**Before you begin**To get good results, you must start with good data. Each time you get gas, follow these steps:

- Fill your tank all the way up.
- Get a receipt.
- Verify the receipt shows the number of gallons
^{1}you pumped. - Write the value from your trip odometer on your receipt.
- Reset your trip odometer to zero.

**In the spreadsheet**

- Start OpenOffice.org Calc
- In cell A1, type
**Date**. - In cell B1, type
**Trip odometer (miles)**. - In cell C1, type
**Gas pumped (gallons)**. - In cell D1, type
**Economy (mpg)**. - Below the first row, fill out the data (in just the first three columns).
- In cell D2, type the formula
**=B2/C2**. - Select D2.
- Press the copy button on the toolbar (to copy the cell to the clipboard).
- Highlight D3 and below. Go down as far as you have rows of data.
- Press the paste button on the toolbar. (This step propagates the formula for each row.)

**Calculating cost per distance**How much does it cost you to travel one mile (or kilometer)?

- In cell E1, type
**Price ($)**. - In cell F1
**,**type**Price ($) per mile**. - Fill out columns E and F with data
**.** - In cell F2, type the formula
**=E2/B2**. - Copy cell F2 to the clipboard.
- Highlight cells F3 and below.
- Paste.
- Click column F (right on the letter itself) to highlight all the cells in it.
- (optional) Click the currency button on the toolbar.
- (optional) Click the
**Number format: Add Decimal Place**on the toolbar.

**Exercises for the reader**

- Write a formula to calculate average fuel economy.
- Write a formula to calculate average miles per day. (Hint: You will need to use data from two rows.)

**Tips**

- Look for anomalies, and try to explain them. Did you change your driving habits? Does your vehicle require repair?
- Wikipedia: Fuel economy-maximizing behaviors
- wikiHow: How to Increase Fuel Mileage on a Car

**To 99.5% of the planet, please excuse the imperial units. Yes, they are obsolete. Kindly contain your disdain while substituting liters for gallons, kilometers for miles, and $ for your local currency. :)**

^{1}Metric users
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