Gas Saving Tip and more!

Maybe some of you are aware of this already, but there is a way that anyone can save three cents per gallon on fuel for ANY vehicle they drive, at WalMart/Murphy USA, and NO, you don’t have to have a WalMart credit card to do it!

Here’s the procedure… go into any Wal Mart Store (or online) and buy a gift card of sufficient quantity (a large one would be best). Then go (usually next door) to the Murphy USA quick mart, and purchase your gas with the Wal Mart gift card, same as you would do with any other card. The pumps will accept it, so you don’t even have to go inside. If you don’t use all the funding that is on the card, it will show a remaining balance that you can use the next time. You can also refill the same card over and over again (at any Wal Mart cashier), whenever you need to.

Obviously, if you drive a motorcycle, you don’t have to buy a $100 gift card when a $20 card will do, unless you want to use it for more than one fill-up. But if you drive a gas guzzler, then it makes sense to buy as large a card as they have available, and many of their cards go up to $1000. If you want to limit liability, in case someone steals your card, you can also get one for $250. The point is, that anytime you buy fuel with that card, the Murphy USA pump will reduce the price by three cents per gallon.

You can also buy the gift cards online, and even use them as actual gifts (who woulda thunk it?), in case you want to give your favorite traveler a useful gift.

If you want a higher discount, such as five cents off per gallon, then you will have to have the Wal Mart credit card to get it, in which case it works the same way, except you don’t have to “refill it” at the store… you just pay your bill each month, either online or by mail.

Just be aware that having to get any extra credit card isn’t absolutely necessary. I know some people (like us) have an aversion to any kind of credit cards or want to limit how many they have, and that’s fine. You can still save three cents per gallon with no credit cards or credit checks. And for stealth sake, you can pay cash when you buy your gift card at the register in the store, and no one has any way to track your travels through your gas purchases! (Not that any of us would have reason to travel across country to do anything illegal!) (Right?)

As we find other ways to save you money in your travels, whether it be by motorcycle, minivan or Marathon, we’ll present them here and on the new web page we are working on for the main site. Many of our affiliate vendors have sales of various kinds (and quite often) that are not made known to the public. But we get emails about them as to the beginning and end of the sales, as many times they use special banner ads that they expect us to use and change. We do not always change the banners on our site because that adds to the maintenance of it, but we hope to provide a page where all of these special offers will be announced.

More will be coming soon on the minivan camper project as we are in the final stages of completing the reclining couch/bed. The mattress/cushions are all done. And keep in mind, this reclining couch/bed is something you can use over and over for many years, through many vehicle trades, and will work with larger vehicles, too, in case you decide to trade up to something bigger, such as a full-size van, cargo trailer conversion, or even a box van!

As soon as we get this done and can do something with the windows for privacy and stealth, we’re going to be out and about, using the minivan for traveling and camping, and giving you our impressions of it as we use it. With each trip will be a detailed breakdown of costs and LOTS of pictures!

In reading all the blogs, and learning from the best of them, I am taking note of what I see good about them, and what I see missing. Finances are of extreme importance today, and that is the one thing that I see missing on so many blogs. One guy went $4,000 over budget on one trip, but all he gave was the total of his six-month trip! His pictures were great, and he visited a lot of expensive attractions on the way. But for those of us trying to figure out what it is actually going to cost for “normal” travel expenses, it leaves us guessing. How much was spent on tolls, ferry’s, camping fees, admissions to attractions, meals at the van, meals out, repairs, etc., etc?  Many of us can’t afford to see and do everything in our travels, so it would help to know the basics, and then let us add on our own “extras” as we can afford them! I hope to do better on my travel blog, to give a more complete account of what it is really like to be out there day by day.

With that, I plan to create a whole new blog for the travels (and leave this one more for the projects and books). The posts will be be broken down into sub-titles, such as the actual traveling, the overnight stops, the meals, the costs, and we’ll have LOTS of pictures!

Also, one of my “retirement projects” is to convert and scan all of the pictures (or at least the usable ones) from past trips to create a whole different blog about those past trips, which will include our many RV trips, as well as car trips, a Carribbean Cruise, eight countries in Europe, two trips to Mexico, and much, much more!

Our “near future” trips may be short to start with, taking advantage of what there is to see and do within a hundred miles. But thankfully, we are in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, with many fantastic State and local parks, lakes, rivers, hiking trails, biking trails, music events and other small town festivals, so we won’t have to look far for short travel adventures. As our budget and time allows we will get out for longer trips as well.

Our goal is to spend at least three months in the summer and winter traveling to more suitable climates, and then spend the moderate spring and fall times back at home… at least for awhile. Who knows? Maybe we’ll decide we don’t need real estate after all!

So thank you for sticking around, even though I am way overdue on getting this project completed. I will try to make it worth the wait. As always, let me know your thoughts.