Gas prices keep soaring and there are reports that prices could hit $5 or $6 a gallon this summer. Living in California myself, I am already seeing gas prices at $4.30 a gallon. But we don’t have to be stuck paying more than we need to. We can use Google or Bing Maps to help us reduce our bill or at least find ways to keep it as low as possible.
I’m a working mom and I have to watch my budget. Other areas of our budget suffer when we have to pay more at the gas pump. It is frustrating. I live in a rural area and so when I need to run to Target or Wal-Mart (which the closest one is about 30-35 minutes away). I have to group my errands together to make the most of my trips.
Each day I go to and from work, I take the exact same route. Mostly, because I like the scenery and I just love the drive in the mountains. But I have to think smarter. There is more than one route to my work and with Google or Bing Maps, I can chart my course to find the shortest one to save gas and money. When I did this, I did find a shorter route and saved about 1/2 mile each way. That is one mile each day. It adds up. How about trips to the temple, Costco, Target, the kid’s school, can any of those have a shorter route or can you group your errands together so you save time and money? And this can be done with a little homework by using the online maps.
To get started, start with your home base address and then type in your destination address. The web site will then tell you how long it will take you to get there and how many miles. Great. If you notice the map will also highlight your direct route but the cool feature is if you hover your cursor over the route, it will allow you to click and drag the route in another direction. So you can very easily find a shorter route by doing this method. Move it around and see what you come up with and as you do this, you will see a small box that will hover over the streets that will tell you distance and time. Both Google and Bing Maps offer these features. See how you can save time and money with these online maps. This is also great for road trips and vacations with long distances, which add up quick.
There are also a few websites and apps that can help in your quest to find lower gas prices. Try GasPriceWatch.com and MapQuest Gas Prices just type in your zip code to find the lowest prices in your town. These prices are as current as those that volunteer their time and update the site. We also found an app for Android called GasBuddy.
I hope this works for you. Please share if you have used this feature with any success especially any iPhone apps. There are other features of Google and Bing Maps that you can use including for mobile devices that have GPS. Gas prices may indeed go up, but we can all make better choices in our driving habits. Good luck!