Get a Toyota Tacoma.
Yeah compact trucks with the right engine/tranny combo can get pretty good mileage. Plus, you'd be able to take care of alot of utility stuff like picking up mulch, tailgating, etc. Be warned though: buy a truck, suddenly everyone you know is going to be asking for help moving.
One dude I know asked for my help to pick up his new bed and deliver it. Went to the store, picked it up, dropped it off, and he was like 'thanks, that saved me 25 bucks!' I wanted to smack him. He doesn't live very close and between the pickup/dropoff/hanging out it was three hours of my time and easily more than $25 in gas.