15 Ways to Save Money on Gas for Your Car

Save money on gas

With gas prices getting out of hand lately, the cost of driving can’t be overlooked.  Whether commuting to work, going shopping, or taking a leisurely Sunday drive, it’s not going to be cheap to drive with gas prices this high! Thus, it might be time to revisit some ways to save money on gas.

Here are 15 ways to save money on gas:

  1. Find the lowest prices.  This one is so simple yet people often look to other methods first. However, why not just pay less for gas as a first step? Use an app, or just keep an eye out for low priced gas.
  2. Forget brand loyalty.  Who cares where you buy gas from, in terms of the branding of the station? A few months back, I saw two gas stations, on opposite corners from one another, with a difference of $0.24 per gallon. Yet, there were cars at the more expensive station. Why? Could it have been brand loyalty? I would rather go with the lower cost gas.
  3. Carpool.  If you know someone who works or goes to school with you, and lives pretty much on the way to your mutual destination, why not consider carpooling? Taking turns driving – say alternate weeks – can result in commuting costs cut in half. Of course, you have to enjoy or at least tolerate that person’s company. Think dollar signs, and that can become easier in some cases J
  4. Don’t speed. I have a friend who simply never drove the speed limit when younger. He was also really frugal. I’ll bet he never factored in the decrease in efficiency when speeding. Going past highway speed limits, mileage efficiency might be reduced quite quickly.  Best to avoid speeding, which is also smart since it’s safe and we aren’t supposed to be doing it anyway!
  5. Use public transportation.  Yes, this might not be possible for you. However, for some people it is a possibility, and one that should be considered.  With my current work assignment, I’m probably looking at $10 in gas round trip, based on the approximately $4.30 per gallon local prices. By taking the train, my per-day cost comes out to about $7.50. An added bonus is less wear and tear on the car, and a less stressful commute!
  6. Bike or walk.  Again, not possible for many. However, if you have a short distance to work, school, the gym, or wherever it is you want to go – why not work in some exercise? It’s good for your health, and saves gas. Even doing this occasionally can have incremental money and health benefits that could add up.
  7. Get a tune-up.  If your car gets a regular tune-up and is running well, it can be more efficient in its use of gas.
  8. Avoid unnecessary starting/stopping and braking.  By this, we’re talking about taking clear paths to places rather than dealing with stop and go traffic. Also, while you drive open roads, if you are constantly tapping on the brake out of habit, you may be able to let up on the accelerator instead.  This could help save money ultimately.
  9. Clear out your car trunk.  If your car trunk is weighed down by unnecessary items, it can lower efficiency. To save a little money in the long run, get out of the habit of thinking of your car as a secondary storage unit.
  10. Check your tires.  Tires that are low on air can impact the mileage you get.
  11. Use lower octane fuel.  Going with premium fuel, when it isn’t truly necessary, can really add up over time.  Go with the lower octane variety.
  12. Use coupons.  Yes, I have actually seen coupons for gas! One offered a $0.05 per gallon discount if you redeemed the coupon. Not bad!
  13. Check your air filter.  Keep a clean car air filter, if totally in need of replacement it could impact your mileage.
  14. Plan your trips.  If you take the time in advance to spend a few minutes planning your driving for a day, if you’re running errands as an example, you might be saving more than time. Consolidating stops and choosing locations to visit, resulting in a shorter and more efficient trip, can lead to gas savings.
  15. Pinch pennies.  Here’s a way to really be a Squirreler by using the take a penny, leave a penny dish.  This one’s just for fun, I don’t really recommend it J

My Questions for You

  • Have you given extra thought to saving money on gas lately?
  • Do you use any of these strategies?
  • Do you have any more to add?

Comments

  1. says

    Gas prices are insane. I’ve considered perhaps finding a way to walk to work or something, but it would take a long time, and with my time constraints it’s not worth it. I do most of the things you’ve listed above, but if gas prices get any higher I think I’ll start taking transit. Even though it multiplies my commute time by four.

    • Squirrelers says

      Daisy – time is valuable, but when prices reach a tipping point, we start making tradeoffs. I know what you mean.

    • Squirrelers says

      Dollar D – sounds like a winning solution. If the ride is safe, that seems like a move that has beneifts in many areas!

  2. says

    I have one to add: While it doesn’t work well for everyone’s lifestyle, consider joining a carsharing organization if there is one in your community. While some organizations have a ‘fuel surcharge’ to help manage the volatility of gasoline prices, carshare members don’t pay for gasoline, directly. Instead they pay “user fees” to drive the shared cars by the hour and mile. This changes the driver’s mentality: Carsharers drive less, walk, bike, and use transit more, and save lots of money–not just on gasoline, but on car ownership costs.

    • Squirrelers says

      Kurt – that’s a great point, and an excellent addition to the list. Good one! I suppose I didn’t think of it when writing the post because it wouldn’t be feasible for me. But for some folks, it would work well I’m sure.

  3. says

    Good points, I also use cash rebates too. I have been using Costco gas for the last years and earned enough cash rebates to more than pay for the membership. The gas is generally sold below the surrounding stations by at least 5-10 cents.

    • Squirrelers says

      krantcents – when gas is 5 to 10 cents cheaper than surrounding stations, it’s hard to turn that down if just as convenient.

  4. says

    I’m using the “walk” strategy right now, since my car had its unfortunate encounter with a tree. I am enjoying getting the additional exercise.

    • Squirrelers says

      Jackie – well, that’s a good example of the saying that goes something like “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. You get the idea :)

  5. says

    As far as car maintenance goes, checking your tire is the easiest thing you can do to improve your gas mileage. I’m taking public transportation once or twice a week and will increase that when the weather is nicer. I think it’s good that people are starting to conserve more gasoline.

    • Squirrelers says

      retirebyforty – with gas prices getting so high, I wonder if train ridership in major metro areas has increased versus the same time period in prior years?

  6. Squirrelers says

    Anthony – thanks, and I know what you mean about the benefit of a free commute that also provides health benefits. Not that I’m able to do that, but I agree.

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