I don’t know about you, but it seems that every time I turn around, fuel prices have inched up once again. It might be $0.01 here and $0.02 there, but it all can add up.
This is most evident when the “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. What can you do to save?
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 tips o help you do just that!
HOW YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON GAS
Watch the speedometer
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.
Tighten the cap
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.
Turn on the air
Crazy, but this is a simple way to save money on fuel! 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).
Fill up at the right time of the day
If possible, fill up either early in the morning or later in the day. Gas is usually more dense and cooler earlier in the morning. When gas is denser, you get less when you pump. By filling up when it is dense, you will get more in your tank.
Don’t fill up by the highway
Those stations you see along the interstate are convenient, yes. But, they also may charge more for your fuel. Drive away from the more convenient stations and find one that charges less.
Check the tires
When your tires 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.
Don’t run on “E”
Never wait until your tank is nearly empty to fill it up. That will force you to pay whatever you see as you can’t make it to a station that may charge less.
Join a Rewards Program
There are 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
- Kroger Gas Rewards Program
- Lowes Foods Gas Rewards Program
- Martain’s Gas Rewards Program
- Meijer Gas Reward 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 on gasoline. 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.