Do you want to be a master of saving money when it comes to gas?
Gas prices have been on the rise for months, and that has become a serious problem for most of us. Did you know that the prices were raised by almost 50% compared to last year? Sheesh! That’s a lot! And that means our poor wallets have been taking some massive hits. On top of that, the war between Ukraine and Russia has increased the price of oil, and when the price of oil goes up, the cost on gas follows right behind it.
Did you know that the price of a gallon of gas hit almost $5.02 in mid-June? Of course, you may not be able to escape these prices, but there are plenty of good strategies you can adopt in order to save more money. Let’s find out together which ones are the best!
1. Pay with cash instead of a card
Having a car these days is more than mandatory, especially if you’re commuting every day to your workplace. However, every car owner is concerned about the rising gas prices, but there are a few tips and tricks to save a little bit more every time you go to the gas station. First, and most importantly, is paying with cash instead of a card.
Whether you believe it or not, the lowest price you see is likely a cash price only. In most cases, you will see that there is a big difference between cash and credit card prices, and that usually ranges from 5 to 10 cents per gallon. But in most cases, it can be much more. The main reason they’re charging you more for card purchases is mostly because they’re also charged by the banks for each transaction. If you’re choosing to pay by cash, they can avoid fees, so you might also get a small discount.
Each gas station has its own policies, and if you’re not sure about them, then maybe you should ask the employees if you’re unsure about the paying method.
2. Fill up on the cheapest days of the week
This shouldn’t be a surprise because when it comes to gas prices, Mondays are the best days when you can fill up and pay less. On weekends, they are usually more expensive because a lot of people are in a hurry to leave town, and they are willing to pay as much as possible to get to their destination.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are planning to get a big discount when you decide to fill up, do a bit of research to see where the cheapest station is in your area. Maybe the biggest discounts are on Hump Day or on Thursday right before the weekend starts.
3. Join a grocery store rewards program
Plenty of major grocery store chains partner with gas stations to offer members a considerable discount at the pump. And that’s more than welcome, especially with this inflation going on. I would say it’s been a blessing for my wallet lately because, in my case, I got 10 cents or sometimes even more off per gallon. It may not be much but it IS something!
For example, Stop & Shop, Kroger, and Safeway will give you gas discounts if you spend a certain amount of money in one of their stores after signing up for this rewarding program. If you manage to spend somewhere between $50 and $100, you can receive a fuel discount of 10 cents at one of their partner gas stations.
Just don’t overdo it! Even if this might sound tempting, you don’t need to spend a lot on groceries weekly just to earn a gas price reduction. Choose wisely!
4. Find the best price with a gas app
Phone apps are my favorite thing. Seriously! I either have to pay my bills through them or simply check out the latest discounts for my favorite grocery store. However, there are a lot of apps that can help you find the best price at the nearest gas station. Cool, right? Because, instead of wasting your time driving around your town looking for a cheap gas station, you can use GasBuddy.
This is by far the most popular app that can help you compare gas prices. Furthermore, you can also use Waze and Google Maps to select the nearest gas stations in your neighborhood and filter them by price.
5. Plan out your routes
When it comes to driving to various destinations, you might want to take a few things into consideration. When we decide to go on a vacation, we mostly think about the route first and if there is a more fuel-efficient route we can take. Doing this saved us a lot of money that we had initially planned on spending on gas.
This also applies to people who need to commute daily to their workplaces. If your employer won’t let you work from home, you can carpool with one of your coworkers who has the same route as you in order to pay less for the fuel. Furthermore, having a friend with you will make that boring ride to work much more pleasant.
You can also opt for public transportation or for a more exercise-oriented approach like buying a bicycle and using it a couple of times a week if it’s not a long distance.
6. Reduce AC use
Summer is in full bloom now, and most of the time, an AC is mandatory. But in this case, it might be a curse if you are actively trying to save more money on gas. Did you know that heat can help your engine warm up even faster? And if you are using air conditioning during the warmer days, it can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 25%.
When you start your car, don’t idle with the AC blasting to cool it down quickly, because the system cools faster when you’re driving. If you’re only driving for a short distance, try to let down your windows because the AC is more efficient while driving at highway speeds.
Don’t forget to optimize the temperature settings instead of blasting your AC to the maximum.
7. Ease up on the gas and brakes
Did you know that gas mileage typically decreases quickly at speeds above 50 miles per hour? This might cost you $0.23 per gallon, and that’s a lot of money! A lot of people use quick acceleration, especially when they’re in a hurry, so why don’t you leave home earlier and drive at a slower pace instead of rushing down the streets?
8. Avoid excessive idling
Most vehicles (if they’re a new model) have engines that automatically stop when you idle your car, and the main reason for this is to save gas. Usually a stop at the traffic lights takes almost 60 seconds while starting the car only requires about 10 seconds of gas. This might not be the case for older vehicles when it’s not recommended to turn off your engine. However, if you parked the car safely to wait for someone, you might consider turning off the engine to save on gas.
9. Remove excess weight from your car
Unless you’re going grocery shopping, you shouldn’t be weighing down your car with things you don’t need. It has been proven that losing almost an extra 100 pounds stored in your vehicle can improve your fuel consumption. You can save up to $0.03 per gallon if you leave your vehicle clutter free instead of stuffing it full of unnecessary items.
How often do you do this?
10. Park in the right spot
Did you know that Americans spend almost 17 hours per year searching for a parking spot?
Believe it or not, even your parking habits can affect how much you spend on gas because, in most cases, extremely high temperatures can affect the car’s fuel efficiency. During the cold season, it is recommended to park your car in a garage instead of leaving it on the street because it will keep the engine at an optimal temperature.
If it’s summer, it may be necessary to park the vehicle in a shady spot. This will save you from having to turn on the AC right after you return to the car. Keep in mind that whenever you arrive to your destination, you should grab the first good parking space you see.
I can guarantee that these small tips will help you reduce the cost of gas and put some money aside because, after all, who doesn’t need some extra savings for that amazing vacation you’ve been waiting for since last year?
Saving money is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible! Check this article out to discover our best tips: TOP 8 MOST AFFORDABLE GROCERY STORES IN THE US.