Looking for ways to save on gas? You’re not alone. With the price of gasoline skyrocketing due to the war in Ukraine, car owners are having to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Maybe that trip to the mom and pop store can wait until the big weekly shopping at the supermarket. The main thing is using that consumer noggin to think about how to save on gas, however you can. Shopping around for the best gas prices and driving smarter are some of the ways drivers can lower their gasoline expenditures.
This week, gas prices in California rose to just under $6, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine still going strong. As oil supplies shrink, and gas prices astronomical, Americans are feeling the pain at the pump. The cost of gasoline had already risen before the war in Ukraine, along with inflationary prices on other consumer items. Consumers are frustrated, because consumers are also commuters: one needs to work to pay for things, but with gas prices so high, the commute to work feels way too expensive. We can’t help but wonder: how can we reduce costs at the pump?
With a bit of extra thought it’s possible to save money simply by being more intentional at the wheel. Intentional driving is responsible driving. When you drive, take into account how to use less gas. For example, think twice before you slam on the accelerator or weave between the lanes. These driving maneuvers use more gas. Driving carefully can lead to savings of 38% on fuel costs. That’s nothing to sniff at.
One of the best ways to be fuel efficient when driving, is to accelerate slowly. Avoid slamming your foot onto the pedal the second the light turns green. If you see a red light up ahead, don’t continue on at the same speed only to come to a sudden stop. You’ll use less gas by gradually slowing down from a distance. Believe it or not, making these few simple changes to the way you drive, can save you hundreds of dollars at the gas pump on an annual basis.
Shop Around for Better Gas Prices
Right now, the cost of gas is high everywhere. Still, a savings of even ten cents a gallon can add up to a significant reduction in your gas expenditures over time. As you drive, watch out for gas stations and price compare. Next time you fill up, you’ll know where to go to save on gas for the best bargain in town. Another great way to find the cheapest gas in town is to use the GasBuddy app, which can save you up to $0.40 a gallon. That’s nothing to sniff at.
Routine Car Maintenance
Taking care to perform routine maintenance tasks makes your car more fuel efficient to keep down gas costs. When your car is in good condition, it just runs more efficiently. Get regular tune-ups, clean your air filters, watch to see that tires are properly inflated, and keep an eye on oil and fluid levels. These are all great ways to save on gas. Just ensuring that your tires are inflated according to the recommended level of pressure can make a huge difference. Check the recommended tire pressure as listed in your car owner’s manual or on the sticker located on the inside of the door on the driver side of your car.
Look for Cashback Opportunities
Use gas rebate credit cards and cashback apps to get cash back when you buy gas. It pays to compare cards to see which one will work best for your personal spending habits. A gas rebate card can help you recover as much as 5% of your gas costs along with other rewards. Tack that onto a cashback app such as GetUpside, and you’ll be saving a hefty wad of dough every time you fill your tank.
Save on Gas with Early Fill-Ups
Here’s a piece of gasoline trivia you may not know: gas prices are generally lower at the beginning of the work week. Monday averages out as the most cost-conscious day to buy gas. Friday, meantime, is when the average price of gas reaches its peak. According to GasBuddy, private car owners can save between $50-100 a year just by limiting fill-ups to Mondays. (Way to turn around those Monday blues.)
Use A/C at Higher Speeds
You might think you’ll save more on fuel by opening the windows. But actually, it depends. If you’re driving below 40 miles per hour, go ahead and roll down those windows. Driving any faster and you’ll want to turn on your car’s air conditioner. Driving at higher speeds with the windows down means more drag on your car. That means wasting more gas than you would if you used the A/C.
Carpool or Donate Your Car
Do you have acquaintances with a similar daily commute? Could you double up on shopping with a friend? Carpooling is a great way to save on gas. You’d also save money on maintenance, insurance, and car payments.
Some car owners are opting to use public transportation over their private cars, and that’s yet another way to save. But still others are selling or donating their cars to charity. It’s a difficult market for selling cars. People are getting rid of their cars, rather than buying them, in order to save on gas. Car donation seems the natural alternative to selling your car.
With car donation, the charity assumes all the responsibility for finding buyers or recycling the car for parts. In some cases, there’s even free pickup and towing. Donating your car is fast and easy with the better charities, and it’s also tax deductible, which is a savings, right there.
Finally, a two-car family can look for ways to pare down to a single car, and sell or donate the other. Even if you keep one car in the garage, you stand to save on fuel. If two of you commute to work in separate cars, think about driving together, with one of you dropping off and picking up the other on the way to and from work.
Limit Car Use
One good way to save on gas is to take the time to do some advance planning about when and how to use your car. Instead of several car trips to the convenience store, plan out your meals and what you will need for the week, and do one big weekly shopping at the supermarket. Look into buying in bulk which may mean fewer trips to the store.
Aside from shopping logistics, before you get into the car, consider walking or riding a bike to your destination. That may not be feasible when distance or inclement weather is an issue. Most of us however, will pile in the car and ride where we’re going, even for short distances, and on sunny days. There’s no need to tell you that walking or riding a bike translates to fresh air and exercise. It goes without saying that when you refrain from driving, you save on gas.
Life on a Budget
There are many things in life that are out of our control, but your budget is not one of them. We all have the ability to manage our expenses and find ways to pull in our belts. Even if you implement just one or two of our 8 tips to save on gas, you should see a significant reduction in how much you spend at the pump.