Get Frugal on Gas to Save Cash All Year Long

by David Ning · 7 comments

There is no way to avoid fueling up from time to time. How much you pay and how much you use is a variable dependent upon things like the time of year and how well you plan your excursions. Ensuring that your tires are properly inflated, your car is in good operating condition, and that you stay within the speed limit all help reduce your fuel usages. When combined with other basic strategies you should see some significant savings. Here are some more tips on a much needed topic: How do I save on gas and use less money?

Seasonal Fluctuations and Full Priced Gas

As we all know, the gas companies like to stick it to the driver by raising prices just when we are about to hit the road more. This translates to higher prices during the summer months in particular, but also elevations around big holiday weekends year round. You can’t do much to prevent paying more during these times. However, fueling the car you want to drive over the weekend earlier in the week and using another vehicle can help a bit.

No matter when you are traveling, you shouldn’t be paying full price if you can avoid it. Almost every supermarket and grocery warehouse now offers discounted gas. Up front savings of $.10 or more are common. The benefit is usually offered just to the members of warehouse clubs, but supermarkets offer a “savings card” to use whenever you shop at the store. Once you hit a certain level of purchases each month, you get your discount.

Be wary of the supermarket deal though. You might end up spending a lot more on groceries in order to save a few cents on gas, and that is no bargain. (Everyone knows this is obvious, but so many of us do this so watch out.)

Scope Out Prices Online

There are a number of sites online that allow people to enter the price they saw at a gas station along the way. The nicest thing about these sites is that the prices are updated throughout the day, so you really do know what you are likely to be paying when you get there. Additionally, you can figure out if any of the stations lay along your intended line of travel, so you can take advantage of cheaper gas that may not normally be worth while.

Plan Ahead

It’s an oldie but goodie: plan your trips. Running out for every little errand is wasteful of time as well as fuel. Make a list of your errands and plot them out so you don’t travel over the same stretch repeatedly. For short trips, consider using a bicycle or walking rather than taking the car.

Along the same lines, you should consider carpooling when you can. Commuting sucks up more gas than anything else most people do. While picking up your colleagues isn’t as convenient as driving on your own, your costs will be reduced significantly. Furthermore, you will get to know your coworkers more, which might even help you at work.

Of course, some people opt to just buy an electric car instead of worrying about gas, but that is a rather expensive solution in the short term, and most people don’t even keep the car long enough to break even.

Stick to the basics, and you’d be surprised at how much money and gas you can save.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Abigail says:

    Luckily, I work from home and (not so luckily) my husband is on disability. So there’s no commute for us. Since Phoenix is pretty spread out, we still have to fuel up the car every other week. It’d probably be less if we could kick our fast food habit. Even a couple miles each way adds up!

  • Actually, the temperature of the underground tanks very little from one part of the year to the next, let alone from day to night. The only big swings might come from fuel cooling (or warming up) once its been dumped from a tanker truck into the tanks.

    I modestly suggest my favorite way to save on gas: biking.

  • Buy Groceries Online says:

    Yeah James, I read once to fill up in the morning when the below ground gas tanks are cool and the fuel is denser, so you get more.

    I also read to not fill up when the fuel truck is filling the underground tanks, as this can cause sediment to get stirred up, and then sucked up by the gas pump into your gas tank, causing your fuel filter to clog more rapidly.

  • James says:

    i also heard it is better to buy gas early in the morning when temperatures are lower as well as not to hold the handle down all the way.

    i will definitely be looking for sites online that show the lowest prices around town.

  • Cd Phi says:

    I use Costco gas and it usually is considerably cheaper. There are also apps on the internet for your iphone that can show you locations of the cheapest gas stations around your area. Pretty cool if you ask me.

  • Gas prices are going higher, so we might as well face it. You need to bargain shop for gas as much as you can.

    Also, checking tire pressure is important. Tires slowly lose some pressure over time, its natural.

  • Squirrelers says:

    There’s always the old take a penny trick at the gas station. An old college buddy of mind from way back used to do this. He would get gas at a whole dollar amount – say $10.00 (this is a while back), and then squeeze the pump lightly again to get to $10.01. Then, he would pay cash inside with a $10 bill and take a penny out of the jar.

    Not the way I or any adult these days would do things, but its an alternative approach to saving on gas.

    🙂

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