Remember when everyone thought 2022 would be the best year yet? Hardly anyone thought the economy might fall apart. However, here we are and inflation has sent prices soaring for everything, including gas.
According to AAA, the national average price for gas in August 2022 was around $4.16. Although price spikes have settled somewhat, we aren't out of the woods yet. Many are still watching prices at the pump nervously, unsure what might happen next.
To get through this unstable period, utilize some of the best tips and tricks to save on gas so you have money for your bills and groceries.
Here's What You Can Do to Save Money on Gas
Use Gas Rewards Credit Card
When you get a gas rewards credit card, you can earn points and cashback when you make gas purchases.
You have the Chase Freedom card, which can earn 5% cashback. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card offers unlimited 3% cashback. Credit cards like Capital One QuickSilver, Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, and others have special programs. Check the fine print and do the math on each one.
Use Apps to Find Cheap Gas
Free apps like GasBuddy, Upside, Drivvo, or similar fuel-centric apps can help you find cheap gas. While saving money on gas is difficult, you can start saving using gas apps. People need gas because it's part of their expenses, so it's best to try these apps and see how much you can save in a month. Aimlessly driving around town hoping to stumble upon the cheapest gas price is not the way to do it. (You'll only waste more gas!) It's better to use apps. Cheap gas can save you a lot over the year.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Did you know you can boost gas mileage by checking your tire pressure? According to the US Department of Energy, you can increase gas mileage by 3%. If you keep your tire pressure in check, you can save a few cents weekly. However, most car owners only check their tire pressure when their indicator light turns on. If you check your tire pressure every two to four weeks, you don't have to worry about any problems like safety and tire deflation.
Whether you are a college student or working at an office, the best way to save money on gas is to carpool with someone. You can drive for one week, and your friend or colleague can drive the week after. Or you can split the money, helping you save money for other essentials. When you carpool with someone else, the best part is you save the environment.
Consider other Transportations
You can certainly get around town by walking, biking, using the subways, or buses. These options might be cheaper than driving your car. If it's somewhere close by, you can get your steps in by biking or walking. However, if your destination is a bit far out and there is heavy traffic, you can use public transportation. No one likes to sit in traffic and let their engine run for an hour or more.
Pump Gas on the Cheapest Day
Only pump gas on cheap days. A study on the traveling and navigation app Gas Buddy has shown that Monday is the best day to get cheap gas. Remember to go in on Monday when you are running low on gas since gas prices will be lower. Avoid the most expensive days: Thursday followed by Wednesday.
Plan your Routes
If you run errands all day, plan your route so you don't go around in circles. If the grocery store is near your workplace, you can go there after work if you need anything from the store. You can do all your errands in one day instead of on different days. If you do all errands in one day, you can cut a few miles weekly, saving you from filling up twice a week or more.
Know when to Use Cruise Control
When you maintain a steady speed, this helps you conserve fuel, especially on the highways. Cruise control can save you an average of 7-14% on gas. When you accelerate or decelerate by putting your foot on the pedal, this can use up more gas. However, you maintain the same speed when you use cruise control, so you aren't wasting gas. Note: only use cruise control on flat roads (like highways), not on mountainous terrain – it uses up more gas on steep inclines.
Don't leave your car running for a long time. If you leave it running, you can drain a quarter galloon to half-galloon of gas per hour. If you are in a long line or waiting for someone, you should cut the engine or find an alternative way to wait. Depending on your vehicle engine size and air conditioner, it can cost you a lot of money on gas.
Gas prices have gone down a bit, but you never know when they will increase again in the future. By implementing some of these gas-saving strategies above, you'll be able to save extra bucks every month. Remember, it's not just about finding the cheapest gas price in town; your driving habits and how well you take care of your car matter too.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Cindy started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, so she decided to venture out. She took action and decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest while helping others along the way.