Tracking Gas Mileage

I can’t take credit for this one.  This is 100% my Grandpa.  When I got my very first car (my mom’s 1986 Toyota Camry), my Grandpa equipped it with a number of “necessary” driving tools, including, (but not limited to):
  • De-icer for the door locks
  • Maps (the paper kind – Remember those?….)
  • An emergency roadside kit, including flares
  • Tire gauge
  • Flashlight that doubled as a tool box (tools were included)
  • Visor organizer
  • Gas Mileage tracker
It’s the last item that is the focus of this week’s Tuesday Tip.  The Gas Mileage tracker wasn’t something that Grandpa found and thought ‘Oh, Kristin will need this.’.  Nope.  He made it.  My Grandpa firmly believed that you should ALWAYS track your gas mileage on your car, so he created a system to make it as easy as possible.  (Can you tell that my tendencies are genetic?)  He bought a mini-notepad that had the little elastic loop connected to it to hold a pen.  He then glued a calculator on the front flap of the notepad.  Each time you filled up with gas, you wrote the following information on a line:
  • Date
  • Number of miles on that tank of gas
  • Total number of miles on the car
  • Number of gallons purchased
  • Gas mileage for that tank (which was figured – using the very handy, attached calculator – by dividing the number of miles driven on the previous tank of gas by the number of gallons purchased)
My grandfather passed away almost seven years ago now, but I still faithfully track the gas mileage for each tank of gas.  When my husband and I were first dating, I pulled the notepad (I’ve had to buy/make a couple since the original he gave me) out of the glove compartment to figure my mileage.  Josh looked at me with an expression that clearly said ‘What on earth are you doing?’.  I explained that tracking your gas mileage is one of the best ways to keep tabs on the general well-being of your car.  If something starts to go wrong on your car, more often than not, your gas mileage is one of the first things to be affected.  I didn’t actually know if this was true, but Grandpa gave me the same reason fifteen years before when I had given him the same expression that I just received, so I made the same case.  Honestly, Josh wasn’t as easy to convince as I was.  But he knew that it was important to me, and so we track the gas mileage on both of our cars each time we get gas.  
If nothing else, I feel good when I drive away from the gas station knowing that my car got good gas mileage this week.  And don’t we all need another reason to find some joy in our day?
If you don’t want to create your own gas mileage tracking notepad, use this printable and stick it in your glove compartment.

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