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MPG VS Monthly Fuel Cost

3362 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  sciphi
I typically try to get the best MPG I can, my monthly average for the last year has been about 37mpg & I was spending $150+ a month on fuel. This month I decided to not care what MPG I got, how much I idled my car, or if I fully warmed car while driving.

Instead I took the shortest routes possible everywhere I went. My monthly average MPG is down 7mpg to 30mpg, but I only spent $104. The miles driven were less but more because of the routes I took not because I drove less. I still put on almost 1000 miles.

Seems to me MPG does not matter, only actual money spent per month on fuel. Yes they are related but but when I can drop 7mpg & still spend almost $50 less it seems one should look at there actual monthly fuel cost before ever looking at there MPG.
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Welcome to the world of getting the most for your money. I know I optimize the balance of MPG with fuel cost. I know of people who will drive miles out of their way just to get a couple of pennies off a gallon, but they had to drive so far they consumed more cash in the form of gasoline than they saved at the pump. Routing decisions can be a big factor in reducing fuel costs. In some respects this is the same optimization issue as selecting the right octane for our Cruzen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know of people who will drive miles out of their way just to get a couple of pennies off a gallon, but they had to drive so far they consumed more cash in the form of gasoline than they saved at the pump.
I try to just fill up when I already going by a station that way I would have already spent the money to get there anyway. I do however use the map below to see what the current prices are. With regular 87 octane the price is usually within a few cents a gallon no matter where you go, but premium is all over the board even stations across the street from each other.

I did not check yesterday when I filled up while going to get some lunch, I paid $3.74 a gallon for premium. If I would have checked I could have drove the exact same miles & ate somewhere else & paid $3.48 a gallon. Both stations were Mobil 93 octane. 26cents might not seem like much, but at almost 8 gallons to top off my tank that would have been a couple dollars off my lunch.

USA National Gas Price Heat Map - GasBuddy.com
 

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Very valid point. I do drive primarily for MPG as most of my miles are driven for work and I am reimbursed. So for me, it works well to save via fuel saving driving techniques (and great car!). My goal is to pay for a fuel used (work and personal) and maintenance with my mileage reimbursement.

Conversely, in our Grand Caravan, we drive the minimal miles possible as it is a pig for fuel (although it averages about 19mpg-good for its type) in comparison to the Cruze. We are a family of 5 so the Cruze is not always the easiest option to use...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
If you were to maintain last years driving habits along with this years routes you would save even more.
37 MPG and less miles.

But, driving should be fun too.

Bill
When it warms up I may be able to get back some of what I have lost, but with an automatic cruze it will be hard to maintain such a good mpg number without all the highway driving I typically do.

Even with winter temps I have been averaging 30mpg, which is 8mpg better than my 3800 Buick or the 2.2 ecotec in my cavalier(got the same MPG with both cars in the winter, 22mpg). I may not get eco MPG numbers, but I am more than happy with the MPG my cruze gets.
 

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2999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 cents
 

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2999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 cents
You had to throw that in there didn't you?

Sent from my Telefunken U47 Electronic Response Unit
 

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I could not resist .I drive down to my brothers once a month to fill up .
the cost of fuel is 30 to 50 cents cheaper than this city.
 

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Seems to me MPG does not matter, only actual money spent per month on fuel. Yes they are related but but when I can drop 7mpg & still spend almost $50 less it seems one should look at there actual monthly fuel cost before ever looking at there MPG.
Well, I'd say one should also look at the amount of fuel consumed, not just cost, as gas prices can vary considerably.

Yes, I agree that doing things to get the highest mpg value (e.g. lengthening trips) can be counterproductive when it comes to fuel consumption and total fuel costs.

Along these lines, also read the article I linked to at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-f...eage-no-its-your-gallonage-really-counts.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I'd say one should also look at the amount of fuel consumed, not just cost, as gas prices can vary considerably.
I used just shy of 30 gallons this month, last month 41.8 gallons. Average price was also slightly lower, $3.51 vs $3.62 last month. For the price difference I only saved $3.30, pretty insignificant part of the savings.
 

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G÷ m÷c=
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
G÷ m÷c=
I'm guessing your hinting at cost per mile, the math would be (gallons ÷ miles x cost)= 11.5cents a mile. One could go through all that or just input the data on fuelly.com & let it figure it out for you.



EDIT: Just looked at my cost per mile for all of last year when I was spending $150 a month, it was 10.6cents per mile, so even with my MPG drop I am only spending an extra cent per mile.
 

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Sounds like it's a wash. Drive further and get better MPG's, drive less and get worse MPG's. As was pointed out above, it's not your mileage, it's your gallonage that counts!

I went through something similar with my routing. It was re-arranged to be more time-efficient, and it generally works.
 
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