Gas prices no help for long-distance commuters

SANDUSKY High gas prices have people looking for ways to save money. Michael and Stacy Glaser drive more than an hour
May 24, 2010



High gas prices have people looking for ways to save money.

Michael and Stacy Glaser drive more than an hour every day to get to work in Huron -- in separate vehicles.

The Brunswick couple owns the downtown restaurant i5's in Huron, but they work different schedules.

Stacy Glaser gets their children ready and sends them off to school when Michael Glaser begins his one hour and 10 minute trek to the restaurant. After the kids are ready, Stacy Glaser makes her way to Huron.

"It's killing us," said Michael Glaser, adding that together he and his wife spend about $225 a week to fill up their vehicles.

It doesn't help they both drive gas guzzlers.

Michael Glaser drives a Ford Excursion and his wife drives a Ford Explorer. Gas prices are hovering around $3.25 per gallon.

Glaser has considered switching to a smaller vehicle, but needs his sport utility vehicle to haul things to and from the restaurant.

"I need a truck a lot of times," he said.

To save money, he and his wife plan to live on their boat this summer, which he describes as a floating condominium.

And when they can, the couple make trips together.

"We try to when we can," he said "On the weekends, we definitely do."

Glaser has tried putting nitrogen in his tires. He heard doing so gets better mileage out of a vehicle. Although he hasn't seen much of a difference in his vehicle, he plans to try it out on his wife's vehicle next week.

"Everybody needs to come eat at the restaurant to help pay for my gas," he said jokingly.

Shirley Alt is in the same boat.

Alt, who lives in Sandusky, drives an hour to get to work in Toledo every week day.

She drives a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and said she fills up twice a week costing her about $60 altogether.

"I don't let it get down to (empty)," she said, adding she fills up at half a tank.

"I could get something better," Alt said about her six-cylinder vehicle. "It's not the greatest (on gas)."

She has considered buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle, but wouldn't be able to do so until next year.

Until then, Alt saves money other ways. She clips coupons and makes her own clothes.

"I guess if you like your job, you'll cut back on other things," she said.

There are different options available to help those spending a lot of money on high gas prices. has a new feature on its main page that helps drivers find the lowest gas prices in their area. Drivers can enter an address and a search engine will return multiple gas station locations -- from lowest to highest price -- along with the gas stations' addresses. is another Web site that helps people arrange to share rides between friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Stephen Oakley, the director of member development for, said the Web site is about more than just commuting.

"Whatever you do, you can cut the cost by adding another passenger," he said.

"It's the most effective thing you can do personally to reduce the economic hit of driving."