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High gas prices are tough to swallow.
As you fill your gas tank, you see your bill increasing at warp speed.
Add into the mix rising gas prices, and the pain only increases.
The good news is you don’t have to settle paying a lot for gas.
There are many things you can do to save money on gas.
For example, you can change your driving habits or use apps to cut down on costs.
In this article, I share with you 15 ways for how to save money on gas.
By the end, you will have a handful of actionable tips you can put into use to start saving money both on the price you pay and by filling your gas tank less often.
#1. Compare Gas Prices
The easiest thing you can do to save money on gas is to compare fuel prices.
There are a few ways you can do this.
First, pay attention along your commute.
After a few weeks of watching prices, you will get an idea of where the cheapest gas prices are.
Another option is to use an app like GasBuddy or Gas Guru.
Both are free to use and help you monitor local gas prices.
Use the apps for a few weeks and note the cheapest gas stations in town.
Then make it a point to purchase gas from these stations as often as possible.
Try to do so on a Monday when it comes time to fill up.
GasBuddy has done detailed research into this topic, and since 2017, Monday is when you typically find the lowest gas prices.
#2. Get Free Gas Using Gift Cards
If the high price of gas annoys you, consider getting free gas using gift cards.
To make this solution work, you need to sign up to sites like Swagbucks and MyPoints, where you can do various tasks to earn points.
Then you turn those points into free gift cards.
You can do fun tasks, including watching videos, playing games, completing surveys, and more.
The sites are free to use, so there is zero cost to you.
When searching online for these sites, you will find a lot.
While you might want to sign up for a few, I suggest you stick to one or two.
This is because if you focus on playing games on one site, you will accumulate points faster than if you split your time between two sites.
#3. Scan Receipts For Gas Savings
Related to the idea above is scanning receipts.
Here you scan your grocery receipts into an app to earn points.
Earn enough points and redeem them for cash through PayPal or get free gift cards.
My favorite receipt apps are Fetch Rewards, Receipt Hog, and CoinOut.
And I use all three of them!
If I go shopping at Wegman’s, I scan the same receipt into each app to triple my rewards.
Over the years of scanning receipts, I’ve earned a more than $500.
#4. Earn Supermarket Rewards
Some grocery stores’ loyalty programs allow you to redeem your rewards for discounted gas.
At my local grocery store, I can redeem the points I earn for $0.05 off per gallon.
They usually offer promotions where I can earn double, triple, or quadruple points for buying certain products.
The catch here is that these points do expire and are usually only redeemable at a specific gas station.
#5. Join Warehouse Clubs
Sam’s Club, BJs, and Costco all offer discounted gas for their members.
These clubs tend to have the cheapest gas prices, anywhere from $0.05 to $0.25 lower than other stations in the area.
And Consumer Reports found when prices rise, the warehouse clubs are the last to raise prices too.
If you are a member of any of these places, purchasing your gas from them makes sense.
And if you aren’t a member, consider joining, not just for the cheaper gas, but also the grocery savings.
For Costco members, here are their typical hours of operation.
#6. Keep An Eye On Tire Pressure
Did you know that not keeping the proper tire pressure increases your fuel costs?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your gas mileage decreases by 0.2% for every one psi drop.
So if you have underinflated tires by 5 pounds, you are paying an extra $0.06 per gallon if gas costs $3.
Talk about wasted gas!
Not only does keeping your tires properly inflated help you get the best fuel economy, but it also helps your tires last longer, saving you even more money.
#7. Don’t Buy Premium Gas
Some might think that buying premium gas or mid-level gas offers better gas mileage because it is higher octane.
Unless your car calls explicitly for premium, you are wasting money.
The manufacturer designed the vehicle to run on regular gas, so that is what you should be filling up with at the gas station.
Finally, if your car does require the premium grade, you can offset soaring gas prices by filling up with a lower grade from time to time.
Your vehicle’s computers will adjust to the lower octane, and you won’t harm your car if you do this occasionally.
#8. Combine Errands
You get higher miles per gallon when driving on the highway because frequent stops, starts, idling, and changing speeds are inefficient.
To help you limit stop-and-go driving, try to run all of your errands at the same time.
While you won’t realize huge fuel savings doing this, this option is more fuel efficient than taking many short-distance trips over different days.
Additionally, if you can order things online and have them delivered, this can help you reduce the number of short trips you need to take.
#9. Change Your Drive Time
If you drive in rush hour traffic, odds are you face more stop-and-go traffic on your commute.
These delays add up over time, costing you money on gas.
One solution is to drive at different times to help avoid these delays.
This doesn’t mean you need to drive to work at 5 am instead of 6 am.
But even leaving ten minutes earlier can make a big difference.
When I left my house just five minutes earlier, a few places where traffic used to be congested were free moving.
Take a couple of days, play around with the time you leave, and see if you can avoid some of the typical traffic.
#10. Change Your Route
If changing your commute time doesn’t result in less congestion, consider taking a different route to work.
To make this easy, you can use an app like Waze, Apple Maps, or Google Maps to plan an alternate route.
Or you could explore and see if you can find a route on your own.
I found the back way into my old job allowed me to avoid all the traffic completely.
The drive was a longer distance, but because I was on back roads driving at a steady speed with very few stops, I was getting improved fuel economy.
#11. Stop Wasting Gas Warming Up Or Idling
When the temperature drops, most people instinctively turn their cars on in the morning to warm them up.
Some people do this to help get the fluids running in the car, thinking it will help the car last longer.
Others do it so they can have a warm car for the drive.
Either way, you waste gas doing this, as idling costs money.
For those thinking you need to warm your car first, this is no longer the case.
Today’s cars use computers that help them regulate fluids.
At most, you need to let your car sit for 30 seconds before you begin driving.
If you want a warm car to get into, consider just getting in when it is still cold and pressing the recirculate button along with the heat on high and the temperature at its max setting.
Doing this will heat the air inside the car and warm it up faster.
The only downside to this is you need to turn off recirculate after a while. Otherwise, your windows will fog up.
Finally, try to avoid driving as much when it is cold outside.
Cold air reduces your car’s efficiency, and as a result, you get worse mileage from every tank of gas you buy.
Save money by limiting how much you drive when it is frigid outside.
If you must drive, pay extra attention to your speed and coast as much as possible to conserve fuel.
#12. Buy An Electric Vehicle
While buying an electric vehicle will cost you a lot of money upfront, it will reduce your gas expenses.
The reason is that, in most cases, the cost of charging your car will be less than the cost of purchasing gas.
But as with any purchase, it will take time to realize the savings since you are paying a lot of money upfront to buy the car.
So unless you are in the market for a new car, you are best served using the other tips on this list.
Once you get to the point of needing a new vehicle, then consider an electric car.
While they tend to cost more than gas-only cars, you can bring the price down a considerable amount with tax credits.
If the price of an electric car is too much for your budget, you can save gas by buying a traditional gas-powered vehicle.
As technology improves, these vehicles are becoming more and more fuel efficient, helping you to save money.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of buying a hybrid.
While they are more fuel efficient, helping you to reduce your fuel cost, you will save a lot more money buying an electric car.
#13. Join Rewards Programs
Many grocery stores offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points for shopping there.
You can convert your points to discounts on grocery items or, in many cases, on savings at the local gas station.
Depending on the number of points you redeem, you could save anywhere from $0.05 to $0.50 per gallon of gas.
Additionally, many gas stations now have gas rewards programs as well.
Most offer between $0.03 and $0.05 off per gallon of gas every time you fill up.
Some of the more popular programs include the following:
If you regularly purchase gas at the same station or brand, consider joining the rewards program to save money.
#14. Use Air Conditioning
There has been great debate over the years as to whether using the air conditioner or rolling down your windows saves money.
The thinking was that rolling your windows down was the smarter option since the air conditioner uses gas.
If you have an older car, chances are keeping your windows down will result in better fuel economy.
However, using AC is the smarter choice if you have a modern car.
First, as mentioned above, car manufacturers spend money to reduce drag.
When your windows are open, you increase drag, resulting in poor fuel mileage at highway speeds.
Second, climate control systems today are advanced.
You set a temperature, and the system cycles on and off based on that number.
In the past, when you put the AC on ice cold at full blast, it stayed there until you turned it down.
When you set the temperature at 65 degrees in a newer car, it turns off or down once it reaches that temperature.
So if you have a newer car, use the air conditioning to save gas.
#15. Get Gas Assistance
If you have a low income, you can reach out to local charities to get free gas.
You can reach out to local churches, the Salvation Army, United Way, and more.
Some of these charities will offer you a gas voucher so you can afford to purchase gas.
If they don’t have vouchers to offer, most can point you in the direction of where to go for help.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.