Save Money on Gas
Are gas prices wreaking havoc on your budget? Do you find yourself having to use credit cards to pay for gas just to get to work? If so, you might benefit from saving a few dollars on your next gas bill!
Gas is one of the biggest expenses of some families who have long daily commutes to work. Trading in a gas guzzler can cost you $4,000 or more lost to dealer profits. Therefore, it could be more cost effective to continue driving the old wreck than to sink more money into your next car before you are ready. Instead, look towards these easy options to save money on gas.
Find Cheaper Gas Prices
Gas prices can vary by more than 10 cents a gallon even among stations just a couple of miles apart. While it does not make sense to drive miles out of your way to save a couple of bucks, it does help to plan your fill-ups for when you are near the cheapest gas stations.
Cheap gas can be found easily thanks to the latest technological advances that allow for volunteers and stations to broadcast fuel prices. GasBuddy
is one such volunteer-based system that allows the public to report gas prices in their area. You can go online to find the cheapest gas in your area.
Smart phone apps also can help you track down cheaper gas while you are on the go. The GasBuddy app has a small fee, and it had reasonable functionality. I prefer the TripTik app which is available for free. It is sponsored by AAA and allows me to easily find cheaper gas (or hotels or restaurants) in my area.
Some gasoline retailers also provide mobile apps to help you find their stations. I have the app provided by Exxon Mobil, but it does not show gas prices. It only shows locations. While this is not particularly useful, I have another motivation for shopping from certain retailers.
Some gas rewards cards offer substantial discounts or cash rebates on fuel purchases. I have used the Exxon Mobil MasterCard for years (See long-term road test
). I have found that their fuel often costs a few cents more than the discount retailers, but then I get a 15 cent per gallon cash rebate. I generally receive at least $10 a month in cash rebates that are applied towards my bill.
Other retailers are also getting into the mix. Some non-fuel retailers have partnered with some of the biggest energy companies to provide discounts of 10 cents a gallon at those stations as a reward for spending a certain amount. Grocery retailer Kroger has a partnership with Shell gasoline stations, saving shoppers a dime a gallon. Your Walmart shopping could earn you discounts of 10 cents per gallon at Murphy USA.
Other Options to Save Money on Gas
We know that trading in a car has other costs that might cancel out fuel savings. You can however choose a more fuel efficient model the next time that you do buy. Either way, these other options could save you more money on gasoline.
You will want to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. If you have experienced riding a bicycle with an underinflated tire, you can imagine what that does to your car. For a leaky tire, a patch can cost you less than $15, or under $8 if you do it yourself with a kit.
Cleaning out your car car also save gas. That extra 50 pounds of stuff in your trunk can cost you $30 a year in gasoline.
Combining trips can help you drive less. That saves on gas as well as wear and tear on your vehicle.
Finally, look for opportunities to ditch the car altogether. This could mean walking to stores within a mile of home. Even public transportation options might not be as bad as you thought.
Whatever options you choose, make sure that you do not let all of your hard earned money get burned up in your fuel tank. When you save money on gas, you give your household budget extra flexibility so that you can live more freely and do other things!