Posts Filed Under Reviews

Gas Giveaways #5 and #6 and a BONUS!

posted by Momo Fali on August 19, 2011

That’s right. This week’s commute better tip post comes with two more gas card giveaways AND a chance to win a commute kit provided by BP!

A few days ago, I had the honor of speaking to a group of Columbus Moms about making commuting more enjoyable with your kids in the car. I don’t drive anywhere for work and I don’t have far to take the kids to school, but my daughter plays golf, volleyball, basketball and softball and my son plays baseball and is involved with Scouts. I drive. A lot.

One thing I can’t do without, is my go-to bag. I take it with me everywhere and keep it in the car whenever possible. It is filled with essentials like bug spray, sunscreen, tissues, wet-wipes, hand sanitizer and snacks. During sports season, I keep a small first aid kit in it as well.

I can’t tell you how many short trips to a drug store we have avoided because I’m prepared for just about anything. And, the other moms know who to come to if they need something. I’m talking to you, Amy.

For long drives, don’t forget the electronics! And, if you have a child who gets motion sickness, I have found that books on tape are great at keeping them occupied without the need to take their eyes off of the road.

Sweatshirts keep young ones warm if mom and dad are cranking the air conditioning and they can double as pillows for sleepy kids.

When I’m driving around town, I keep a hot/cold bag or a cooler with frozen milk jugs inside, so that I can do my grocery shopping while I’m out and I don’t have to make a special trip. I don’t have to fill up my gas tank as often and I can avoid unnecessary wear and tear on my car.

So, which tip would you use most often?

1. Having a container filled with commuting essentials

2. Using electronics or books on tape for long drives

3. Putting frozen jugs of water in a cooler before you run errands so you don’t have to go out of your way to go to the grocery store

Just tell me which tip is your favorite and I will enter you in the drawing for one of  TWO $40 gift cards. AND, a lucky third place winner will get a commute essentials kit from BP. You can earn extra entries by tweeting about this giveaway, then leave your tweet link in a comment on this post. Contest ends Wednesday, August 24th at 5pm Eastern.

Three winners will be chosen at random. Make sure to leave a valid email address, so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck and happy commuting!

*UPDATE* Congratulations to the gas card winners, Lisa and Rachael and to the commute kit winner, Jennifer Marie! Stay tuned for more giveaways!

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BP Gas Card Giveaways #3 and #4!

posted by Momo Fali on August 11, 2011

Guess what time it is? Oh, forget it, I’m horrible at keeping secrets…I’ll go ahead and tell you!

It’s time for BP Giveaway #3 and this week two winners will be chosen, so that makes this Giveaway #4 too!

Once again, the BP Commute Crew wants you to commute better with the chance to win a $40 BP gift card. That BP Commute Crew is one, nice group of people!

I have learned so much during this campaign and have really enjoyed sharing the tips I picked up at “Gas Class”. These four are my favorite, because they are things that I can do, personally, to improve my car’s performance.

* Don’t leave your car idling at school pick up. Shutting off your engine will save gas and the environment.

*All grades of BP gasoline with Invigorate® help your car get a few more miles per tank when compared to low-detergency, low-quality gasoline (I saw the difference with my own eyes). When used continuously, it helps clean and protect critical engine parts from harmful deposits, so you’ll go a little farther between fill-ups.

* Plug your destination into your GPS before you leave the house so that if you encounter traffic, you can automatically be redirected to another route.

* Choose the scenic route! This will allow you to practice more fuel-saving techniques versus contributing to bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic.

Just tell me which one of these tips you are most likely to use and I will enter you in the drawing for one of TWO $40 gift cards. You can earn extra entries by tweeting about this giveaway, then leave your tweet link in a comment on this post. Contest ends Wednesday, August 17th at 5pm Eastern.

Two winners will be chosen at random. Make sure to leave a valid email address, so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck and happy commuting!

UPDATE – 8/17/2011  CONGRATS TO SUEBOB AND KAREN T!

Commute Better and Another Gas Giveaway!

posted by Momo Fali on August 1, 2011

If you have ever lived in Columbus, you know how hard it is to merge onto 23 North off of Interstate 270. It’s a nightmare. I used to work one block north of the merge.

Traffic would back up all the way along the ramp and, sometimes, would carry all the way onto 315. There wasn’t much room to deviate from that route either. It’s just about the only place in town that doesn’t offer a different choice of roads, but even with alternates, not many people think about changing their route.

According to a survey commissioned by BP Products North America Inc, Columbus commuters are creatures of habit, with eighty-six percent agreeing that they have a very specific commute route that they adhere to on a daily basis. Even if there is construction, we tend to stick to the same roads and that causes traffic jams.

Trust me; that traffic can make people grumpy. Just ask my former co-workers. Three out five Columbus commuters agree that a bad commute can impact their mood for the rest of the day. I was one of them.

Craig Sinclair, traffic reporter with Clear Channel Radio Network in Columbus recently shared some tips on how to “Commute Better” by avoiding congestion and maximizing your time on the road:

* Try to leave 15 minutes earlier or later than usual to avoid rush hour. A 15 minute change in drive-time can make a difference in Columbus. When you leave early enough for your destination, you won’t feel as pressured to put the pedal to the metal and you’ll be able to employ gentle driving techniques.

* Listen to the traffic report before your commute. Don’t wait until you’re sitting in traffic to tune-in. You’ll save yourself, and others, time.

* Research alternate routes along the way to your destination which are easily accessible from main roads to combat traffic hold-ups.
Visit a one-stop shop for all your commuting needs to avoid multiple-stops – from fuel to beverages like your morning java fix. Recent changes at your local BP station will make your stops at BP more enjoyable.

*All grades of BP gasoline with Invigorate® help your car get a few more miles per tank when compared to low-detergency, low-quality gasoline (I saw the difference with my own eyes). When used continuously, it helps clean and protect critical engine parts from harmful deposits, so you’ll go a little farther between fill-ups.

* Plug your destination into your GPS before you leave the driveway. If you do encounter congestion you can allow the GPS to re-direct you.

* Drive in the center lane, when possible. On multi-lane highways, the center lane offers the most flexibility—speeding drivers can pass on the left and merging/exiting traffic is on the right. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work!

* Run errands on Sunday morning versus before or after work. Sunday morning drive times take about half the time it takes to navigate from one side of the city to the other during the work week. If Sunday morning is not conducive to errands, set aside some time to plan them into your schedule for the following week so you can make stops at your convenience when you’re on-the-go. Also, for parent’s on-the-go, consider working on your to-do list in the evening when the kids are in bed with your spouse at home. You can get more done quickly and it isn’t as hot out.

* Avoid being a “taxi” for your kids and go to a coffee shop or a nearby local park while your kids’ participate in after school programs so you can avoid going back and forth. Or, make phone calls and set up appointments while sitting in the car waiting for your kids to be done with activities.

* Drive with other commuters. This helps cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car. When time and schedule allows, embrace and cruise with the traffic. Flowing with freeway traffic when possible can decrease wind resistance, but only if you’re staying within a reasonable speed of 65 mph or less.

* In heavy traffic, go easy on the pedal. Driving stress can translate into tenseness that has your foot pushing harder on the pedal than is necessary.

All of these tips are thanks to BP and their Commute Better Crew. Have you seen them? They’ve been out and about in different Columbus locations handing out free commuter essentials.

And, guess what? BP wants me to hand out ANOTHER free gas card! Leave a comment on this post before Monday, August 8th at noon Eastern to be entered to win a $40 BP gas card.

For an additional entry, you can tweet about this post or share it on Facebook, then come back here and leave the link in a separate comment.

Good luck and happy commuting!

*Update* Congrats to the winner, Colleen!

Got Gas?

posted by Momo Fali on July 26, 2011

Do you remember when you were young and gas station attendants used to come out and fill up your tank, wash your windshield and check your oil? If you’re under the age of 30, don’t answer that.

I can still hear the “ding ding” as we would pull into the station and I can see the attendant looking spiffy in his uniform. Buying gas was a pleasurable experience.

Somewhere along the line, things changed. Prices went up, we started pumping our own gas, checking our own oil and washing our own windshields…and what I consider the biggest crime of all, paying for air.

So, when BP asked me to be involved with their Commute Better campaign here in Columbus, I was unsure. Aren’t these companies…I don’t know…the enemy, or something?

No, as it turns out, they’re not.

BP wants to make your experience pleasurable again. They have enlisted a Commute Better Crew who will be at crucial points for Columbus commuters for the next four weeks. They will be handing out commute essentials, answering your questions and maybe they’ll give you one of those old-fashioned smiles like we used to get from the people pumping our gas.

Now, remember…I was skeptical. Before I signed up to work with the BP Commute Better Crew I wanted to be educated on their product. I know a lot of Columbus drivers whose mood depends on the ease of their commute. I have friends who never deviate from their normal route and will sit in traffic no matter what. I see parents who leave their cars idling while sitting in the school parking lot at dismissal. I wanted to help all of them by informing them that it’s okay to make a change, but I wasn’t going to do it without knowing everything I could about BP.

So, I went to gas class. For real.

I learned that most every BP station is a sole proprietor; a mom and pop shop, if you will. And, apparently, each and every one of them prides themselves on making your stop enjoyable. They want to provide you with clean facilities, bright lights, fresh paint, nice landscaping and more than anything, they want to be known for brewing a good cup of coffee.

I recently spent half a day with a chemist who explained, in detail, how a car engine works and why using quality gasoline is important. Almost everyone I know uses their grocery store loyalty card for better gas deals and I saw with my own eyes what happens to an engine when you’re using a low detergency gasoline. It isn’t pretty, folks.

I saw that all grades of BP gasolines with Invigorate, help to clean and protect your engine from harmful build-ups and I learned that the knocking I hear in my car is not a good thing. Not good at all.

Because BP wants us to Commute Better, we brainstormed on how to prevent wear and tear on your vehicle. From the aforementioned idling to mapping out your day so that you run all of your errands at once, preferably on the same side of town. And, whether I liked it or not, local auto expert Dan “Boots” Longenette said that we should check our air pressure and oil every other time we fill up. I know that’s a pain, but your car is likely the second most expensive thing you will ever buy. You should treat it right.

And, guess what? BP wants to treat YOU right too! One lucky reader will receive a $40 BP gift card! Just leave a comment on this post telling me how you “Commute Better” (Do you change your air filter every 12,000 miles? Do you accelerate gently? Do you drive without air conditioning?). Please leave a valid email address with your comment before Monday, August 1st at noon EST. A winner will be chosen at random.

*Update* Congrats to Colleen! She was the lucky winner!

Disclosure: I was compensated by BP for my time and promotion of the Commute Better Crew.

 

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