In today’s economy, saving money on gas is more important than ever. According to AAA data, gas prices continue to hover at all-time highs, reaching a national average of $4.68 per gallon. The fuel cost has risen dramatically in recent months, causing a spike in inflation and showing no sign of slowing down.
However, there are a few ways to save money on gas and reduce your fuel costs. Here are 12 tips that will help you save money on gas!
Use a Gas Price Comparison App
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
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 follow the basics of personal finance and 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Final Thoughts on How To Save Money on Gas
Although it is unclear how long the current high gas prices will continue, following these tips will permanently save you money which you can use towards your financial goals.
Although these tactics would not significantly increase your average net worth, the savings do add up. However, do not miss the forest for the trees. Your primary focus should be on income-producing assets such as investing in stocks or real estate investing. Or even starting a side hustle for passive income.
After all, no one built generational wealth by saving money on gas!
John Dealbreuin came from a third world country to the US with only $1,000 not knowing anyone; guided by an immigrant dream. In 12 years, he achieved his retirement number.
He started Financial Freedom Countdown to help everyone think differently about their financial challenges and live their best lives. John resides in the San Francisco Bay Area enjoying nature trails and weight training.
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