than ever to pare those three trips down to one. Pro-tip: Buy plenty of snacks. No one opens the fridge in between meals and thinks to themselves, "Gee, I think I'll make myself a pot roast real quick." If you admit during your regular grocery trip that you are going to want snacks and just go ahead and buy them, that will save you time and gas by avoiding a later trip.
Don't Be Afraid to Say No
Not every event and function you're invited to would fall apart without your presence (obviously you should make it to your own birthday party, your daughter's wedding and your kid's first tee ball game). When someone asks you to do something, and you're kind of on the fence about it, remember that you now have a very good reason not to go: Driving all the way over there requires gas, and gas costs a lot of money right now.
You are well within your rights to say, "No thanks, I'd rather stay home and watch TV tonight." If the person who invited you wants to know why you've declined their invitation, you can make up some crazy excuse ("I have some leftover Arby's and I have to eat it before it goes bad!"), or you can just tell the truth: "My dear friend, my brother-in-law, my dad, my mom, my brother or sister, I am sorry. I cannot join you at the bowling alley, restaurant, movie theater, baseball game, or lake house today. Gas is simply too expensive, and whatever experience I might have with you, just isn't worth the cost. I'm sorry. I'd rather stay home than spend that extra money to come see you."
...on second thought, maybe don't tell the truth, it sounds kinda bad. Just ask for a raincheck and save your paycheck from the pump.