12 Tips for Saving Money on Gas
We have all seen the headlines recently: “Gas Prices Hit Record High”, “US Gas Prices Continue to Rise”, “Gas Prices are Sky High”. The recent rise in the price of gas is already having a huge impact on many Americans, and the stress of this price surge is weighing heavy on all of us.
Watching that price on the screen go up and up and up as you fill up your tank can be an anxiety-inducing experience, and we know for many of you gas is an absolute necessity. You have places to be, and your life doesn’t stop just because gas prices are rising. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help reduce the amount you’re spending at the pump so you can keep moving forward:
Keep your Tires Inflated
If your tires are underinflated, your gas mileage might not be as good as it could be. According to the US Department of Energy, underinflated tires could be costing you about 2 cents per gallon. Make sure you are checking your tires regularly and keeping up with your air fill-ups.
Keep up With Maintenance
On top of keeping up with your tires, staying on top of general car maintenance can also do a lot for your fuel economy. Things like using the correct oil for your vehicle, checking the oxygen sensor, regularly replacing spark plugs and air filters, and keeping your engine tuned not only improves the longevity of your car, but can help your car use gas more efficiently.
We have all been guilty of using our car as a storage unit at some point, but those extra items in your backseat and trunk could be costing you. The more weight in your car, the harder it has to work to move. By removing excess items from your car, you positively impact your fuel economy.
Go the Speed Limit
Typically, the faster you are going, the more gas you’re burning. While it can be easy to go a few miles over the speed limit, those speeds can affect your fuel consumption. Most vehicles are at their most efficient when driving around 50-55 mph. When you start to go faster, your miles per gallon start to drop. Driving these speeds isn’t always possible, but keep it in mind next time you’re pressing that gas pedal.
Stop and Go Gradually
In addition to driving quickly, braking quickly can also cost you money. Sudden braking can waste fuel. Try to accelerate and brake as gently as you can. Not only is this safer, but it means your engine doesn’t have to work as hard and ultimately uses less gas.
Change up Your Commute
It’s easy to stick with the typical routine of driving yourself to work everyday, but these days that habit could be costing you big time. Now is the time to think about alternative options like carpooling with coworkers, walking, riding your bike, or taking public transportation. It’s hard to change your routine, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Plan Your Route
Next time you are headed to work or to the grocery store, think strategically. If you typically do your errands on weekends, consider doing them before or after work instead. Find stores that are already along your route and make a plan. Cutting a few miles here and there can add up fast.
Now that it’s starting to warm up in Michigan, the need to warm up your car is starting to become less and less necessary. Idling can be unavoidable sometimes, but try your best to avoid it when possible. Attempt to make turning on your car one of the very last things you do before you start driving.
Keep your Windows Up and the AC Low
While it may feel nice to feel the breeze as you're driving, having your windows down affects your car's aerodynamic performance. Make sure your windows are rolled up tightly. If you do have to use your air conditioning, try to keep it as low as possible. Park in shady spots or use window visors to keep your car cool during the summer.
Join a Rewards Program
If you go to the same chain of gas stations on a regular basis, consider joining their rewards program. Most chains and grocery stores offer them, and they are free to join. Each program has its own rules and rewards system, but most of them offer some sort of fuel rewards. There are even some credit cards, like our Visa Rewards Card, that offer you rewards for purchases you’re already making, like gas.
Use a Gas App
Rather than getting gas at the cheapest place you pass or at the place down the street, you can use an app to find the cheapest gas near you. Apps like Waze or GasBuddy can help make your next fill up more efficient.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the best way to save money on gas is by reducing your driving. Try to reduce frivolous trips out, walk places when you can, carpool with friends, and consider alternate forms of transportation. Next time you’re about to take a trip to the store for some retail therapy or just for something to do, think about how much it costs to fill your tank up.
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