Gas prices. For decades, this is something that could either cheer us or drives us bonkers, depending on what is going on in the world. Wars, political showdowns, infrastructure problems... All these things could impact how much we end up paying at the pump, and, as a result, the way we use our cars in our daily lives. If prices go up, we are forced to do a mental exercise to determine where are using cars to get in to, and where we could use different ways to get to where we need to go, no matter if it's work, school, club, etc. But, even when prices are lower, there are ways you can save at the pump without feeling much pain, although some you never think when trying to budget your gas station appearances.
Here are 10 ways to save money on gas that you never think of.
10 Use (And Abuse) Apps To Find The Best Prices
Technology makes our life easier, even when trying to find the best prices for gas. There are many apps available on the market, but two of those are very popular among those who are savvy on the task: GasBuddy and Waze. Those two not only compare prices, but also tell you what is the cheapest option in your specific area, or in the route you usually take to get to your places.
Those apps are also very useful when planning a road trip, so you can look for the best price along the way, even if it is at a different state or part of a city. So, don't be ashamed to use these handy options when you want to save.
9 Avoid Stations Near Highways
They may be tempting, they may be a magnet for you to stop, but they are not the cheapest option on the book. If you are travelling along a highway, keep that in mind. As stated in an article by Money Crashers, "the first gas station that you encounter after a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan ahead or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station." It may be a longer drive, but it's sure worth it when you want to save.
8 Join a fuel rewards program
If loyalty is your thing, know that many grocery stores and gas station chains offer rewards programs where you can earn points and convert them into discounts applied towards filling up your tank. Keep in mind that each program has its own set of rules on how you earn points or how much of a discount you can get while at the pump, so be sure to check these out before joining one. GasBuddy also has its own program, called "Pay with GasBuddy," in which you can save up to five cents in its free version, and up to 20 if you pay for a subscription. Not all gas station chains accept it, so be sure to check it out before signing up.
7 Fill up early or late in the day
This tip is definitely something that most drivers never think of when trying to save money on gas. Especially in warmer months, filling up early or late in the day will save you some dough when you buy gas. Why? Because early morning and early evening temperatures are less warm than midday, and, as a result, the gas in your tank will become more dense, and you will use less than if you filled up mid-afternoon, when the high heat makes your gasoline less dense, and you end up using a lot more.
6 Fill up early in the week
Weekends are for fun, but if you want to save money on gas, it's no fun. This happens because Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays are the days when prices get more expensive, and that can definitely ruin a weekend of rest and recreation for you. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to fill up, as prices tend to be much lower, and you can save more for doing other things, like boating or going to a friend's house or to a family occasion on a Sunday.
5 Share rides
If you have co-workers that have the same schedule, or friends that go to the gym at times that are similar to yours, why not sharing the ride? Carpooling seems to be a great solution for you and your buddies if you want to save on gas, yet bonding with each other even more. For a more effective way of carpooling, take turns during the week, so one of you will drive less. If you have children that need to be taken to extracurricular activities or to school, organize a carpool schedule with neighbors, friends, or family members, as well as with other parents, so all get their fair share of savings.
4 Keep an eye on when (and how) you brake
Unless it is necessary, stepping on your brakes too much could not only waste gas, but wear your brake pads out very quickly. The best way to avoid a quick wear out, and also a huge gas bill, is to keep a safe distance of the cars ahead of you on a traffic jam, for example. This way, you'll save a lot for yourself and your vehicle. In roads with less traffic, you can start braking earlier while keep a distance, mainly when you have a red light ahead of you. With these simple tips, you will improve your car and fuel efficiencies.
3 Plan your routes
Another efficient way to save on gas is planning your routes on daily activities. Try to plan shopping trips and other errands you have to run in ways that you can reduce your time on the road. If you need to go grocery shopping, going right after work may be a good way, and you also avoid the weekend rush at your local supermarket. Other errands can be done in a day, so you avoid unnecessary trips. These reductions could lead to big savings in the long run.
2 Accelerate slowly
Just like use the brake too much could be a waste of gas, accelerating too much wastes fuel as well. As an efficient way to reduce fuel consumption, you should accelerate gradually, and be gentle on the pedal when entering a highway. You can coast more while on the road, by planning stops and turns more often, as well as you can take your foot off the pedal sooner than needed, as you glide towards a stop a lot smoother and safer. This will also make a difference in your tank.
1 Lighten your car
This may seem odd for many, but lightening the load of your car can also lead to more money saved on gas. Check all storage spaces in your car, including under the seats, and remove everything that you don't need for your ride, like old sports gear or tool box that you don't work with, for example. The removals result in less added weight, meaning that there will be less gas used by the engine to make your car work. That also goes to overhead racks that you don't use. Remove them and you'll notice the difference.