KAUSpilot, you are abusing that airplane needlessly. I hope this isn't how your instructor is teaching you (though I have seen/heard worse). If he/she is telling you to land in a crab because its "easier" then get yourself a new instructor. Think of the side loads you're putting on that landing gear. Guess what happens if you try and land in a crab with a retractable gear bird? I know of two friends that did $60,000 in damage to a 310 by landing in a slight crab. Main gear folded up, tip caught, props dug in, and she settled on her tail nicely. New prop, new tip tank, 3 cracked ribs, repaired spar, rebuild landing gear, rebuild motor, repaired the skin damage to the tail... The only place I've ever heard of landing a GA plane in a crab is in the Ercoupe, which couldn't be slipped in as it had no rudder pedals. Either lower your wing into the wind and keep the nose down the runway with rudder, or for god's sake, kick that crab out in the flare so you're at least pointing down the runway when you land. There's a differance between piloting an aircraft, and driving a cessna.
BTW- the book lists final approach speed for a 172 as 55-65 flaps down and 60-70 flaps up. Now tell me; what is the advantage of that extra speed? Unless the winds are gusty (or you have traffic following), there is no need to fly faster on final. All you'll do is eat up valuble runway, and accelerate wear on the tires and brakes. If you're flying as PIC, you should be comfortable and competent to operate the ship thru the performance envelope. That means landing too. If in doubt; look at the bottem of the white arc, a good rule of thumb is add 15 knots to that; in most GA singles that will get you 1.3 Vs0; if you're going into a short field, add 10 knots, that will get you 1.2. That is at max gross and most forward CG. So now you have that safety margin thrown in there too; you cannot possibly land at maximum gross takeoff weight (unless you already took off above it...) and how often are you at the forward limit. The only changes to this should be for 1/2 the gust factor.
(And FWIW, the placard in the 'hawks says "AVOID SLIPS WITH FLAPS EXTENDED" nothing about prohibited. Big differance; problem with slipping with flaps was in older 172's with 40 degrees, the flaps COULD blanket the horizontal stab at certian weight/cg conditions. This would cause either a buffetting in the yoke, or a nose down pitch. New models with 30 degrees only seem to have the mild buffett (and occasional fuel tank unporting in prolonged slips)
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy