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Halloween Safe Driving Tips

Happy Halloween everyone!

This is an extremely fun and exciting time of the year.  It is also a very dangerous time, especially for drivers and people in the roads.

Halloween brings out a mass of people walking in the streets, many of which are in dark clothing that cannot be seen at night.  It also brings about bad driving.  Bad drivers show up either as dangerous driving by teenagers or extremely dangerous drunk driving which is inevitable this time of the year.

I would like to share some safe driving tips for Halloween to keep you all, and the people in the road safer this year.

Drive Slowly

Well this is an obvious one.  There are a lot of things to look out for, like children darting across the street and people fumbling around with their costumes while driving.

Turn off the Cell Phone

The easiest way to avoid texting and driving would be to turn off your phone and put it in your glove box.  You won’t be as tempted to pick up the phone.  You need to keep your eyes on the road.  God forbid you hit a child who is trick or treating because you couldn’t wait to send a text message.

Avoid Passing Cars

This goes with driving slowly.  Today is a day that we all need to exercise extra caution behind the wheel.  Passing cars could lead to hitting trick or treaters that jumped out in traffic or hitting a car that isn’t paying attention like you are.  Most of the pedestrians today are either children, or when it gets later, drunk.  Children and drunks have one thing in common, they don’t know/follow all of the rules.  Children don’t know any better and may dart into an intersection because they cannot wait to trick or treat at the next house and people who had a few drinks just don’t care and are oblivious to the cars driving at intersections. Yield to Pedestrians

Wait to Put on Your Costume

You may think it is funny for others to see you driving with a Halloween mask on, but it won’t be funny if you run over a kid because you have about half of your peripheral vision left.  Leave the masks, props, gloves, etc. off until you get to your destination.

Avoid Driving

Today is not a day to drive around if you don’t necessarily have to.  Save your errands for tomorrow when the streets aren’t filled with children and their parents going door to door.  Also, there is no need to drive around today if you want to see all of the Halloween decorations in town.  There is a good chance everybody will leave them up until the weekend, so you have plenty of time left to joyride and check them out.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Kind of an obvious guideline here, but a lot of people are going to ignore it anyway.  Even if you don’t care about your safety or others, I’m sure you care about getting pulled over for a DWI.  Halloween night has more drunk driving check points than any other night.  You will get pulled over if you drink and drive tonight.

Now with all of that serious talk out of the way, have fun and enjoy the holiday.

Gas Station Coupons

Gas prices are rising.  We cannot stop this and it is going to keep happening.

It’s kind of funny to think about gas being “so expensive” and low in supply in the late 70’s that we had to ration gasoline.  People were freaking out to fill up their tanks, and the price of gas was only about $0.86.  Oh, what we would do to be in that predicament today!

As of the writing of this post, the average price in the United States is $3.53, up nine cents from this time last year.  It costs a lot more on the west coast and in part of the Northeast, like New York, where it gets up to about $4.45 per gallon.

Besides trying to find ways of getting better mileage on your car, the only other way to really save money is to try and spend less when you get to the pump.  You can do this through a few different techniques found here.

Gas Station Coupons

Some gas stations, not many though, offer coupons to save money at their stations.  Usually savings are about $.05 per gallon, which doesn’t sound like much, but any bit really helps right now.  Consider this, if a Shell on one side of the street had a price for regular unleaded at $3.55/gallon, wouldn’t you wait an extra minute to cross the street if a BP had it for $3.50/gallon?

You can check your local paper for these, but it seems as though Holiday Stations are the main ones offering discounts now.  You may want to look into the following options.

Mobile Apps

Most people have smart phones today.  There are plenty of different apps that you can find to save money whether it be for finding discounts in your area, or putting together a budget.

I have been using an app called Gas Buddy for a while to find the cheapest gas in my area.  This app is user generated, which means that people update it when they go to a particular gas station, or the employees at the stations will update the pricing.  You will see the price for regular, premium, super, and diesel where applicable.

I think the app might be free, if not it might be about $2.00, which you’ll make back in no time by finding gas that is $0.25 per gallon cheaper than most areas around you.  I use this app every single time I need to go out an fill up my tank, so I highly recommend this.

Supermarket Rewards

In California, we have Ralph’s discount card to help.  Across the country, other Kroger brands are doing the same discount card promotion with Shell gas stations to help their customers save money by being loyal to Kroger grocery stores.

The way it works is this:

  • Shop more at Ralphs, or another Kroger store, earn 1 point for every dollar spent (or 50 points for a single prescription refill)
  • When you hit 100 points, you get $0.10 off per gallon at Shell
  • If you get to 200 points, you save $0.20 cents per gallon at Shell stations
If you are somebody that does a lot of grocery shopping, or has 1-3 prescriptions to refill every month, this adds up extremely fast.  For me, I have 2 monthly prescription refills, so $8 winds up gettint me a quick 100 points on my card (generic prescriptions at Ralph’s are $4).
And, it just so happens that my Gas Buddy app usually shows Shell stations as having the cheapest gas in town anyways!  Double discounts!

Cheapest Day of the Week to Buy Gas

Statistically, gas prices are lower on Wednesdays than the rest of the week.  If you can hold out until a Wednesday, you can probably save some money filling up.  One thing to keep in mind though, tanks that are at least half full are known to get better MPG than tanks that are running low.

Prices also jump just before holidays, so avoid filling up your tank a couple of days before any major holiday.

Gas Reward Credit Cards

Those of you with good enough credit scores should consider rewards credit cards with gas savings attached.  Pretty much every single major gas station has a program that works with this using Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express.  You can find applications hanging right next to the pumps.

Rather than get a card that saves on things like airline miles that expire and that you may not use, get a card that saves you money on gas, which is something that you need to buy every single month.

Here are some of the top credit card offers available right now:

American Express Blue Cash Preferred:

  • Gas rewards: 3%
  • Additional rewards: 6% rewards on groceries, 3% on department stores
  • Rewards cap: None
  • Annual fee: $75
  • Signup bonus: $150

Chase Freedom:

  • Gas rewards: 3% average over the year
  • Additional rewards: 5% on rotating bonus categories
  • Rewards cap: $1,500 in bonus spending per quarter
  • Annual fee: None
  • Signup bonus: $100

Pentagon Federal Platinum Rewards:

  • Gas rewards: 5%
  • Additional rewards; None
  • Rewards cap: None
  • Annual fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 25,000 PenFed Points

The cards work by giving you cash back rewards for using these particular credit cards at the pump.

For example, if you use a Pentagon Federal Platinum Rewards card you’d get 5% back on you gas purchases.

The average consumer spends about $150 per month on gas, so say you spend $150 per month on gas alone, you’d get back $7.50 per month in rewards.  Spread that out over a year and that is an extra $90 back in your pocket to pay other expenses.

Other Options

Well, this isn’t ways to get cheaper gas, but this is just a list of ways to get better mileage from your car to save you money in the long run.  The less you need to fill up, the less you need to spend filling up your tank.

  • Regular oil changes every 3,000 miles
  • Keep your tires filled to the recommended PSI
  • Do not accelerate too hard or stop too short
  • Don’t drive with anything attached to your roof
  • Take heavy items out of your back seat or trunk
  • Don’t speed.  Try to stay at the speed limit
  • Keep the gas tank on tight

The Best Option

If you want to save the most money possible on gas, don’t drive.  Keep your driving down as much as possible if you can.  This means taking a walk when you are somewhere close, ride a bike to work if you can, or car pool as much as you can.

Free NFL Drink Caddy

This is a really unique promotion that I just found in an email from Oil Can Henry’s.

Usually there are discounts on services, but with this deal you can get yourself a gift.

Head into any participating Oil Can Henry’s before December 31, 2012 and you can a FREE insulated drink caddy from NFL.  To get the free caddy you just need to purchase a Famous 20 Point Full Service Oil Change that uses Castrol Edge with Titanium Fluid Strenth Technology or Castrol EDGE with Syntec Power Technology.

The value of this caddy is $20 if you were to buy it by itself elsewhere.

If you purchase a Famous 20-Point Full-Service Oil Change using Castrol GTX SynBlend,GTX High Mileage or GTX Conventional motor oil, pay just $4.95 shipping and handling to receive your NFL Insulated Drink Caddy.

You will get a mail in certificate from an employee at Oil Can Henry’s after your car is done.  Follow the instructions and send the original copy of your recipet as proof of purchase.  It should take approximately eight weeks to receive your completed certificate.

Use that along with the current offer and you’ll save money while also getting a nice free gift.  Maybe you can even send that off to somebody for a Christmas present.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change – Speedy Rewards Partnership

For more Valvoline and Valvoline Instant oil change discounts and coupons, click this link.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations have been spreading, and they have been offering special pricing nationwide.  The best deals currently are in Southern California at former EZ Lube locations, but those of you that have Speedy gas stations near you are also getting a deal.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Speedy gas stations have formed a partnership to bring you guys some good savings.

Purchases at Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations can add up to points to get you discounts at participating Speedy locations.  You can earn points that can be redeemed for:

  • Coffee and drinks
  • Food
  • Merchandise
  • Car washes
  • Fuel savings
  • Gift cards up to $200

You earn points every time you use your Speedy Rewards card.

Here is a list of the states with participating locations:

  • ILLINOIS (2)
  • INDIANA (8)
  • KENTUCKY (48)
  • MICHIGAN (47)
  • OHIO (76)
  • WISCONSIN (27)

Oil Change Prices

Oil change prices vary considerably depending on where you are looking to get an oil change.  You may have noticed from this website that there are a wide variety of different places that you can get an oil change.

Where to get an oil change

Local Mechanic – Mechanic shops are located in every town and city.  Sometimes people have a personal relationship with their mechanics and will only trust them to do an oil change or any other service on their car.

Large Chains – There are a lot of chain companies that offer many automotive services, both for repairs and general maintenance.  These chains usually have a focus on one service like brakes, batteries, tires, etc.  However, these companies will most likely perform oil changes as well to supplement the business and try to upsell more services.  Examples of these companies include Midas, AAMCO,

Quick Lube Stations – Some of the larger franchise companies focus solely on oil changes and advanced oil changes/tune ups.  Examples of these quick lube stations are Jiffy Lube, Oil Can Henry’s, and The Great Canadian Oil Change (Canada obviously).

Retailers – Whether the retailer is dedicated to auto part or not, there are some large companies that you can go to for an oil change.  You can always check out Walmart oil change prices, Sears oil change prices, and compare those with the price of an oil change at a place like Pep Boys.

Oil Change Prices

The price of oil itself changes drastically throughout the country.  Different regions at different companies may have varying prices.

Some larger companies like Sears should keep their price consistent.

Also, franchises like Jiffy Lube and Meineke are allowed to charge different prices based on who owns the shop so they can compete with their local competition better.

Cheaper Prices

Well, you can search around this website to get cheaper oil change prices.  Oil change coupons and random promotions bring down prices of oil changes, tire rotations, etc.