1 in 4 Americans Drove Less in March Due to High Gas Prices. Here's How You Can Cut Down on Mileage

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  • Consumers are making changes to cope with rising living costs.
  • Here's how to spend less time driving -- and spend less on gas.

Now's a really great time to drive less.

Gas prices have been up across the board since inflation started rearing its ugly head in mid-2021. But in recent weeks, they've absolutely skyrocketed. 

A big reason boils down to the Ukraine conflict. But since that's not exactly on the cusp of resolving itself, we shouldn't expect gas costs to come down anytime soon.

Unfortunately, an uptick in gas prices has left many Americans with soaring credit card bills -- bills they're now having a hard time paying. And so some consumers are changing their habits in an effort to minimize the financial pain.

In a recent report by Morning Consult, 39% of consumers said they drove less in March, with 68% of those blaming higher gas prices. Here are some steps you can take to minimize your driving -- and start spending less money at the pump.

1. Get into the habit of carpooling

Unfortunately, gas costs are rising at the same time many companies are putting an end to remote work arrangements and calling employees back to the office. If that's your situation, and you're stuck going into the office multiple days a week, try carpooling with colleagues to cut down on gas costs. That might mean having to adjust your hours to accommodate other people's schedules, but it could result in a decent amount of savings.

Even if you aren't working out of an office, you might still be able to carpool in other aspects of your life. If you have kids, you can team up with other parents to take turns driving them to school and extracurricular activities. And if you tend to do your shopping at certain stores, like your nearest warehouse club, that are many miles away, it pays to see if your neighbors have similar plans -- and take turns driving together in the same car. 

2. Plan your errands tactically

You may be used to hopping in the car and hitting the store, bank, or dry cleaner on a whim. But doing so could mean driving more. 

A better bet? Plan out your routes so you're clocking fewer miles. That could mean stopping at the supermarket on the way home from work, even if you'd rather come home and change into more comfortable clothes first. 

3. Make your social plans strategically

You may have friends or family members who live far away. Bundling visits is another step you can take to keep your mileage down. Rather than visit your parents who live 30 miles north of you on a Saturday and then see your sister, who lives 15 miles north, the next Sunday, do both visits on the same day so you're driving fewer miles in total.

The good news is that the Biden administration is taking steps to ease the burden of high gas costs on U.S. consumers. The bad news, however, is that it may take a while to get meaningful relief. A good bet is to do what you can to cut down on driving, even if it means having to inconvenience yourself to a certain degree.

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