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Eight Great Ways to Combat High Gas Prices

1. If the car isn't moving, but the engine's running, you're getting 0 miles per gallon. Make all adjustments to mirrors, seat belts, hair, children - whatever - before starting up.

2. Turn off the engine whenever you'll be sitting for 60 seconds or more, and you'll save on gas.

3. Properly inflated tires will save money on fuel costs. Buy a decent tire gauge and use it. Also, make sure your tires are properly balanced - another gas-saver.

4. Don't use gasoline with a higher octane rating than is recommended in your car's owner's manual. "Higher octane = better performance" is nothing but a marketing ploy.

5. Replace your own air filter. It's incredibly cheap and easy, and can improve your gas mileage.

6. A tune-up, when needed, can cut your fuel costs as much as 20%. The trouble is, today's cars don't need the old fashioned kind of tune-up (points, plugs, condensers, idle adjustments) that we gladly paid for every 15,000 to 25,000 miles in the good old days. Read the recommendations in your owner's manual. You may be pleasantly surprised.

7. Sun shades, the kind you put in the windshield of your car, can do more than help keep the car cooler - they can also keep the dashboard and upholstery in better shape, and save fuel on hot days by reducing the load on your air conditioner.

8. Write or call your elected officials. You could demand a moratorium on gas taxes and/or you could ask them to let you know what steps they can take to lower the price of gas. You might also want to mention that their support of renewable energy sources (e.g. solar energy) could prevent this costly problem that has us at the mercy of oil producers and distributors. If you go to www.firstgov.gov, it'll be easy to contact them.

Note: Many of these money saving tips are from our book, Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life, which we wrote with Gerri Detweiler. You'll find lots of other money saving suggestions there, plus our best ideas for getting out of debt, living better on less, and getting the most out of your time.

-- Marc Eisenson & Nancy Castleman

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