East Texas man takes desperate measures to save on gas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - They say a penny saved is a penny earned, at least that's one East Texas man is claiming to justify his weekly drive to Livingston. He says gas averages about 10 cents cheaper an hour away, so it's worth the trip.

"I'm a penny pincher, you might call me. And, if I can save you a penny, then that way I may be able to make another penny," said Ken's Stump Removal Owner, Ken Roland.

That's why stump grinder, Ken Roland, drives to Livingston for gas about four times a month, to save some change. We calculated his savings. It totals about 81 cents round trip.

"As long as the gas prices stay up here, I'll be going down there probably every week," said Roland.

For the money he saves and the little amount of time it takes to do it, Roland says driving to Livingston to fill up is worth it every time.

"I can leave here at 6 o'clock in the morning and get down to Livingston, probably about an hour and a half, fill up, and get back here. I'm back here by 8 or 8:30," said Roland.

Roland started his stump removal business more than a year ago. It takes about 38 gallons of gas each week to power to power his machinery. If he saves wherever he can, he says his customers reap the benefits.

"If I can get a cheaper product, I can do the job for you, grind your stumps at a cheaper rate," said Roland.

While the drive may seem extreme,

"The slower you go, of course, the better mileage you get," said Roland.

There are ways to stretch a dollar. Roland justifies the trip because he buys in bulk.

"It'll take about 5 gallons of gasoline for me to grind two stumps. It's about the size of a horse tub," said Roland.

It also doubles as a visit to his son, who lives near Livingston. With gas prices climbing to an average 3.23 across Texas, Roland expects his quest for the lowest prices will continue, no matter where they take him.

While the drive may also put extra wear and tear on his car, Roland says that's okay too. He's able to make any repairs himself.

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