Yes, You CAN Save Money on Gas

by AJ Pettersen · 12 comments

Gas pump

My mom and I were discussing the price of gas the other day. I told her that I’d just paid $3.96 a gallon; I was shocked that the price was so high and wasn’t happy about spending $50 to fill up my car. Her response was, “I never really worry about the price of gas — what will I do? Not buy it?”

This is an interesting topic to address. People are upset over rising gas prices, but they often aren’t willing to do anything to change its effect on their bank account. Gas is a large monthly cost for my wife and me, but will we stop using it? No. That wouldn’t be a plausible solution. There are, however, some other options to consider.

Better Gas Mileage

Better yet, no gas mileage? New electric cars have hit the market to mixed reviews; some recommend them, while others are quick to point out their flaws. There are several issues with electric cars, such as a lack of charging stations and the short duration of charges.

Hybrid cars use a combination of gas and electricity to power the vehicle. These can save significant amounts of gas, offering a great middle ground alternative. One downside is that these cars are expensive, and they’ll definitely take some time to pay you back at the pump.

Less Driving

Public transportation comes in many forms. Many cities have public buses, trains, and/or subways. These are typically offered at a monthly rate and can save you a lot in fuel money. Saving money and not having to drive are some significant advantages. These alternate forms of transportation are only offered on a certain schedule, however, so you won’t be able to pick your exact travel times.

Biking and walking can save money and are also excellent for your health. I have friends who bike to work and love both the cardio workout and the savings.

Car Pooling

Splitting up driving with coworkers or friends can go a long way. Instead of driving to work every day, why not find a coworker who lives nearby? This would save you half of the gas it costs to go to work. It’s that easy. Though you’ll sacrifice some travel time freedom, it won’t be nearly as much as with public transportation.

You don’t have to limit ride shares to work, either; if you’re going to the same place as someone who lives nearby, it’s always more environmentally and fiscally intelligent to carpool.

How do you cut down on your spending at the pump?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Alex Craig says:

    One of the methods I use to combat rising gas prices is a hedge fund method.

    I spend about $100 on gas right now. When the prices drop, or I just drive less, that is money I save. So instead of letting it sit in my checking account, where it would otherwise be spent, I place into a separate folder in my savings account so that I can keep it for when gases prices rise.

    This helps eliminate the stress and worry of high gas prices. It allows me to save money by not overspending.

  • Thad says:

    The 2012 Honda Civic we bought (used!) last summer has an excellent set of dashboard instruments, including a visual indicator of current gas consumption. When it is dark blue, it is using the most, and when it is bright green it is using the least. I have found that my lead foot is the biggest contributor to decreased gas mileage. When I consciously work to only be bright green, from acceleration to full speed, it goes up. Of course, I get passed by a lot of people when I leave a stop light, but they don’t pay my fuel bill. I do.

  • Jose says:

    We buy gas at Kroger most of the time, we get 3 cents off a gallon which isnt much but since we do a lot of out groceries there (with coupons) we occasionally get the 10 cents a gallon deal. It’s not a whole lot, but every little bit helps.

  • Slackerjo says:

    Biking works for me. I am ‘lucky’ that there is no parking at work after 815am most days (people who don’t work at our location use our parking and security has not set up any controls) and I start at 9am so that means a) risk getting a parking ticket and b) bike as often as I can.

    Last summer I decided if I could go 30 days on $30 worth of gas.

  • mario says:

    For fuel efficient cars, there’s one technology you failed to mention, and it’s been around for years — buying small cars with weak engines. A 20-year-old Honda Civic hatchback weighs just over 2000 pounds and, as a bonus, doesn’t cost much to buy or maintain either 🙂

  • mario says:

    I guess this is the one thing I don’t have to worry about when living in New York. I don’t have to worry about buying and financing a car, buying insurance, getting smog checks, and especially buying gas.

  • KDB says:

    Wow, tough question. For those of us who have to drive, can’t afford a new car, don’t have public transportation nearby, and don’t have a co-worker who lives nearby…it’s tough paying almost $4 a gallon.

    I am fortunate that I can work at home, although only on a limited basis. So with a 25 mile commute each way, that helps more than anything. I love running too, but 50 miles a day is more than I usually do in a week 🙂

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    I have stopped pushing the gas pedal so hard and fast accelerating off the start. It is a waste and not necessary. I drive a lot for work and other things, so doing just this has saved me money.

  • Christian L. says:

    I’m working on selling my car. Right now, I drive the 12 miles roundtrip to and from work. I seldom drive otherwise so I’m planning to just bike to work. That would provide me with 60 miles of biking a week, meaning I’ll have no need to exercise beyond that.

    Plus, I’ll cut insurance, maintenance and gas costs.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

    • Pelmane says:

      Hi Christian;

      Hope your city is bikers friendly.

      Because if it is not (just like mine), I guess you should also consider the dangers involved with riding bicycles in a busy roads.

  • Property Marbella says:

    You must drive and accelerate the car as if you had an egg under the gas pedal. You will drive much more carefully and you will save a lot of gasoline.

    • JJ says:

      Love the idea! I’ve heard most people use the phrase “lead foot”, but never have I heard the proper way to drive described as having an egg under the accelerator. Brilliant!

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