When it comes to gas prices, we are all feeling the price hike. Fortunately, you can still find ways to save on fuel costs with these 13 hacks to save money at the pump.
Fill up earlier in the week.
Automotive experts agree that filling up earlier in the week will save you money. Generally, gas prices rise on Thursday’s in preparation for the weekend. It also pays to fill up earlier in the morning to beat any price hikes from the station owners.
Use Apps to Find the Cheapest Gas
There are several great free apps that help you find the cheapest gas in your area. My current favorite is GasBuddy. Finding the cheapest gas prices along a route you normally drive (say on the way to work), will really allow you to maximize your savings since you are skipping any unnecessary driving.
Stick to the Speed Limit
Aggressive driving habits and high speed driving absolutely affect the fuel efficiency of your car. According to Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers report that aggressive driving can slash fuel efficiency by between 10 to 40% in stop and go traffic, or between 15 to 30% at highway speeds in light-duty vehicles.
All in all, it could end up costing you anywhere between $0.25 cents per gallon all the way up to $1 per gallon in wasted gas.
Pay with Cash Instead of Card
According to GasBuddy, you as much as 10 cents to 15 cents a gallon says GasBuddy. Stations encourage using cash with the incentive of a discount so they can save on credit card fees.
So the next time you are tempted to swipe your card, check to see what gas stations in your area offer this discount.
Reduce Your Idle Time
You’re getting approximately zero miles to the gallon anytime your engine is running and your car is at a stand still. Stop and go traffic, drive-thrus, etc. are all costing you money.
According to the Federal Website for Fuel Economy, idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of gasoline per hour.
Checking your tire pressure, maintaining your engine, checking your gas cap and utilizing the correct type of oil for your car, can all effect fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires, and the wrong oil can force your car to work harder and use more gas.
Eliminate Wind Resistance
The faster you drive, car racks and carriers all create wind resistance. The more wind resistance you face, the lower your fuel economy.
Join a Fuel Rewards Program
Grocery stores and many gas station chains, offer fuel rewards programs. Each program has it’s own set of rules, so you’ll need to read the fine print.
Costco gas is one example.
GasBuddy awarded Costco the title of the cheapest place to buy gas for the entire United States. Granted gas prices vary by location, but at the time of this writing, in northern Virginia, Costco gas was $0.12 cheaper than surrounding stations.
$0.12 cents per gallon might not sound like alot but when you are filling up each week for work, it certainly adds up.
Plan Your Routes and Consolidate Trips
Consolidating all your errands into one day, or utilizing your trip home from work to limit your drive time is an easy way to cut miles and gas expenses each week.
Buy Gas During Cooler Temperatures
Gasoline, like all liquids, expands when heated. Gas is cooler earlier in the day, thus more dense. So as the temperatures rise during the day, gas density falls and you end up getting less gas.
Don’t Top It Off
Rounding off your gas with those few extra squeezes aren’t doing you any favors. That extra bit of gas will either splash out or evaporate. Do yourself a favor and stop at the first click.
Share Rides or Use Public Transportation
Sharing the cost of gas with coworkers or your spouse is a simple way to help stretch your gas budget. Public transportation is another option, but while it won’t cost you gas, it will certainly cost you fare, so do your own cost analysis.
Accelerate Slowly and Coast More
Resisting the urge to hit the gas pedal hard will cost you. Focus on gradually accelerating and slowing down, you’ll get better gas mileage.