Look at me! What my dad used to call "common sense" has been re-branded as "hyper-miling", and I'm taking full advantage, trying to demonstrate to my kids that behaving like a miser can be both phat and dope.
Basically, hyper-miling is a way (or a number of ways) of squeezing every last yard out of a tank of gas. Though I can't quantify it yet (not having run out a full tank of gas and crunched the numbers) I have already seen improvement in miles-per-gallon based only on how fast my fuel gauge has been moving.
There are a lot tips and tricks that can help you get farther on the pricey gas we're all buying now. I have been using only a few of these methods, and I've seen a difference. Some of them, like I said, are just common sense, some of them I had not known or thought of, and some of them might actually be inadvisable if you want to stay on good terms with other drivers and not tangle traffic. Use your best judgment.
I won't be using everything in the truly dedicated hypermiler's bag of tricks, but here's what I have done in just the last few weeks:
First, I have slowed down, shaving probably 5 mph off my previous speeds. That means driving almost always in the "slow" lane on the right side of the freeway, which bothers me not at all. It's less stressful over there (except for the occasional merging driver) and I never even blink, now, when I see a police cruiser. I also drive more slowly in town. I find on most trips I don't lose more than 3 minutes, even on my commute to work (37 miles, or so). That's not enough to even think about.
Then, I followed advice I read on a hypermiling website and inflated my tires to the maximum recommended pressure on the tire sidewall. Again, I saw a slight but noticeable improvement in mileage.
I also unloaded 100 pounds of camping equipment out of my car. That would be one of those common sense things...
In addition, I have been generally much more aware of "engine load". In town, I keep a sharper eye out for red lights ahead, and usually begin coasting almost immediately - sometimes in neutral - rather than running up to the intersection like I was late for something. I coast down big hills in neutral, which drops engine RPMs considerably. Yesterday on the freeway, I drafted a big 18 wheeler for at least five miles, which felt kind of like cheating - only without being immoral and making me a jerk. It was kind of cool (yes, I kept a safe distance... a few car lengths).
Next, when I change my engine oil, I plan to put in the lowest viscosity oil recommended for my engine. A thinner oil makes the engine run more freely (though older engines may need oil with a greater viscosity to reduce wear). You will want to make sure and change your oil according to your car owner's manual specifications (usually around every 3000 miles).
Hey, it saves money, reduces demand for oil, helps the environment, and it is kind of fun in a geeky sort of way. Next time I fill up, I'll set my trip odometer, figure my *new* gas mileage and report back.