I n recent times, everyone is finding a crucial quick fix for how to save money on gas. The reason is the climbing prices of gas across the U.S. For more than a decade now, widespread gasoline shortages have forced Americans to work a bit more on improving their driving habits.
Gasoline is a necessary expense for many Americans, especially those who need to cover up distance for work. Thus, your driving habits can help you in saving hundreds of dollars.
Several factors translate your negative experience of filling gas tanks into great. For instance, how you drive, when you visit the gas station, how you pay, where you go to fill up your gas tank, and the condition of your car.
So go a long way by applying these super money-saving tips on gas and chop off a significant number of dollars from your yearly gas tally.
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How to Save Money at the Gas Stations?
It’s important to strategize before you fill up the gas station. Thus, focus on having the biggest savings by incorporating these tips.
1. Use Apps to Discover the Cost-Effective Gas
Are you thinking of using the cheapest price gas? If so, then you can come to a gas station that has more affordable fuel prices right down your street; or that you frequently pass by instead of driving across your town for saving just a gallon.
GasBuddy and Waze are the two most popular options. However, you will find several other apps and websites that compare the gas prices in your area at different stations.
GasBuddy offers its best fuel-saving program that is – Pay with GasBuddy. By this program, you have the option to join for free; you can save up to 25 cents/gallon while filling up a majority of chains of national gas stations.
Also, for a paid version, you can sign up. You have the best option to Pay with GasBuddy Premium that amounts to $9.99/month, and it even offers nearly 40 cents/gallon along with 24-hour roadside assistance.
On the other hand, Waze is one of the best alternatives to Google Maps. Besides directions and various other details, you can even search for gas stations along with their current prices.
Also, apps like MapQuest, Gas Guru, Dash, AAA Mobile, Drivvo, and more help you in comparing gas prices in your community. Also, you can find these apps on Google Play Store and Apple Play Store.
Another best app is MapQuest, which allows you to plan all your reservations, road trips, and many more things while you’re on long drives. The app even shows you essential details regarding your alternative routes, current traffic jams and compares the gas prices in and around your community.
Apps like Gas Guru help you in showing the best directions to the cheapest and nearest gas stations.
Dash is a unique Bluetooth-connected app that costs you nothing. In fact, it efficiently tracks your driving style, monitors what the check engine light is indicating, and compares the nearby gas prices for you.
With the help of Dash, you can pad your savings as it helps you in becoming a better driver and scouts best gas prices for you.
Other than insurance, AAA also offers one of the top services like on-road gas delivery with the best membership discounts. The app even does wonders for electric vehicles as it shows how far and where’s the charging point from your current location.
Drivvo is the one-stop car management app that allows you to store details like maintenance costs, expenses, and everything related to your car. Additionally, it shows you the nearby and cheapest gas stations.
So, whenever planning for a trip, first, check where the prices are low throughout your route! It’s because gas prices may significantly vary across various state lines. Avoid filling up your tank at stations when you’re in the middle of a major city or just off any highway exit. Such gas station locations tend to charge you slightly higher than those present on the outskirts.
Tip: Do not wait for your tank to get empty and thus, forcing you to buy gas from the closest place possible.
2. You Join a Warehouse Club
As these gas prices are skyrocketing, it has now become the need for Americans to save money at the pump. Thus, warehouse clubs like Sam’s, B.J.’s Club, and Costco come into the picture for selling gas to members. Often (not always, though), these clubs have the lowest-priced gas in the town.
It is especially beneficial for shoppers like me who know they’ll at least drive or visit their warehouse club once a week.
3. Say No to Utilization of Premium Gas (If Possible)
In the past few decades, the gasoline industry in the U.S. has transformed enormously. Today, a bulk of cars run fine on mid-grade or regular gasoline.
Additionally, depending on your state’s requirements, the additives and detergents mixed at the refinery into gasoline for reducing emissions. Notably, several high-performance engines fee the necessity for premium gasoline in some cases. Nonetheless, it’s declared in the owner’s manual and on the gas cap as well.
When you want to know when you should use premium, it’s categorized into two essential parts: First, “required,” second, “recommended.”
Unleaded gas is known to be “regular” or “premium,” which depends on its octane level. Also, don’t forget that from state to state, this determination varies, but usually, gas with an octane rating above 91 is thought-out to be “Premium.” And the octane rating of 87 is considered regular.
Moreover, mid-grade gas with octane number 89 cracks the difference between premium and regular gas. You can spot these levels easily at the pump when you select your gas.
Higher-octane fuel helps ensure that there’s no unnecessary burning of fuel in your engine as it helps keep your engine much clearer. So, make sure you don’t use the wrong octane gasoline that can cause knocking on your engine. So it’s recommended to use “unleaded” regular gasoline that has the octane rating of at least 87-91 or 91-95.
In case of required: When your car requires premium gas, you should use it to avoid damage to your engine. And the moment your car recommends premium, you can do experiments by using lower grades.
Moreover, even if your car’s performance is good and delivers a good fuel economy, then you can avoid a premium. Also, if the premium gas rate is 25 cents/gallon, let’s say, then that makes your saving speed up to $3.75 with every 15-gallon tank.
4. Discounted or Free Gift Cards Amplify Your Savings
You can earn cash or gift cards from various survey sites such as Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, CashKarma, or MyPoints. Also, you can buy discounted gift cards from websites such as Giftcard.com, Raise, CardCash, eBates, and more.
If we talk about CardCash, it has gift cards for over 1000 retailers. And on the website, you can look for cards at up to 35% off. Thus, it’s time to grab some great deals.
On the other hand, eBates (now Rakuten) is an excellent way of earning cashback on purchases that include gift cards. Moreover, with the help of eBates, you can earn cashback at over 2,000 retailers. You can even find discounted gift cards for a bulk of retailers.
5. Earn More By Using a Rewards Credit Card
Choose a credit card when fueling up your car. Going for a credit card helps in earning you great cashback. Also, purchasing gas and paying through a credit card allows you to make a great deal on reward points.
The only thing to ensure is that you know all the details before opening your rewards credit card. Additionally, payout your fuel charges every month so that there’s no interest left on your gas purchase that you need to pay. You can even use a gas credit card (rewards credit card that helps you earn points or rewards on every purchase).
Perpetual favorites with good to excellent credit available to consumers are:
- PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card – As per the analysis, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers you the highest rewards rate at every gas station. The card currently offers 5X points with every dollar spent at the pump for gas purchases.
- The card charges no annual fee, and this gives road trip enthusiasts the best chance to maximize their savings. Additionally, at gas stations, you can earn high rewards. Also, cardholders get 3X points’ benefit for every supermarket purchase.
- If you wish to maximize your rewards at gas stations, then an average American can earn around $111 annually with the help of this card.
- PNC Cash Rewards® Visa®Card – It offers 4% cashback at gas stations for cardholders. Also, it’s one of the highest cashback rates that you find at gas stations.
- The Citi Premier Card helps you earn a 3% return on every eligible (worthy) gas purchase.
- The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is another card that helps you earn a 3% return rate on all purchases of eligible gas stations.
- American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred Card helps you earn 3% cashback on every eligible gas station purchase in the U.S.
6. An Early Fill Up of Gas is a Smart Move!
According to the lead petroleum analyst of GasBuddy, Patrick De Haan, gas prices are usually lowest on two days – Mondays and Tuesdays.
And if you are in search of buying cheap gas, then avoid fill-in in your tank on specific days, including Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when the prices of gas are probably the highest.
However, De Haan also extended his views by saying that gas isn’t necessarily the cheapest on Monday or Tuesday. People will see variations from location to location, and it even depends on what’s currently happening in the oil market.
Smart Tips on How to Save Money on Gas By Advancing Your Driving Skills
How you operate and frequently drive your vehicle plays an important role in how much you can save on gas and, at the same time, spend on gas.
7. Play Wise and Share Rides!
If you and your co-workers have similar schedules or live in nearby areas, you can organize a carpool with them. Also, you can use ride sharing and carpooling apps such as Curb, Wingz, GetAround, Uber, and Waze that can help in putting a little cushion on your savings.
If you and your co-workers have pretty similar schedules or they live in nearby areas, you can then easily organize a carpool with them. You can even plan such a sharing event with your friends or neighbors for transporting your children to extracurricular activities or school.
Parents can even benefit from swapping the driving duties. And thus, less timing on the road results in less gas usage, and the return gift you get saves more money.
8. Speed Up Slowly, Coast Higher, and You’re There!
As per Fueleconomy.gov, rash driving such as rapid acceleration, braking, and speeding) contribute to the wastage of gas. Also, such aggressive driving leads to lower your gas mileage by around 10-40% in stop-and-go traffic and 15-30% at highway speeds.
When you’re slowing or speeding down, do it steadily. Usually, the faster you speed up, the more gas your car uses. Also, remember to go with a gentle move on your pedal when accelerating high on the highway.
Another benefit of driving slowly is excelling mileage by coasting (selecting neutral gear). Additionally, you can take your foot off the gas a little sooner and further, steadily gliding to your stop. And guess what, it does wonders!
9. Drive Smartly and Go for Cruise Controlling
Cruise control helps you in becoming fuel-efficient. On average, it even helps you save around 7-14% on gas.
Without cruise control, it might be possible that you get better mileage when there’s a hilly voyage. The reason is the system in such a case is likely to downshift excessively and result in wasting gas.
Also, the continuous change in driver’s acceleration and deceleration habits contribute to eating more gas. The more you place your foot on the pedals, the more gas is consumed.
However, maintaining a steady speed with cruise control contributes to saving on fuel. Also, you can ensure that you do not surpass the speed limit.
Many people look around for driving tips that are either outdated or help you save little gas that’s of almost no worth. However, you can save a lot by making reasonable changes to your driving style.
According to the test done by CarGurus.com, braking sharply, high cruising speed, and rapid acceleration instead of coasting act as the biggest culprits in the gobbling of gas. Also, the test shows that motorists who prefer a “calm” style of driving can save up to 33 – 38 percent on gas.
Also, CarGurus suggests keeping your tire pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended specification (that you typically find on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb.
Additionally, it’s essential not just for the fuel economy but also for your enhanced safety and tire wear prevention, which could help you save huge.
10. Trim the Idle Time of Your Vehicle
Do you know, depending on the size of your vehicle, idling can use nearly a quarter to a half a gallon of gas every hour? Also, it depends on the air conditioner usage, and that in total adds up to three cents of wasted gas in a minute.
Please do not start your vehicle, and then leave it operating for a long time while waiting for everyone to fiddle with your navigation or for everybody to get in.
Ensure you are all set to leave before starting your vehicle. Idling is simply wastage of gas that causes even more air pollution.
11. Warming Up Your Vehicle Is Also a Must
According to the recommendation of most manufacturers, you should gently drive off after 30 seconds or so in winter. By doing this, the engine will warm up much faster, allowing the heat to turn beforehand, and hence, it decreases the fuel cost along with reducing the emissions.
12. Plan the Most Economical Route to Your Destination
While cruising or coasting, cars burn more excellent fuel at the time of acceleration. It means that the most fuel-efficient itinerary to your destination is not inevitably the shortest.
Moreover, it’s the route that needs the least deceleration and acceleration – follows the path with lower traffic volumes, less congestion, fewer stoplights, or overall better flow of traffic.
Additionally, determine the route with the help of a navigation app that covers up real-time traffic data like Waze. Or else, use apps that show stoplights and various other traffic control measures like Google Maps or Apple Maps.
Car Efficiency Matters When Saving is in Your Mind
Your car’s condition also makes a massive difference in gas consumption. So have a look at tips on how to craft your ride in that money-saving frame.
13. Monitor Your Gas Cap
A missing cap or bad seal allows gas to vaporize from your fuel tank. Apart from this, it costs you money and pollutes the air. Thus, if your rubber seal looks damaged or worn, immediately replace your gas cap.
14. Analyzing Tire Pressure is a Must
Did you know under-inflated tires can lower-down your gas mileage? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, such tires can even cause you to waste nearly 2 cents/gallon.
Moreover, to detect suitable tire pressure for your vehicle, check out the sticker in the side door jam of the driver, or check your owner’s manual, or even scan it in the glove box.
15. Weigh Down Your Car
The lesser you put, the more light your vehicle is, and the better your gas mileage will be. Simply remove the things you don’t need to lighten your vehicle, hence the mileage!
16. Get Rid of Racks
Take out that bicycle rack if it’s of no use to you. Also, you can lift off those big ski racks while you are at it. These racks are a little more weighty and build more wind resistance. And these two things pay to reduce gas mileage.
17. Make up Your Mind to Buy a Fuel-Efficient Car
Whenever there’s a spike in the gas prices, the fuel-efficient cars also climb up. However, instead of buying a gas-sipper vehicle, prefer a fuel-efficient car next time whenever you need a car.
With the help of the “Find and Compare” tool on FuelEconomy.gov, you can lookout for a car that perfectly matches your needs. Also, find a car that delivers better fuel economy.
Manufacturers have recently been trying to increase performance by saving fuel. They are making this effort by making turbocharged four-cylinder engines instead of six- and eight-cylinder engines.
Moreover, a turbocharged engine is designed in such a manner to advance accelerating by burning gas much more efficiently while delivering excellent fuel economy. Nonetheless, first, test-drive your turbocharged car to ensure that you still love riding your vehicle.
Pro Tip: Drive Less and Consider Health as Your Priority
If you need to cover a short distance, you can walk a few extra steps instead of taking the help of your vehicle to cover that distance. Moreover, walking down a few extra steps every day can help your waistline be in shape; it will be a win-win situation for you. By this, you will save a lot of money on gas by walking some extra steps.
Also, you can log in your activities in apps like Lose It and step-trackers such as Fitbit, which helps you in showing how many calories you should burn to shred your extra kilos.
Your Vehicle is Urging to Use the Right Oil
You have the best option to increase your gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent if you use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For instance, when you use 10W-30 motor oil in the engine, it’s designed using 5W-30 that contributes to lowering your gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent.
Using the 5W-30 specification in your engine is particularly designed for 5W-20, which can lower your gas mileage by a certain percentage between 1 – 1.5%.
As per the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use the wrong motor oil grade, it can help you cost 3-6 cents/gallon. Make sure to use the recommended oil grade of your manufacturer and monitor motor oil designated as “energy-saving” or “energy conserving.”
AutoGuide claims that synthetic motor oil – which may cost two or three times higher than conventional motor oil – helps improve the gas mileage and reduces friction in a better way.
We hope these tips on how to save on gas will rack up your pocket with some good cashback.