This is one of my favorite frugal fixes.
Having one car for almost 5 years has taught us that one way to save lots of money is: Drive less.
Every time I hop in the car it costs money.
Not just gas money.
The car also enables me to spend quicker. I can hop from place to place with ease.
But on my bicycle or foot? Harder to spend money and easier to savor experiences.
When I walk or bike places it takes more physical effort, so I stay in each place longer and typically go less places.
There is a direct correlation between how much I spend and my mode of transit.
So, how and when do I drive less?
Small Grocery Trips
When I don’t have more than 1 bag of groceries to buy, I prefer to bike or walk.
In Phoenix I could walk to all our grocery stores, so this was easy.
Now the stores are a little further and the roads are littered with potholes, so I am still adjusting to this. I hope to return to biking to the store more often!
Skip a Trip
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the “use it all up” tip.
If you only have a couple items on the list and they aren’t urgent, skip the trip. Make the items you have work and save the list for a future trip when you need more items.
Walk or bike to school
Obviously this isn’t possible for everyone. But if you live close enough, I highly recommend it.
If you are afraid your kids can’t handle it, I assure you they can. They will still complain occasionally, but they will get fresh air, talk more about their day, and feel better about themselves.
Plus, that is potentially 4 car trips you get to skip every school day!!!
Kevin bike commutes to work almost everyday. He absolutely loves it. He gets fresh air and uses no gas.
Not everyone can or wants to bike to work. But maybe just one day a week you find a different creative solution. (Bus, carpool, etc)
Events without Adequate Parking
Many of us have experienced the annoyance of finding a parking spot at a busy event. It adds a ton of stress right when you want to be getting excited about the activity.
These events are great opportunities to skip driving if you can.
This happened twice for us this past week.
The first time was Meet the Teacher night. We knew the whole school would be trying to park in a small lot. So we walked instead.
We got to talk about our nerves for the new school year along the way and avoided the stress of parking.
The second time was when Kevin and his brother went to a live music event in our downtown.
They took the electric bikes and had a wonderful evening. They parked the bikes right up front and didn’t have to maneuver through multiple lots looking for a spot.
This is a topic I love because my happiness goes way up when I am not driving.
But the reality is sometimes we have to drive (especially in America).
So that is why the goal is not “don’t drive.” The goal is drive less.