Since February 1, the typical cost of regular gasoline has leaped by 28.5 cents to $3.76 a gallon across the country, and already tops $4 in some markets. Could $5 gas be looming in the future? My wife and I are already using budgeting software programs to trim our spending, and so I thought it would make sense to find ways to cut back on gas consumption, so we can have the best of both worlds.

My research turned up a lot of ways to make the rising cost of gas fit into our spending plan. I’m happy to share some of them with you:

Slow down: How you drive is nearly as significant as what you drive when it comes to putting a cap on gas guzzling. The EPA estimates a 10-15 percent improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Also, try to get a steady speed: pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine. Use cruise control wherever possible on the highway to maintain speed and save fuel.

Brake less often: Starting and stopping often is one of the main ways in which people inadvertently squander gas. Make an effort to foresee traffic patterns, lights, and curves in the road so you can slowly decelerate without stepping roughly on the brake when traffic slows. You can reduce the gas figure recorded in your budget manager by 10-20 percent using just a little foresight.

Check websites that show the lowest local prices: sites such as Gas Buddy are great places to search by zip code for the gas station near you with the lowest prices. Also, you can compare the national average to the average cost per gallon in your area.

Have your tires pumped up to the correct pressure: this will use less gas since it will make things easier on your engine. According to the tire-sales and research website, soft tires slow you down and can slash gas mileage by 10 percent or more. Follow the inflation information in your owner’s manual or on the label on the inside edge of the driver’s door.

Check your vehicle for heavy items: do you have an additional 25 pounds of items that are traveling around with you everywhere you go? If you use your vehicle to store things or you just haven’t cleaned it out in a while, keep in mind that the added weight uses more gas to be hauled around. Avoid piling loads of gear on the roof rack. This can impair fuel savings by as much as 5 percent because the additional frontal area reduces aerodynamics.

Carpool: this is one of the common methods to save on gas, not to mention time.

Do you know any other methods to improve your budgeting at home by saving on gas? Help others in the Calendar Budget Community by leaving a comment.