10 Ways to Save on Gas

Gas has been on my mind lately. (And no, this has nothing to do with a digestive product sale at Rite Aid.)

We’ve all seen the prices go up, so it seemed timely for me to do a post. After chatting with my husband and doing a lil’ online research, I’ve come up with a list of 10 simple ways to save on gas.

1. GasBuddy. This website helps you find the cheapest gas in your area before you head out the door. They also have a handy app for your phone.

2. Shop Fred Meyer. Did you know that when you make purchases at Fred Meyer, you earn “points” which you can then use to save $0.10 per gallon at the pump? You can redeem these points at Fred Meyer fuel stations or Shell! Head to their website for more information.

3. Costco. Costco often has competitive prices. I would just make sure that the price discount offsets any membership cost you’d have to pay.

4. Take the bus. If you commute to work, take a good look at what other options you may have, including taking the bus. Some employers may offer free bus passes or incentives for carpooling. If yours doesn’t, ask if it’s something they could consider doing.

5. Drive the speed limit. My husband shared this with me yesterday, and I’d never heard it before. Did you know that for every 5 mph over 60 mph you drive, it’s actually like paying $0.24 more per gallon? Apparently once you hit speeds over 60 mph, you lose fuel efficiency. Not only that, driving safely and within stated speed limits means no tickets, right?

6. Remove unecessary items. If you’ve been hauling around bricks for that brick path you want to build at your brother Bob’s house when you get a chance, you might want to think again. Carrying extra weight can negatively impact your mileage per gallon, too! Consider this a good excuse to get some spring cleaning done.

7. Keep your tires properly inflated. Have you ever tried riding a bike with partially deflated tires? How about bouncing a ball that’s not quite full of air? It requires more work, doesn’t it? Same goes for your car. Some recommend you check your tires for air every time you fill up with gas.

8. Don’t idle. If you must sit in your car and chat on the phone, don’t just let it idle. Try to minimize the time you car is sitting there, burning up precious gas money.

9. Keep your car’s maintenance up to date. Keeping your car running well through regular oil and air filter changes will help its fuel efficiency.

10. Ditch the car. There’s another reason I wrote this post. For about the last month now, my husband and I were down a car. While we ended up deciding we really did need a second car, those weeks made me really take a hard look at the trips I normally make.

Consider:

If I just want to get out of the house because I’m feeling cooped up with the kids, could we not take a walk instead of a drive?
Do we really need to get milkshakes at Dairy Queen, or could I make smoothies at home instead?
Does the errand at the post office have to be done now, or could I wait until I have the doctor’s appointment tomorrow to go?
Do I really need to get a “free” toothbrush at Walgreens today?

I think what I realized was many of the trips I make I could be consolidating better, or eliminating.

A word on hybrid cars. Admittedly, I am no car expert. I’m just a gal that likes to save a buck. But it would seem remiss if I didn’t at least touch on hybrid cars. Do they save you money on gas? Probably, yes. But buying a hybrid car (even with tax incentives), or heck, any car that gets better gas mileage just so you can save on gas may not make math sense (doing it for your own personal convictions is another thing though. I get that). Consider carefully what you are spending on gas each year, the cost associated in buying a new vehicle (purchase price, taxes, insurance) and weigh if it’s worth saving some bucks at the pump.

What are you doing to save on gas? Cutting back on your trips out? Trying to improve fuel efficiency? Or something else?

Photo credit Dimitri Castrique


Comments

  1. Keri says

    Safeway has fuel discounts too, but I like earning the rewards Fred Meyer in addition to the fuel discounts.

    We recently sold one of our cars (following Dave Ramsey’s program) and are having to learn to consolidate trips as well. I don’t live in a very walking friendly area but I’m determined to make it work.

  2. Cally says

    Our local news station did a thing last year that talked about how to save on gas. They said that if you fill your tank up in the early morning (or anytime it’s colder outside); you will get more for your money because the gas wont have much of a chance to evaporate into fumes. They also said that it’s best to pump the gas slowly to help eliminate it turning to fumes. Another thing is that gas stations get a yearly check. They check a lot of things, but they also check to make sure the gas coming out of the pump is accurate to the price. This makes sure we are not being over charged. The seal is right on the front of the pump it’s about the size of a golf ball and it has the year it was checked in bold print. I’m not sure how accurate all of that is, but I guess it’s worth a shot?

  3. Michelle says

    Yup, I realized that it is true, about filling up when it is colder. I heard that it is either early morning or later in the evening. I tried this before, and my gas usage from the late at night to get the gas was almost 2 times as much usage as when I got it during the day. I heard that it is because the gas is condensed more when it is colder, so since the gas pump is counting by volume, it is not counting by how dense the gas is. So I try to get gas when the sun has gone down and it is dark, because I was amazed at how fast the gas went down when I got it during the day when I did the same trips, that I really try to get it in the evenings if I can. I know that during the summer, it is so hot at night, that maybe in the early morning is better, it just depends on the temperature.

  4. Julie says

    We live at least a 20-minute drive from anywhere, and public transportation here is not easily available. We’ve learned to consolidate trips and plan errands so we’re using an efficient route and not running all over creation. Still, as gas prices climb, I find we’re eliminating even more trips and either waiting or just doing without things.

  5. says

    Kroger also has a gas incentive. Some gas stations near Kroger stores will automatically give you a .10/gallon discount if you use your Kroger card. At Kroger stations you can earn that discount by spending enough on groceries (depends on your location).

  6. says

    What a timely post, just cost me $60 to fill up! My family is in the process of purchasing a second car, but have had one car to share for the last year. Its been a blessing in many ways. We are not constantly heading in different directions with different cars, so we have more time together as a family (even if its all in the same car). Also, car share programs (zip cars) can be a good option if you live in a more urban area.

  7. Lisa says

    As great as hybrid cars are hyped up to be, consider that a Honda Fit costs thousands less and gets almost as many mpg. “Green” often costs more green from your pocket. :)

  8. Carolyn says

    I don’t go out of my way to drive to a gas station that has cheap gas that week. I wait until I am in that area and buy gas at that time. Even if that gas tank is only half full.

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