Fall is a great time of year for road trips, especially when you live in Rhode Island. Whether my friends and I are headed to Vermont for some skiing and pumpkin festivals or driving to Florida to get some much needed sun, we’re racking up the miles and our gas bills. While we carpool, the gas bill can still be hefty so I’ve been looking for ways to save on gas.
10 Tips to Save on Gas
1) Grocery Shopping Rewards – I recently signed up for my own rewards card at my local grocery store and was surprised at how quickly the savings racked up. I was able to save $0.50 per gallon. (BB once saved $.80 off per gallon!) Sweet! Wondering if your local store offers a similar program? Here’s a list of 17 stores with gas discount programs!
2) Buy Discounted Gift Cards – Websites like CardPool sell discounted gas gift cards where you can score some big savings. Right now, you can buy a $145 Shell gift card for only $110. That’s $35 in savings!
3) Check Your Air Filter – Did you know that changing your air filter could improve your gas mileage as much as 10%?! Considering nearly one in four cars need an air filter replacement it’s worth taking a look.
4) Buy Gas Early in the Week – Gas prices are typically lower in the beginning of the week. Statistically, they’ve been shown to be cheapest on Wednesdays but this won’t be true every week. Since gas prices usually rise on the weekends it’s better to buy early on in the week. Gas prices also rise before holidays so you’ll want to make sure to buy gas at least three days prior to holidays to get the best deal.
5) Use Apps to Find the Best Deals – My favorite gas app is Gasbuddy. This simple and easy to use app is perfect for every day use and is especially useful when traveling on road trips. You can often find gas a mile or two off the highway that is significantly cheaper. You can also use GPS apps, like Google Maps or Waze, to find the best route to avoid traffic and idling.
6) Buy Gas During the Coolest Time of Day – Want to get the most for your money? Then buy gasoline during the coolest time of day – either early in the morning or late at night. This is when gas is most dense. As temperatures rise you get less gas when you pump, though studies have shown this effect is negligible. But if it makes you feel better…
7) Don’t Wait Until You’re on Empty to Fill Up – When you get down to empty you often have to settle for the closest gas nearby…which is often not the cheapest option. A good rule is to never let your gas fall below 1/4 of a tank. Not only will this keep you from overspending on gas but it also prevents costly repairs. If you let your car run on empty often you risk damaging your fuel pump, which can cost hundreds of dollars to replace!
8) Apply for a Credit Card with Gas Savings – My Discover It Chrome credit card is a great option for gas savings. It offers 2% back on all gas purchases. If you’re buying gas often this can add up quick! Interested in getting a new card to save on gas? Wisebread offers a list of the 5 best credit cards for gas savings that explains details of some great cards.
BONUS: Does a 5% cash back gas credit card earn more than a 1% credit card? The results will surprise you!
9) Turn Off the A/C – Your A/C turns your car into a gas guzzler! Keep windows or your sunroof down to stay cool at low speeds. At high speeds keep the A/C on low. Open windows at high speeds can actually create drag that reduces mileage by up to 10% so that makes A/C the better option.
10) Lighten Up Your Car – The more extra weight in your car the more gas it takes to move it! This may sound simple but I have friends who carry their whole lives in their cars. This can really add up! For every extra hundred pounds your car loses 1%-2% in fuel efficiency.