The Texas heat is already here and with it comes higher gas prices. Check out these nine simple tips for saving money this year on gasoline!
1. Find Fuel Rewards Programs
One of the surest ways to save money at the pump this summer is to sign up for a fuel rewards program. Some gas stations offer special rewards for repeat customers. Some grocery stores may offer points programs that save you money when you fill up on the pumps in their parking lots.
Also, one of the only serious bonuses of having a credit card is a fuel rewards program, which can reimburse you for your gas purchases with points and credits that you can use for a whole host of purposes. Check to see if your credit card issuer offers any similar programs and take advantage of them ASAP.
2. Buy Gas at the Right Times of Day
This tip may sound like superstition, but it's true that the time of day matters when you buy your gas. If you buy in the middle of the hot afternoon after the sun has beaten down on the fuel reservoir all day, that gas has probably expanded.
When fuel is less dense, you get less from the pump for more money. In the cool air of the morning and evening, you're guaranteed to save a small amount of money and get more gasoline for it in return. Shop smart!
3. Keep Track of the Best Prices in Your Area
Whether you're in a small Texas town or a major city in Oklahoma, gas prices fluctuate from area to area — and sometimes from one street to the next!
Remember, it may not be worth it in the end to drive across town just for cheaper gas. The back and forth trip to the gas station may end up costing you more than had you just paid a few cents higher nearby.
One of our best gasoline saving tips is to download an app that tracks the lowest gas prices in your area. You can find a station close to you or even look at pricing when you're out of town to determine whether you should fill up when you're away from home or wait until you return home.
4. Fill Your Tank All the Way
The moment you find a gas station with great prices, it's wise to stop and get as much as your tank can hold.
Because if you only put in $10 or $20, rather than filling up, you will run out of gas faster. By the time you need to put more gas in, prices may have already risen. This takes more time out of your day and more money out of your wallet, so keep your tank full as much as possible.
5. Limit Your Travel When You Can
One of the best ways to save money at the gas pump is to stop using your car so much. The less you drive, the less gas you will need. You can save by biking or walking to places that are close to your home. Ask about working from home to save on the commute to work. Look into vacation opportunities within a 50-mile radius rather than taking a more extended cross-country trip.
6. Plan Your Trips More Effectively
Instead of hopping in your car every time you need something, learn to schedule trips more effectively. For example, save all your errands for the same day. Go to the gas station after you pick up groceries and before you hit the post office. The less you go out, the less gas you will use and the more you will save at the pump.
7. Pay for Your Gas With Cash
When you are looking for ways to save money on gas, don't forget about paying cash at the pump. Some gas stations offer a discount of up to 10 cents per gallon when you pay cash instead of using a card. Gas stations have to pay a small fee whenever anyone uses debit or credit cards, so it's to their advantage for customers to use cash.
8. Join a Wholesale Club
If you're looking for how to save money on gas and you also want to save money outside the pump, consider joining a wholesale club. Many of these places offer reduced prices on gas, as well as great bulk pricing on food, drinks, and other household staples. You will pay a small fee to join most clubs, but you can make up that fee in just a few gas purchases.
9. Drive Efficiently
You may love feeling the road and your surroundings fly past you in your fast car, but driving at excessive speeds is not only dangerous, it can also drain your fuel. Because speedy driving increases drag on your vehicle, more gas is used to compensate for the extra effort it must put in to maintain those speeds.
Another way to keep your tank as full as possible is to never sit around in your car with it turned on — especially if you have your air conditioner blasting. The summer may be blisteringly hot in Texas and Oklahoma, but you should seek an in-door shelter other than your car to stay out of the heat. If not, you'll use up the gas you could have used for driving.
Love these easy ways to save money on gasoline this summer? If so, you might love all the other tips, tricks, and financial advice available each week on the Atlas Credit blog!