Once again, fuel prices have jumped up (I can’t remember seeing them really go down much recently at all). As we get into the summer months and they new “summer blend” of fuel comes out and we all hit the road on vacation, that means prices will just continue to climb higher and higher.
While we know that we can’t find coupons to print or clip from the Sunday newspaper to save on fuel costs, there are some things we can do to try to take a little of the sting out of these higher prices. Here are five simple tipe to help you do just that!
1. Slow and steady. Don’t speed. Not only does increase speeds burn more fuel, it could actually cost you more if you are pulled over and given a traffic ticket. Just keep the speed at the limit as marked (or a bit under) and you’ll find that it is an easy way to save money. Try to hold a steady speed and do not speed up or slow down too quickly, as that too can cause a drain on your fuel.
2. Keep the cap tightened. This may sound silly, but gasoline can evaporate through loose, cracked or even missing gas caps. Just make sure you cap it on tightly to know you have a tight seal. How do you know? Your manufacturer should tell you but at the minimum, turn until you hear one click.
3. Turn on the air. You’ve probably been told your entire life that using the air burns more fuel – so let’s keep the window rolled down. That is actually a myth. Cars are now designed so that when you run the air, it doesn’t pull from the engine, which means that it does not burn more fuel. In fact, if you roll down your windows, that may increase drag, which in turn can cause you to burn more fuel. (If your vehicle was made prior to the mid-90s, the opposite may hold true).
4. Check the tires. When your tire are inflated properly, they can last longer, which in turn saves you money since you do not have to replace them as quickly. In addition, you can save on fuel costs — up to $0.10 and more per gallon — when your tires are properly inflated. If you are not sure what your vehicle’s rate is, just look at the sticker in the doorjamb or in your owner’s manual for details.
If you don’t know how to check the pressure, you will first need to pick up a gauge (which is relatively inexpensive). Ask a friend or family member to give you a quick lesson – it is simpler than you think! If you don’t want to have to guess, you can always opt for a digital gauge, but that will cost a bit more.
5. Join a Rewards Program. There are so many programs available which will help you save on your fuel costs. Most of them are store cards which either have their own stations and/or have joined up with a filling station to help save you money. These rewards are usually discounts per gallon of gas and while that may not seem like much, it all adds up.
Take for example HyVee’s program – when you purchase select items you rack up fuel discounts. You can then use those at HyVee, Casey’s, Shell or PDQ locations across the country. You are going to purchase items anyhow, so you might want to make sure that you can actually make a little something back for each item you purchase. Here is a list of rewards programs you might want to look into:
- Acme Gas Rewards Program
- Abertsons Gas Rewards Program
- BP Driver Rewards Program
- Brookshire’s Food Gas Rewards Program
- Cumberland Farms Smart Pay Farm Fresh Gas Rewards Program
- Food City Gas Rewards Program
- Fred Meyer Rewards Program
- Fuel Rewards Network (Shell)
- Giant Eagle Gas Rewards Program
- Giant Food Gas Rewards Program
- H-E-B Gas Rewards Program
- Home Depot Fuel Rewards (select TN and GA locations only)
- Hy-Vee Fuel Saver Program
- Kroger Gas Rewards Program
- Lowes Foods Gas Rewards Program
- Martain’s Gas Rewards Program
- Mega Foods Gas Rewards Program
- Meijer Gas Reward Program
- Piggly Wiggly Gas Rewards Program
- Price Chopper Gas Rewards Program (Kansas City Metro area)
- Safeway Gas Rewards Program
- SHOP ’n SAVE Pump Perks
- Stop and Shop Gas Rewards Program
- Tops Markets Gas Rewards Program
There are more ways you can save, I am sure. However, these are simple ones that any of us can do and the results just might surprise you. Fuel costs are going to continue to rise, so it is up to the consumer to make sure that we all make every drop count.