During the holiday traveling season, high gas prices can be a real issue. There’s not much worse than having to forego a trip to see family or friends because you just can’t afford it. The Reno Gazette-Journal explains that the two easiest ways to save gas are to use less of it and, obviously, pay less for it. While there’s no secret gas station that has gas for much cheaper than everywhere else, there are some things you can do to save a couple cents a gallon, and after a while, they’ll add up.
GasBuddy has an app and a website that let users upload gas prices from wherever they are, helping you find the best price at the pump. You can also use Gas Guru or Bing.com’s Gas Prices Map App to find lower prices. Keep in mind, though, if you have to drive more than a mile or two out of your way to save even 10 cents a gallon, you’ll cut your savings way down by burning the gas to get there.
Some fuel companies have their own programs to help you save at the pump. Speedway’s Speedy Rewards, for example, gives you points for all your purchases, and you can also get three cents off per gallon when you use a prepaid gas card with your Speedy Rewards card.
Besides buying cheaper gas, you can conserve gas by making some small changes in your driving habits.
- Don’t carry more than you need in your car – 100 extra pounds can lower your mpg by up to 2%.
- Limit your AC usage – not much of a concern in the winter, I know, but keep it in mind for the summer. It doesn’t look like gas prices are going to take a dive any time soon.
- Accelerate and brake properly. This especially applies when you’re in heavier traffic on the freeway. Most people will speed up every time they get a couple inches of room and then slam on the brakes as the car in front of them (apparently unforeseeably) slows down. Instead, leave a little more room from the car in front of you; when driving this way, you can usually slow down by just taking your foot off the gas instead of slamming on your brakes. You can get 10–20% better gas mileage this way!
- Drive slower. Most people don’t want to hear it, but if you keep your speed closer to 55–60mph you’ll get a lot better gas mileage.
- Use cruise control whenever you can. It keeps your speed and acceleration constant, which helps maximize fuel economy.
- Shift into neutral or turn off your car when you’re sitting for a while. Running in neutral is less of a strain on the transmission, and if you turn your car off for more than 30 seconds, you’ll save gas that way too.
While the hard truth is that there isn’t a magic secret that will help you save tons of money on gas, if you try to follow these tips, you will be able to save some $$. If you have any other great tips about saving money at the pump, please let us know!