A trip to the fuel pump can be about as painful as going to the dentist for a root canal. With the average American driving approximately 1,200 miles each month, we’re all feeling the pain.
If you’re looking for unique ways to pay less for gas, we’ve got a handful of tricks to consider. You can even use them to make a game out of finding how low you can get your monthly gas budget.
Let’s get started!
How Can I Spend Less Money on Gas?
Ironically, the best way to spend less on gas is to use less gas. Finding ways to reduce your dependence on gas can allow you to save money. You can save a tremendous amount of money by using public transportation, investing in electrical options, or walking/biking when possible.
However, we know that’s not possible for many.
If you’re looking to conserve fuel, you have to be efficient with your gas usage. You can spend less by controlling how you drive and planning your trips. Accelerating at every traffic light like you’re a drag car racer or making multiple trips across town due to lack of planning wastes a tremendous amount of gas and money.
Below we have 5 actionable tips for saving on gas.
Pro Tip: If you want to save money on gas, you’re probably wondering Is Premium Gas A Gimmick? We investigated further!
What Is the Cheapest Day to Buy Gas?
The cheapest day to buy gas fluctuates from year to year. GasBuddy, a popular fuel savings app, discovered that Monday has typically been the cheapest day to fill up over the last several years.
However, in true fashion, 2020 and 2021 found yet another way to be oddball years. Likely due to the number of people working from home, Friday was the cheapest day for these years. The middle of the week was typically the most expensive time to fill up across the board.
What Is the Best Time to Buy Fuel?
According to GasBuddy, Monday and Tuesday mornings are best if you’re looking to save time and money. These days typically provide the best prices and the shortest waits at the pumps. However, there are a few other tricks you should keep in mind if you’re looking to get the most out of your fuel!
5 Tricks to Pay Less for Gas
There are a handful of things you can do to pay less and save money when it comes to gas. Whether you use one or all of these tips, you’re sure to save quite a bit of money on gas!
1. Join a Gas Rewards Program
Gas rewards programs are a great way to save money on fuel. These are especially helpful if you’re regularly filling up at the same station or there are several different locations for your preferred filling station. These reward programs typically allow you to save 3 cents to 10 cents per gallon.
Don’t forget about some gas reward programs hosted by grocery stores that partner with fuel stations. These gas reward programs will often reward you financially. For example, Kroger’s program gives you 10 cents for every $100 you spend in the store. So if you’re already planning to spend $500 each month on groceries, you might as well enjoy 50 cents per gallon on a fill-up once a month.
Some may require you to register a bank account instead of using your credit card, but the savings can be worth it! Learning the ins and outs of the gas rewards program is key to maximizing your fuel savings.
2. Use the GasBuddy App to Compare Gas Station Prices
If you’re not already using the GasBuddy app, you need to download it as soon as you finish reading this article. It uses the GPS on your phone and a massive database that updates in real-time to help you find the cheapest gas. The database gets updated by other users incentivized by rewards to report changes in pricing.
It might surprise you to see the differences in prices between two stations that are relatively close to each other. We have seen two stations with about a 30 cent difference in pricing despite being less than a quarter-mile from each other. When you’re buying more than 15 gallons at each fill-up, you can have massive savings each year by using this free app.
3. Pump Slower
Did you know that fuel pumps typically have slow, medium, and fast pump settings? If you’re like most people, you squeeze the handle as tight as you can and lock it in place to fill up your tank.
However, what you might not know is that you’re likely wasting fuel.
The faster you pump fuel, the more gasoline vapor you’re creating. Most fuel pumps use vapor recovery systems, which suck the vapors back into the system. So if you opt to choose a slower setting, you limit the number of vapors created while pumping and instead maximize the amount of gasoline that goes into your tank.
4. Drive With Fuel Efficiency in Mind
If you’re trying to make the most out of every drop of gas in your tank, your driving habits might need to change. Hard accelerations will cause your car to work harder, thus using more gas. Vehicles use a tremendous amount of fuel during stop-and-go traffic. This is why you’ll see such a difference between MPGs between city driving and highway driving. If you can take a route that reduces stopping and starting so often, it’s typically a good idea.
It’s also important to keep your speed in check. You may arrive at your destination a minute or two faster by having a lead foot, but it’ll also cost you more each time you do it. Drivers typically experience the best fuel efficiency when they keep their speed in check.
If your co-workers, classmates, or others drive to the same location, you don’t always have to go separately. Carpooling allows you to reduce the amount of fuel you’re all using and minimizes the impact on the environment.
Some cities and states are creating special commuter lots that are free to use and encourage carpooling. Not only are there parking lots specifically for this purpose, but lanes of traffic as well. Vehicles with multiple passengers typically get to use carpool lanes, which can help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting in traffic.
Pro Tip: Before wasting money stocking up on gas, find out How Quickly Does Gas Go Bad?
Why Do Gas Prices Change Daily?
Gas prices change every day because it’s the law of supply and demand. The pump price is largely the result of crude oil supplies, refinery operations, and the ability to deliver gasoline to each station.
If there is any disruption in this process, you’ll likely see a price adjustment at the pump. Disruptions rarely cause a price drop and typically spike what we pay at the pump.
How Can I Improve Fuel Economy?
When it comes to improving your fuel economy, smart driving habits are key. Take your time and reduce the amount of time you’re accelerating hard. Don’t attempt to impress drivers by showing how fast your car is or how loud your exhaust is. They likely couldn’t care less, and you’re just wasting fuel. If you do these things, you’ll naturally find that you’re stopping less for fuel as the fuel in your tank lasts longer.
What tricks do you have for saving money on gas? Drop a comment below!
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