Unlock Savings at the Pump: 12 Essential Strategies for Reducing Your Fuel Expenses

Woman refueling car on petrol station

As spring blooms and road trip season kicks into high gear, drivers face the challenge of balancing wanderlust with the rising cost of fuel. The average regular gas price as of March 2024 is $3.45 per gallon and at the highest level since November.

But fear not! We’ve compiled 12 invaluable tips to help you navigate the highways and byways while keeping your gas budget in check. From clever tricks to tried-and-tested techniques, discover how you can maximize your mileage and minimize your spending, ensuring that your spring road adventures are not just memorable but also affordable. Whether you’re planning a cross-country expedition or a weekend getaway, these tips will empower you to make the most of every gallon, so you can hit the road with confidence and ease.

Use a Gas Price Comparison App

GasBuddy Mobile App on phone
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With gas prices constantly increasing, ensuring you’re getting the best deal possible when you fill up is more important than ever. There are a few different approaches you can take. You can drive to several stations to compare prices or use a gas price comparison app.

Gas price comparison apps like GasBuddy and AAA are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a convenient way to find lower prices from different providers in your area. By entering your location and the type of gas you’re looking for, you can quickly see which stations in your area offer the best prices.

You can also set up alerts so that you’ll always be informed when gas prices change in your area. Whether you’re a casual driver or a serious road warrior, a gas price comparison app is valuable in your arsenal.

Signup for Gas Credit Cards and Loyalty Programs

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Credit cards that offer cash back on gas purchases can be a great way to save money. Some cards provide between 2% to 5% cash back on gas purchases which can add significant savings over time.

Many different cards are available, so it is important to compare features and benefits before choosing one. Be sure to pay off your credit card balance on time and in full each month.

With some research, you can find the perfect card for your needs and save money on gas.

Earn rewards with fuel loyalty programs. Most major gas companies, including Shell, BP, and Exxon, have rewards systems. Regional grocery stores like Kroger and Safeway also offer fuel reward programs.

Costco, Walmart Plus, and Sam’s Club provide members with discounted gas costs; however, since the club membership involves annual fees, you need to run the numbers to see if it would be worth it.

Plan Your Trips and Drive Sensibly

Cruise control buttons
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Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. When your engine is cold, your fuel efficiency is lower than when it has been warmed up. As per Fueleconomy.gov, a couple of short trips made from a cold start would use twice as much gasoline as a longer multipurpose journey covering the same distance.

A study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that aggressive behavior behind the wheel can lower gas mileage in light-duty vehicles by about 10 to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic and roughly 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds. 

For you and others, defensive driving is also safer, so you may save more than just money on gasoline. Many insurance companies provide discounts for defensive driving. Also, at speeds above 50 mph, fuel efficiency typically deteriorates rapidly. Each five mph you drive over 60 mph is equivalent to paying an additional $0.15 per gallon for gas.

Cruise control on the highway allows you to maintain a constant speed while saving gasoline, in most cases.

Drive Less

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One of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. Every time you get in your car, you release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. By driving less, you can significantly reduce your contribution to climate change.

In addition, driving less can also save you money on gas and maintenance costs. If everyone made an effort to drive less, it would positively impact the environment and our wallets. So next time you need to run a quick errand, try walking or biking instead of driving. You’ll be doing your part to help the planet and save money simultaneously.

Don’t Use Your AC

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One way to conserve energy and save money is to avoid using your car’s air conditioner. According to the US Department of Energy, running the AC in your vehicle can use up to 30% more fuel than if you open the windows. In addition, the AC puts extra strain on your car’s engine, which can lead to increased wear and tear.

Suppose you need to cool off while driving; try turning on the fan and opening the windows. You may also want to park in a shady spot and turn off the engine while taking a break. By accepting these simple steps, you can help conserve energy and prolong the life of your car’s AC unit.

Eliminate Excess Weight

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Excess weight in your car can hurt your gas mileage. For every extra 100 pounds, your vehicle will use 1% to 2% more fuel.

Hauling goods on your roof adds aerodynamic (wind) resistance and lowers fuel efficiency. According to research, the penalty for installing a rooftop cargo box on a compact sedan at higher speeds was as much as 25-27%.

When you don’t need an external cargo container, it’s more cost-effective and fuel-efficient to remove it. The same applies to racks or storage on the top or back of your vehicle. Leaving your canoe or bike on the car will add weight, reducing aerodynamic efficiency.

Keep Your Car Well-Maintained

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Owning a car is a big responsibility. Not only do you have to ensure that it has enough gas to get you from point A to point B, but you also need to perform regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Failing to do so can result in decreased gas mileage, increased repair costs, and even complete engine failure.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things that you can do to keep your car well-maintained and save money on gas. For example, according to the US Department of Energy, keeping tires inflated to the recommended pressure can improve your gas mileage by up to 3%.

Additionally, ensuring that your engine is tuned correctly and regularly changing your oil and air filter will help to prolong the life of your engine and save you money on expensive repairs down the road. Regular maintenance on your automobile can help you save time, money, and aggravation in the long term.

Avoid Rush Hour Traffic

Traffic
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Many people dread rush hour traffic, and for a good reason. Not only is it frustrating to be stuck in a long line of cars, but it can also be very costly.

Idling in traffic wastes gas, and the stop-and-go nature of rush hour driving can strain your car’s engine, leading to increased maintenance costs.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to avoid rush hour traffic. One is to adjust your work schedule to avoid peak travel times.

If that’s not possible, drivers can stay informed about traffic conditions using traffic monitoring apps. You can map out the best way to get to your destination and avoid any congestion spots.

By following these tips, drivers can save time and money by avoiding rush hour traffic.

Carpool With Friends or Coworkers

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Carpooling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on gasoline, and get to know your fellow commuters.

When carpooling, it is crucial to designate a driver who will be responsible for getting the group to their destination safely. It is also essential to establish ground rules, such as how many people can ride in the car, whether there will be breaks for bathroom or coffee shops, and how to rotate the designated driver designation.

Many cities have designated carpool lanes on the freeway. Besides saving money on gas, you can also save commute time.

Once you have a plan, carpooling is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and save money on gas. Plus, if you carpool with your coworkers, you can have your work-related meetings in the car, enabling you to save time at work.

Join the Micro Mobility Movement

Full body length view of smiling young couple driving electric kick scooters in the city, hanging out together. Happy casual guy and lady riding outdoors, spending time on weekend, copy space
Depositphotos Photo by Milkos

Electric scooters and bikes are becoming increasingly popular due to their many advantages over traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that they save money on gas. It is not only good for your wallet but also good for the environment. Electric vehicles emit zero emissions, much cleaner than gas-powered cars.

They are also very quiet, so you can use them where gas-powered vehicles would be disruptive.

Electric scooters and bikes are often more lightweight and maneuverable than cars, making them ideal for city driving.

So if you’re looking for a more efficient, environmentally-friendly, and fun way to get around, an electric scooter or bike may be just what you’re looking for.

Buy a More Fuel-Efficient Car

Power supply for electric car charging.  Electric car charging station.
Depositphotos Photo by kasto

If you’re looking to save money on your monthly expenses, one of the best places to start is your car. Gasoline is one of the most expensive commodities, so it’s no surprise that fuel costs can take a big chunk of your budget.

One way to save money on gas is to buy a more fuel-efficient car. Today’s cars are much more efficient than they were just a few years ago, so you can save a significant amount of money by upgrading to a newer model.

Another option is to trade your car for a smaller, more fuel-efficient model. It can be a great choice if you don’t need much space or power and you’re looking to save as much money as possible on gas. Whichever route you choose, switching to a more fuel-efficient car is an excellent way to save money on your monthly expenses.

Many cities also permit fuel-efficient cars to use the carpool lane during peak rush hour. Consequently, you can also save time and avoid traffic congestion.

Use Public Transportation

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Public transportation can be a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. By using buses, trains, or other forms of mass transit, you can avoid the costs of owning and operating a car, including gas, insurance, and maintenance.

In addition, public transportation typically emits fewer greenhouse gases than private vehicles, making it a more environmentally friendly option. If you live in an area with good public transportation options, consider leaving your car at home next time you need to run errands or commute to work.

You may be surprised at how much money you can save – and how much good you can do for the planet.

Internal Revenue Code, Section 132(f)—Qualified Transportation Fringe Commuter benefits allow employees to enroll in a commuter benefits program and pay for their commuting costs with pre-tax money, up to the current limit of $280/ month for 2022.

Rev Up Your Savings and Hit the Road with Cash to Spare

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Depositphotos Photo by Ivantsov

In today’s economy, saving money on gas is more important than ever. Although prices are lower than the peak prices of Jun 2022, the fuel cost has risen dramatically in recent months and showing no sign of slowing down.

As you hit the road armed with these 12 money-saving strategies, remember that every little adjustment can add up to significant savings. By implementing these tips and incorporating them into your routine, you’ll not only enjoy more affordable travels but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. So, buckle up, enjoy the ride, and let these gas-saving hacks pave the way to smoother, more budget-friendly journeys ahead. Safe travels!
 
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Investors Snatch 26% of Affordable Homes, Crushing Dreams of Homeownership for Many

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In the fourth quarter of 2023, real estate investors secured a whopping 26.1% of affordable homes sold in the U.S as per a Redfin report. This figure, a record high, marks a significant surge from the previous year’s 24%. Investors also acquired 13.6% of mid-priced homes (a slight decrease from 14.3% a year earlier) and 15.9% of high-priced homes (a slight increase from 15.4% a year earlier).

Investors Snatch 26% of Affordable Homes, Crushing Dreams of Homeownership for Many

Social Security Faces Insolvency in Just 10 Years

Social Security and Medicare
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The Trustees of Social Security and Medicare unveiled their yearly financial forecasts for both programs, looking ahead over the next 75 years. The newly released projections for Social Security paint a grim picture of rapid progression towards insolvency in 10 years, underscoring the urgent need for trust fund remedies to avert widespread benefit reductions or sudden adjustments in taxes or benefits.

Social Security Faces Insolvency in Just 10 Years

Surging 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals Unveil a Growing Concern Threatening Middle-Class Financial Stability

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Recent reports from major retirement players like Vanguard, Fidelity Investments, and Bank of America point to a troubling trend. More individuals are resorting to hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) accounts, signaling a rise in immediate financial strains. This emerging pattern indicates that many Americans are navigating severe financial challenges.

Surging 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals Unveil a Growing Concern Threatening Middle-Class Financial Stability

Top 6 High-Paying Jobs That Thrive Even in Recession Times

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We all want a job that pays well, gives our life meaning and lets us do something useful. However, job security is also vital to long-term growth and increasing our average net worth, which means working in a recession-proof field. If the past few years have taught us anything, some jobs are built to last and can withstand any economic downturn. It can unquestionably influence the field of work that we choose to go into. So, what are recession-proof jobs, and what aren’t? Here’s a look at some of the top recession-proof jobs.

Top 6 High-Paying Jobs That Thrive Even in Recession Times

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