If you live in a city where you need a car to get around, then you’ll likely want to know how to save money on gas.
As a car owner, gasoline costs is one of the things that can add up.
In fact, even your kids know this. And, it’s probably why they never fill the gas tank even if it’s running really close to empty.
Am I right? (I know this ranks among every parents’ pet peeves).
in any case, if you’re looking for easy ways to reduce your gas costs, the long list below will give you many different ideas to do so.
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How to Save on Gas By Getting the Best Deals
In case you didn’t know, there are many different ways you can save on gas expenses just by knowing where to look. Whether is a website, app, or card, the list below shows you different ways to get a discount or save money on gas.
Use Apps to Find Where Gas is Cheapest
Don’t you hate it when you’ve just refilled your car in the last gas station only to realize the next station is much cheaper?
Like you, that has happened to me many times. So how can you prevent that from happening?
You can use Waze and GasBuddy to check the prices of gasoline in the stations near you. These are just two of the many sites and apps that let you do this. But, I find that they’re both really effective.
Being able to know which gas stations are on your route, be it to work or on your way home, lets you plan ahead when you’re going to fill up for gas. More importantly, you’ll be able to tell beforehand which ones have lower prices.
These apps are likewise useful when you go on a road trip or need to travel to a city or drive to a state that you’re unfamiliar with.
Load Regular Gasoline
Over the years, gasoline stations have come up with lots of different premium formulations. Many of these come with the promise of improving engine performance and prolonging your car’s life. While that may be true, I haven’t really found a lot of proof of that.
And, if you’re like me, it doesn’t make sense to pay 20 to 40 cents more per gallon over the regular-grade gasoline.
Just imagine how much that comes out to every time you fill your tank.
- Smaller sedans come with about 12-gallon tanks. That’s between $2.40 to $4.80 price difference per full tank refill.
- Larger cars hold between 15 to 16 gallons. Premium gasoline costs you $3.20 to $6.40 more per refill.
- Mid-sized SUVs average 20 gallons. You spend $4.00 to $8.00 more per full tank refill on premium gasoline.
- Full-sized SUVs have gas tank capacities between 25 to 33 gallons. You end up spending $5.00 to $13.20 more just for filling premium gasoline.
Note that these are just one-time refills. Imagine how many times you go to refill your car every month or every year. If you multiply that, you can easily save quite a bit of money by filling up with regular gasoline.
Use a Rewards Credit Card
Another way to save extra cash on the gas pump without any effort is to use a rewards credit card or one that gives you cashback. Both let you save money but use different ways to do so.
- Cashback cards give you a portion of your money back after you’ve paid the full price. So in a way, it’s like a “reverse discount”.
- Rewards cards let you earn points or reward points that you can later redeem for items or cash. But, it takes longer than cashback cards because you often need to accumulate a certain number of points before you can redeem something.
Either way, you’re getting something each time you spend to fill up on gas.
Take Advantage of Fuel Rewards Programs
This is very closely related to rewards cards. In fact, you can classify it as a kind of reward card. The main difference is that fuel rewards programs are usually run by gas station chains and grocery stores.
The goal of these cards is to turn you into a loyal customer. Thus, each time you fill in their gas station or buy stuff from their grocery store, you earn fuel rewards. After you accumulate a certain number of points, you’ll be able to redeem those points for free gas.
The key difference is that different brand gas chains offer different terms for their rewards. That is, some will give you more points while others offer fewer points for the same amount of gas you fill. Similarly, what those points equate to in terns of free gas varies as well. And finally, how many points you need to accumulate to get free gas will differ as well. So, you’ll want to compare before jumping in.
As an example, GasBuddy lets you save 10 cents per gallon the first time you fill up. And, you can save 5 cents per gallon every time you fill up after that. They also have a premium option called GasBuddy premium which lets you save 20 cents per gallon.
Pay Cash If It’s Cheaper
Credit card processes mean extra fees for small businesses. This cuts into their profit. So, you might notice that some gas stations have different pricing for cash and credit card purchases.
If paying in cash helps you save money, then it’s a good option to keep a few more bucks in your pocket. In some cases, gas stations will let you use your debit card to get the cash price as well.
Earn Free Gift Cards or Use Discounted Gift Cards
Survey sites like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie let you earn gift cards (or cash) you can use to pay for your gas. This is a cool way to make gas money in little time with almost no effort at all.
Once you join, you’ll need to fill in some background details which help the survey site match you with brands. From there, you’ll receive surveys you can complete and get paid for answering them.
Surveys take between 10 to 25 minutes each and you earn a few bucks depending on what kind of questions it asks.
Fill Your Car Early in the Week
Have you ever noticed that gas prices tend to change throughout the week? If not, you might want to make quick notes of what your favorite gas station’s prices are on different days of the week.
According to a 2018 study, prices are lowest early in the week, with Monday being the cheapest time to fill up your car. Both Sunday and Tuesday are great options as well if you’re trying to get a deal.
In contrast, Thursday and Friday are the worst days to hit the gas station as prices tend to be highest then.
How to Save on Gas By Being a Better Driver
In addition to finding ways to save money on gas at the pump or when paying for it, you can likewise improve your driving to do so. That’s because being a better driver allows you to reduce the rate of gas consumed by your car.
Here are a few tips to save on gas by improving your driving habits.
Check the Routes Before You Go
if you look at Google Maps or Waze, you’ll notice that they recommend different routes you can take to get to your destination. And, from there, these sites will also pick the one with the shortest time needed to get there.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that each route varies by distance. Similarly, some are more congested than others.
Longer routes make your car burn more fuel. And, being stuck in traffic not only wastes your valuable time, it also keeps your car idle for long periods. Thus, causing your vehicle to consume more gas as well.
One way to save on gas is to use your car less frequently. Carpooling is a great way to do this. By doing so, you’ll be able to reduce the number of times you drive and still be able to get to your destination.
Don’t Make Extra Trips When You Can Do It in One
Combining two or more potential trips into one saves gas because you don’t use the car as much. You can do this in one of two ways, or both.
- Option #1: You can use one trip to do all the things that are geographically near one another. This means grouping together errands that are in the same route or near one another.
- Option #2: Combining the things you might do in 2-3 trips into 1. For example, you visit the grocery store twice or thrice every 10 days. Instead of doing so, you buy everything you need in 1 trip.
Although they take a little more logistics management and organization, doing so reduces the number of trips you take. Doing so not only decreases your gasoline expenses but also saves you time.
Walk Instead (If You Can)
When traveling to nearby places or if you don’t need to carry large items, walking is a more cost-efficient, not to mention a healthier way to get around.
This allows you to exercise and get a bit of fresh air along the way while keeping your car at home.
The one sure-fire way not to spend money on gasoline is to stay home. While it sounds a bit boring, not using your car ensures that you won’t need to fill it up anytime soon.
Maintain Optimum Tire Pressure
Routinely checking your tire pressure is a good way to keep your car running well. More importantly, maintaining proper tire pressure lets you improve gas mileage by.5% to 3%.
All you need to do is check your owner’s manual to see what the recommended psi level is. Then go to the gas station and set the air pump to that level. In some cases, there might be a sticker on the backside of your car’s door which tells you the ideal psi range for your tires.
On the other hand, keeping your tires underinflated reduced your gas mileage by 0.2% for every 1 psi it’s off.
Get Rid of Extra Useless Stuff in Your Car
The more weight that’s on your car, the more fuel it uses up. This is very similar to airplanes, which is why airlines limit the amount of weight of your baggage.
As such, if you don’t need extra stuff like racks, spoilers, heavy custom rims, or mudguards/flaps, get rid of them. Similarly, get rid of the junk that’s in your truck or on the backseat of your car.
Keeping lots of extra stuff in your car increases the weight it has to carry. Thus, makes you consume more gas.
Use the Right Oil
Many of us just go with any kind of oil whenever we take the car for an oil change. Often, the cheapest oil works well enough, right?
It does. But, you can also save 3 to 5 cents per gallon on gasoline by replacing the oil in your car with the right one. Often, manufacturers will tell you what kind of oil you should your for your vehicle in the owner’s manual.
Similarly, when it comes to motor oil, synthetic is better. That’s not something you hear often. But, while synthetic oil is 2-3 times more expensive than conventional motor oil, it also improves your car’s mileage.
Pick a Fuel Efficient Car
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of gas your car consumes is by choosing a vehicle with a higher MPG (miles per gallon). This means it is more fuel-efficient as it can go more miles for each gallon of gas it uses.
In general, smaller cars have a lower MPG than bigger SUVs and trucks. Similarly, electric cars or hybrids are significantly more fuel-efficient. And, newer cars tend to be better at saving on gas compared to older ones. The only exception to that last one is if your car is really well-maintained.
Also, if you don’t mind using a stick shift, it’s worth noting that manual transmission vehicles use less gasoline compared to the ones that run on an automatic transmission.
Learning how to save money on gas lets you keep a few extra bucks each month to use for paying down debt or the utility bills. If you look at the list above, you’ll notice that many of the strategies are very easy to incorporate into your day to day life. In fact, some are just one time things that will let you save money over and over again.