This summer our gas prices have fluctuated a lot, but even when it’s not at all time highs you’re still likely to shell out a petty penny at the pump. Personally I think that many of the problems with the economy could be fixed if gas prices were kept down, but since that’s not going to happen it’s up to us to find out how to save on gas. Many of the ways come from just modifying how you do things.
1. Check Your Speed
We are a rushing society, but driving too fast can cost you a lot more than a speeding ticket. According to www.fueleconomy.gov you can expect to pay an extra $0.25 per gallon for every 5 mph that you drive over 50 mph. That means you’ll pay an extra dollar per gallon if you just drive at the posted highway speed of 70 mph. Multiply that by the number of gallons your tank holds and you’ll see just how much money you’re adding every time you fill up. Of course driving 50 mph on the highway isn’t really safe if traffic is going faster. You should always drive with traffic, so find a safe speed that doesn’t have you flying.
2. Let’s Cruise!
Using your cruise control can help keep your gas costs down because speeding up or slowing down can effect it. Whether it’s city roads or the highway I’ll put my cruise on if I’m going 45 mph or faster. I have always seen a difference from it.
3. Take Care of Your Car
Regular car maintenance is important as well. You want to make sure that you keep your tires inflated. Also make sure you get your oil changed every 5,000 miles, and periodically change your air filter. Plus take time to clean your car out. The extra weight of a lot of junk in the car can actually cause you to use more gas.
4. Don’t Idle
Sitting around with your car running can really hurt your gas mileage, so those quick trips through the drive-thru could be costing you more money than just for your burger. You’ll save by parking your car and going inside. You may save time too. I’ll admit that they do make life easier when you have a little one in tow though. Also think about putting your car in park if you’re stopped at a red light that you know will be long. Just make sure that you’re paying attention to when it turns green.
5. Pay Attention to Where You Buy Gas
Buying your gas at certain locations can make a difference. Club stores like Sams often have lower prices on gas. I know the one near us takes longer to raise their prices than the gas stations around it. Do you have an area grocery store that offers fuel rewards? When I shop at Kroger I gain fuel reward points that I can use to save money on my next fill up. There are also a lot of gas stations that now have reward programs of their own. I have also noticed, and I know others have as well, that some gas stations really do have better gas that can help you go farther. I have found that BP gas with Invigorate is awesome. The first time I got it with my new car my gas mileage really improved.
6. Plan Ahead
If at all possible plan where you need to go and the most fuel efficient way to go. For example on grocery day Nick and I hit the store on the way home from work/daycare to save a trip. If you can run all of your errands on one day instead of multiple different days you’ll really help yourself out. Just figure out the best way to get to each stop.
7. Figure Out the Best Day to Buy Gas
They say you should always buy gas on Wednesday because it will go up starting on Thursdays because of the weekend. Now I’ve never really noticed this before, but I’ve heard it from a lot of sources, so there must be some truth to it.
8. The Price of Gas
When you’re out and about pay attention to the price of gas. If you pay attention enough you’ll figure out where you’re most likely to find the best deal. You can also go to websites such as gasbuddy.com to find the best prices in your area.
9. Car Pool
There are so many benefits to car pooling. First, you’re saving gas money because you aren’t the one driving all the time. Second, you’ll get to have someone to ride along and keep you company. Third, you can make your drive shorter by using the huv lane (if you live in a big area that has one). Fourth, you’re helping the environment by putting less cars on the road!
10. Buy a New Car
OK, so this one may seem counter productive. To save money you need to spend more? This tip will not be useful for everyone, but for those of you that have cars that eat gas up you may find that the difference in gas usage will more than pay for a new car that gets great gas mileage.
I hope these tips help. Many of us have very tight budgets that allow for little wiggle room and the cost of gas can make or break our budget. If you use even some of these tips I bet you’ll start see a little relief at the pump.
What tips do you have for how to save on gas?