How to Save Money on Gas – 17 Smart Tips
Gas prices keep rising, making it a challenge to save money at the pump. Here are 17 smart tips to help you save money on gas.
Filling up your vehicle with gas these days can be quite a miserable experience. It’s somewhat frustrating to watch the counter flip past $30, then $40, and keep going up.
However, it is possible to save money on gas based on where and when you fill up, how you pay, and how you drive. Even the condition of your car can help you save on gas.
I’ve put together a list of 17 ways to help you save money on gas so you can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket each year.
How to Save Money on Gas at the Pump
The biggest savings will come from the price you’re paying for gas at the gas station. Coming up with a strategy before filling up will help you save on gas tremendously.
1. Use apps to find the cheapest gas.
Don’t you just hate it when you fill up on gas and then see that gas is much cheaper at the gast station right down the street? There are several different apps and websites that will let you know the price of gas at the gas stations in your area. One of the most popular apps is GasBuddy.
Gas prices differ from state to state so if you’re planning on traveling, check where prices are lowest along your route. Gas stations in the middle of a city or just off a highway exit tend to be more expensive. Plan to go a little further out to save money.
2. Go for regular.
Premium gas can cost up to 40 cents more per gallon than regular-grade fuel. In most cars, higher-octane gas isn’t beneficial or even necessary, so you’re just spending more money for no reason. Unless your car’s manufacturer specifically requires premium, use regular-grade gasoline to save money on gas.
3. Use cash instead of credit cards.
To avoid card processing fees, some gas stations will charge a lower price per gallon of gas if you pay with cash.
4. Use a rewards credit card.
If you’re going to use a credit card to pay for gas anyway, why not get rewarded for it? Look for a credit card that offers cash back or reward points when you purchase gas. Be sure to pay the fuel charges off each month to avoid paying interest on gas purchases. Not only will you save on gas, but you’ll also get rewarded for purchasing it.
5. Use free or discounted gift cards.
Gift card sites like Gift Card Granny and Raise allow you to purchase discounted gift cards that you can use on gas purchases. Or you can earn free gift cards from survey sights like Inbox Dollars and MyPoints.
6. Join a fuel rewards program.
Many gas stations offer fuel rewards programs to try to turn you into a returning customer. BPme Rewards, Exxon Mobil Rewards, Shell Fuel Rewards, Kroger Fuel Points are just a few of the fuel rewards programs out there. Each gas station fuel rewards program has its own set of rules when it comes to saving and maximum spending amount, so read all the fine print before filling up.
7. Fill up earlier in the week.
According to GasBuddy.com study, gas prices tend to be higher towards the end of the week and on weekends. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to get the lowest price on gas. So if you’re serious about saving money on gas, fill up at the beginning of the week.
How to Save on Gas with Good Driving Habits
How much you drive and how you manage your vehicle both contribute to how much you spend on gas.
8. Plan your route.
Plan your shopping trips and errands in a way so that you’re reducing your drive time. Try to do all of your errands in one day instead of splitting them up over several days. Also, if there’s a grocery store near your job, plan to grab your groceries after work on the way home. Just cutting a few miles several times a week can add up to hundreds of miles saved each year. Less time on the road means less gas used and more money in your pocket.
If possible, try carpooling with co-workers who live nearby and have similar schedules. Also, consider organizing carpools with friends or responsible neighbors to take your kids to school and/or after-school activities.
10. Don’t idle.
Starting your car and leaving it running for a long time wastes gas and causes more air pollution. Make sure everyone is ready to go before starting your car.
11. Accelerate slowly.
The faster you accelerate, the more gas you use, so bring your car up to speed gradually. Also, look ahead for stops and turns so you can take your foot off the pedal sooner to slowly glide to a stop. Coasting will actually get you better mileage!
12. Use cruise control on highways.
Using cruise control to stay at a steady speed actually saves on fuel usage. However, using cruise control on hilly roads may waste gas due to the system downshifting too much. As an added bonus, cruise control can help you stick to the speed limit!
13. Slow down.
The faster you drive, the more wind resistance you face, which lowers your fuel economy. So be sure to follow the speed limit or drive just under it.
Keep Your Car Maintained
Believe it or not, the condition of your car makes a huge difference in how much gas it uses.
14. Check the gas cap.
A missing gas cap or a bad seal can cause gas to evaporate from your tank, costing you money and polluting the air. Replace the gas sooner rather than later if you notice that the rubber seal seems worn or damaged.
15. Check the tire pressure.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage, causing you to lose about 2 cents per gallon. To find the right amount of tire pressure for your vehicle, check the owner’s manual, the sticker in the glove box, or the sticker in the driver’s side door jamb.
16. Use the right oil.
Look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” or “Energy Saving” during oil changes. Using the wrong grade of motor oil can cost you up to 6 cents per gallon. Synthetic motor oil may cost more than conventional oil, but it reduces gas mileage because it reduces friction better.
17. Lesson your load.
Having too much weight in your car reduces your gas mileage. Remove anything you don’t need from your car to lighten it up. Also, if you have unused bicycle or ski racks, take them off. They’re just extra weight that create more wind resistance – both of which reduce gas mileage.
Do you have any tips to save money on gas? I’d love to know your best tips for how to save money at the pump!
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