I'll be honest. I'm a junkie. I love Starbucks. This is not a slam on Starbucks, but I have discovered that if I go their drive-thru, I spend about 5 minutes idling, moving a car length each minute, which means you can't really turn off the engine. Then I spend $2 bucks each trip. Sometimes, I'll go crazy and get a fancy $4 drink.
Since I discovered hypermiling, I have stopped going through drive-thrus altogether. That saves me $10 to $20 a week at Starbuck's alone. I've also stopped making 1 errand trips (4 miles to town, 4 miles back). Now I make a list. And I'm practicing delayed gratification, which is really not part of the modern vocabulary.
I even stopped driving up to my mailbox every night when I come home. I park the car, get out, and actually walk over. Paying attention and cutting out what I call "energy leaks" is really helping.
I'm sure people have posted a lot about modifying driving habits. I thought I'd add my take.
What "energy leaks" have you discovered and how have you solved them?
Yup, the morning Starbucks drive-thru routinely sapped about 2 mpg from the efficiency of our truck. But you know what? You can always park the car and go inside. I usually have my coffee in hand before the last person in line at the drive-thru when I arrived has even ordered. That alone makes it worth getting out of the car.
Hypermiling has helped me plug money leaks. I used to go on "errand runs" and have lunch away from the workplace more often.
Knowing that this gives me a real mpg hit, I now have lunch at my desk or in the cafeteria. One time I walked about 15 minutes to a Chinese restaurant. I really avoid lunch hour trips to stores etc., and even avoid stopping on my way home.
Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.
I manually turn my car A/C compressor off and on. I turn off lights more than I used to. I try to avoid short trips. But, if there needs to be a short trip, I try to do it in my car (better mileage), and in my wifes car if hers is warm but mine is cold. I avoid drive throughs. I avoid idling while waiting for the wife or kids. I am almost always (safely) drafting someone any time I go over 40 mph, even if it's just a small car.
I caught myself buckling my seatbelt after starting the car, and making a note to reverse the order in the future.
Haha! I just started doing that, too! Buckle seatbelt, get settled in, start car and drive forward out of parking space. I always drive through and park facing out now. I'll even park near the parking lot entrance instead of driving around for 5 minutes looking for something closer to the door. And if I can, I park on a place where my headlights are facing downhill. I'm a nut, but I'm having a good time!