The rising cost of gas is a significant cause of stress for many individuals and families. Many people know the basic ways of saving money on gas, such as driving less, turning off the air conditioner, lightening the load in your car, and driving slower. However, there are several more creative and resourceful ways that you can spend less at the pump.
1. Plan your trips to the pump wisely.
Studies have shown that gas prices are highest on the weekend and on holidays. Therefore, always try to fill up your tank during the week in order to save the most money. In addition, you should try to get gas in the early morning because gas prices tend to change mid-morning.
2. Make use of rewards programs.
Many gas stations will give you a certain number of points on a rewards card, depending on how much you spend on gas. After you have accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for a specific amount of money per gallon off of your next gasoline purchase.
3. Stop using your debit or credit card.
Most gas stations have to pay a merchant fee when they process your credit or debit card. Therefore, many of them will charge you less if you use cash instead. Even if you don’t typically carry cash on you, try to remember to keep at least $10 in your wallet so that you can take advantage of the savings.
4. Take advantage of smartphone apps.
Gas Buddy is a popular app that is available for iPhone and Android users. It allows you to find the cheapest gas based on your location. Another app that is useful for individuals trying to save money on gas is My MPG. This app is able to detect if your driving behavior is burning unnecessary gas. For instance, it will notify you if you frequently make sudden stops, which has been proven to raise your gas mileage.
5. Perform regular maintenance on your car.
One of the best ways to improve your gas mileage is to keep your tires inflated. This can improve your gas mileage by approximately three percent. In addition, make sure to regularly change your air filters. Keeping clean air filters in your vehicle not only saves you gas, but it also protects your engine from damage. Finally, always use the suggested engine oil grade for your vehicle. Using the wrong oil grade for your vehicle can decrease your gas mileage by almost two percent.
6. Practice being a more alert driver.
Studies show that accelerating quickly and braking suddenly or frequently on the highway can reduce fuel economy by approximately twenty percent. Therefore, it is important to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings so that you can avoid having to accelerate rapidly or brake abruptly.
7. Limit your warm-up time.
Even in cold weather, most vehicle engines only need to warm up for about a minute before you begin driving. Allowing your vehicle to idle for longer than that, in order to warm it up, is only wasting gas.
8. Look for discounted gift cards.
There are several websites, such as EBay, where you may be able to find someone selling their used gas gift card at a discount. There are other websites, such as Card Pool and Gift Card Nanny, which specifically sell used gift cards at a reduced rate.
9. Put your cruise control to good use.
Studies show that frequent changes in speed greatly reduce your vehicles gas mileage. Cruise control, a feature of most vehicles, solves this problem by keeping your vehicle at a specific and constant speed. In fact, using cruise control on highways can improve gas mileage by approximately seven percent.
10. Inspect your vehicle.
First of all, make sure that your gas cap is not broken. A broken gas cap can allow the gas in your tank to evaporate quickly. Next, make sure that your check engine light is not on. This could mean that your vehicle is emitting gas vapors and burning up a lot of gas. Finally, check your coolant levels. A malfunctioning cooling system can make your car overheat, causing your gas to vaporize faster.
Driving is an inevitable part of everyday life. Unfortunately, the high cost of gas is bound to cause stress and financial strain on many individuals. However, by taking advantage of the above tips, you can save a lot of money and ease your financial burdens.