Gas prices are skyrocketing, but you can still get to where you need and want to go. From Save, here’s how to save money on gas!
Gas prices are soaring, but you can still get to the places you need and want to go without breaking the bank. From joining rewards programs to using apps, here’s how to save money on gas. And don’t forget to check your Save mailer for discounts on the things you use most!
Arguably the best way to save money on gas is to rethink how you drive. Carpool (and share gas expenses) when possible. Combine errands into a single trip. Plan your routes to reduce driving back and forth. Turn off the car instead of idling, and drive smoothly rather than making quick stops and starts. The less gas you use, the less money you’ll spend.
Gas prices can seem random, with one station charging several cents more than its competitor across the street. Rather than just going to the closest station, take a moment to check Gas Buddy, Waze, or another app. To save money on gas, you may need to go to a different station. These apps let you know real-time prices on gas in your area. And when you’re traveling, remember that prices can change dramatically as you cross state lines. An app can help you plan your gas stops to fill up in the cheapest areas.
Many gas station chains offer free or low-cost loyalty programs that provide discounts on gas (and sometimes retail items such as snacks or car washes). Every program is different, so be sure to read the fine print. You may need to buy a certain number of gallons or spend a specific dollar amount per month to receive your discount. And always double-check prices in an app. Sometimes another station is cheaper, even after the discount.
Many, though not all, gas stations offer a discount if you pay cash. This is likely due to credit card processing fees. Some stations will give the cash price if you use a debit, rather than credit, card. But this is a station-by-station decision, so carry cash and always ask before filling your tank.
If you don’t want to deal with cash, consider using a credit card that offers rewards. Many cards offer either reward points or cashback on a variety of purchases, including gas. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for. A large annual fee could offset the rewards you receive, especially if you don’t drive a lot of miles each year. You’ll also want to make sure you pay off your balance in full each month, as paying interest on fuel is never a smart idea.
Premium gas is expensive, in some cases costing as much as 40 cents a gallon more than regular. Fortunately, most passenger vehicles are designed to run just fine on regular unleaded gas. Unless you’re driving a high-performance car, and the owner’s manual specifically says to use premium, there is no point in wasting money on premium fuel.
If you have some time on your hands, you can earn free gift cards just for taking surveys. Choose a reputable site such as CashKarma or MyPoints, and be sure to read the fine print when signing up. You can also buy discounted gift cards through sites such as Raise. Pro tip: Create a new email address just for these sites, as you will likely be inundated with promotional emails.
There’s never a guarantee, but in general, gas prices tend to be lowest early in the week. Weekends, including Fridays, are typically the most expensive. Get into the habit of monitoring your gas apps on Monday or Tuesday, and filling up your tank when you see a reasonable price.
If you’re running on fumes, you’ll have no choice but to buy gas at the closest station, regardless of the price. Give yourself a cushion by making a habit of searching for cheap gas when you get down to between ¼ and ½ a tank. This will allow you to check prices and drive to the station offering the best deal.
When you’re traveling, it’s incredibly convenient to stop at a gas station just off the highway. And some toll roads even have their own service plazas with gas and food. But you’ll almost always pay top dollar for this convenience. If you’re not using an app, pick exits that lead to nearby towns, and drive on into town to find gas. Going just a few miles out of your way could result in significant savings.
If your car isn’t running at its best, fuel efficiency can suffer. Air up your tires, make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed, and choose energy-saving or synthetic motor oil. Also remove as much weight as possible, as heavier vehicles use more gas. Especially when heading out on a long road trip, take everything you don’t need out of the trunk and back seats. Also consider removing unneeded roof racks, which create drag as well as add weight.
It certainly doesn’t make sense to buy a new car just to save money on gas. But if you’re in the market for another vehicle anyway, pay close attention to gas mileage. A vehicle with a significantly higher MPG (miles per gallon) rating will save you money. You could also consider an electric or hybrid vehicle. And if you know how to drive a stick shift, keep in mind that manual transmissions generally get better gas mileage than automatics.
Saving money on gas doesn’t mean you have to stop going to the places you love. With the Save mailer, you’ll receive weekly coupons for a variety of essentials, including gas, restaurants, and home goods. Be sure to check your weekly Save mailer for savings at the pump!