Ways To Save Money On Gas: Tips From The Pros

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If you’re like most people, the recent spike in gas prices has you looking for ways to save money at the pump. And you’re not alone – Americans are spending billions of dollars more on gasoline than they did just a few years ago.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve your fuel economy and stretch your dollar further. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips from budgeting experts on how to save money on gas.

Andrea Woroch, a budgeting expert, recently told HuffPost that with gas prices on the rise, it’s important to not only shop around for the lowest gas prices but also to pay attention to how you drive and to other auto maintenance measures in order to ensure fuel efficiency.

Woroch and other experts offer the following advice for making a tank of gas last longer:

Follow the Speed Limit

Speeding is not only illegal, but it can also be very costly. As gas prices continue to rise, it is more important than ever to operate your vehicle as efficiently as possible.

According to FuelEconomy.gov, the fuel economy of a car decreases rapidly once it surpasses 50 miles per hour. In fact, driving just 5-10 miles over the speed limit can decrease fuel economy by as much as 14%.

This means that not only will you arrive at your destination no sooner than if you had obeyed the speed limit, but you will also have to stop for gas more often. In addition to being expensive, speeding is also dangerous.

You are more likely to get into an accident when you are driving over the speed limit, and the risk of serious injury or death increases exponentially at high speeds.

For these reasons, it is always best to obey the posted speed limit and avoid wasting time and money on speeding tickets and extra trips to the pump.

Instead, try driving at a consistent speed and make use of cruise control when possible. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also arrive at your destination safely and without delay.

Drive Only When Needed

Wayne Gerdes, the founder of CleanMPG.com, has suggested some fuel-saving tips that could help individuals save money.

Gerdes says that approximately half of the miles driven are for optional purposes, and offers carpooling and utilizing public transit as money-saving alternatives to driving alone.

Woroch advises people to take advantage of ride-sharing websites as another method of saving on gas spending.

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By following this tip, individuals can cut down on their gas spending without making many changes to their daily routine.

Preplan Your Travel

It’s always a good idea to map out your route in advance. This way, you can avoid making any unnecessary turns or backtracking, which can waste both time and gas. Second, try to avoid driving during peak traffic times.

Not only will this help you avoid getting stuck in traffic, but it will also help you conserve gas. If you have multiple errands to run, try to combine them into one trip by going to ‘one-stop shops’ where you can take care of everything at once.

By following this tip, you can save both time and money on gas.

Avoid Idling

Many people believe that it is more efficient to keep their car engines running while they are stopped, rather than turning them off and then restarting them when they are ready to move again. However, this is actually a myth.

According to Ellen Edmonds, public relations manager at AAA, an engine consumes one-quarter to one-half gallon of fuel per hour when idling, but a warm engine only takes around 10 seconds’ worth of fuel to restart.

This means that, over the course of an hour, a car will use significantly less fuel if it is turned off and then restarted when necessary, rather than kept on idle.

Of course, this advice only applies when it is safe to do so – for example, if you are stopped at a red light in a busy intersection.

In other situations, such as when you are parked in a well-lit area or leaving your car unattended for a short period of time, it may be best to keep the engine running.

Avoid Traffic

If you’re like most people, you dread rush hour. The traffic is always bad, and it always seems to take forever to get where you’re going. But according to Edmonds, there are ways to avoid the worst of the traffic.

“If your workplace offers flexible hours, take advantage of them,” she advised. “If you can avoid commuting during rush hour, you’ll be much better off.”

Even if you can’t control your commute times, Edmonds suggested looking for other ways to stay out of peak traffic.

“Use ‘fast pass’ or ‘express’ toll lanes,” she said. “Avoiding unnecessary stops or slowdowns on the highway helps save fuel.”

By following Edmonds’ advice, you can make your commute a little less stressful – and a lot less time-consuming.

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Take It Easy

“Be mindful of how you accelerate and take it easy on the gas pedal,” Woroch advised. “Accelerating too fast too often will guzzle your gas.”

Gerdes noted that driving smoothly and going easy on the acceleration and deceleration is better for your tires as well.

“When you accelerate and brake hard, that works through your tires, but if you’re gentle with your car, your tires are going to last much longer and you can get a better mileage rating,” he said.

Pay attention to traffic ahead and try to maintain momentum as you approach stoplights to avoid unnecessary stopping and going.

“You want to keep your vehicle rolling,” Gerdes said. “When you see a stoplight, let your car gradually slow down. Don’t feel like you need to race to the stoplight and then brake right there.”

There’s no prize for being first in line at a red light. Easing off the gas a bit earlier will save you time and money in the long run.

Use Recirculation

As the weather starts to heat up, many of us will be reaching for the A/C button in our cars. But did you know that how you use your air conditioner can have an impact on fuel efficiency?

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Cars typically are more fuel efficient when the air conditioner is set to re-circulate interior air.”

This is because it takes less energy to cool the same air than it does to constantly cool hot air from outside. Of course, turning off the air conditioner entirely will save even more fuel.

So next time you’re driving in warmer weather, consider making your car a little more eco-friendly by pressing that air-recirculation button.

Downgrade Your Gas

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s worth shelling out extra cash for premium gasoline, you’re not alone.

According to a recent study, only about one in four drivers regularly opt for premium gas, even though nearly half say they believe that it improves their car’s performance.

So what’s the truth? Does premium gas really offer benefits that justify the higher price tag?

According to Edmonds, the answer is no. “If regular gas is recommended for your vehicle, that’s all you need,” she said. “Opting for premium when your car doesn’t require it will only cost you money and doesn’t improve fuel economy.”

In fact, Edmonds says that using premium gas in a car that doesn’t require it can actually damage the engine. So if you’re looking to save money at the pump, stick to regular gas. Your car will thank you for it.

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Shop Around

Gas prices fluctuate on a daily basis, but there are ways to make sure you’re getting the best price per gallon. Apps like GasBuddy can help you track down the cheapest gas prices in your area, which is especially helpful if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area or on a road trip.

Membership warehouse clubs like Costco often have the lowest prices per gallon, but it’s important to go early in the morning or late at night to avoid long lines. The AAA mobile app and website also include a gas price finder to help users locate the cheapest option in their area.

Paying for gas with cash is always the best option, as many stations charge transaction fees for credit cards. If you must use a card, consider investing in a gas rebate credit card to maximize cash back on fuel purchases. By following these tips, you can make sure you’re getting the best price per gallon possible.

Additionally, grocery store loyalty programs that offer gas savings are a great way to save money on fuel costs. For example, Kroger’s Fuel Points program offers 1 Fuel Point for every $1 spent on groceries.

These points can be redeemed for savings at Kroger gas stations or Shell stations. Shop & Stop’s GO Rewards program offers similar savings, giving you 1 point for every $1 spent.

Points can be redeemed for up to $1.50 off a gallon at the store brand’s gas stations and participating Shell gas stations.

These programs are a great way to save money on fuel costs, and they are definitely worth taking advantage of.

Final Thought

While it may seem like prices at the pump will only continue to go up, there are still ways that you can save on fuel costs. Following the tips we’ve outlined in this article can help you slash your expenses without too much effort.

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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.