How to Save on Gas

With Labor Day coming up I know a lot of people will be driving to visit family or go on a little vacation so I thought this was a good time to go over a few tips on how to save on gas. Some of these you may already know but it’s always good to remind ourselves how to get great gas mileage. It’s not only good for our wallets but also good for the environment.

My first tip is to find out if your local grocery store offers any type of Fuel Rewards. I know that Bi-lo, Giant, and Ralph’s offers these types of programs. Even Home Depot has jumped on the band wagon in select locations in GA, and TN. Be sure to read the fine print when you sign up for these programs. Make sure you know the limits and what you can earn rewards on and if/when the rewards expire.

When you sign up for a credit card, see if they offer cash back on gas or any other kind of gas incentive. Also if you frequent one gas station more then others, be sure to check out their credit cards. You may be able to get a better savings with them directly. Just be sure to read all the fine print and fees before signing up.

If you have a Upromise account, be sure to register your card with their gas rewards program. Upromise is a free program that helps you save for college or you can use your savings to pay off student loans. I’m a member and it is really easy to use. They will put $0.01 in your account for every gallon of gas you purchase at Exxon or Mobil gas stations. It doesn’t sound like much but every little bit helps.

Keep a look out for gift card deals. I know that CVS will sometimes offer $10 gas cards when you purchase a certain amount of items. They will periodically offer a deal like buy a $40 gas card and get $10 extrabucks back. That is a great way to save on gas. You know you will spend  $40 on gas anyway so you might as well get the $10 back to spend on something else. There are a lot of other stores that will offer similar deals so just be sure to look over your weekly ads.

Here are a few tips for actually increasing your fuel efficiency:

  • Don’t speed! Most cars lose fuel efficiency when you go over 50 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.26 per gallon for gas.
  • Clean out your car. Excess weight can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 2%.
  • Keep tires inflated.
  • Use the right kind of motor oil. Don’t buy the cheapest motor oil. Using the manufacturer recommended motor oil will improve gas mileage by 1-2%.
  • Don’t use a roof rack. If you have the storage space in your trunk use it. Using a roof rack can create aerodynamic drag and decrease fuel efficiency by up to 5%.
  • Plan your trips. Try to do all your errands at once and use the most efficient route possible. Try to avoid peak rush hour times.
  • Take off slowly from a full stop. This will help your fuel efficiency dramatically.
  • Park in the shade. You won’t have to use your AC as much to cool off the car.
  • Take care of your car. Make sure to check your air filter, alignment, and get oil changes. This can increase fuel economy by up to 20%.

I hope this has helped and will get you thinking about all the ways you can save a little bit here and there on your gas usage. If you have any other tips you would like to add feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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