Five Great Ways To Save On Gas

by David Bakke

I have probably written something on this topic before, but as gas prices continue to rise, I thought I would take a few moments to give you a refreshing look at how you can save money on gas. Look, it’s obvious that we, as Americans, have little to no control over the price of gas in our country. As gas prices seem to be going back over the $3 per gallon range, I think the only thing we can do is to reduce the amount of gas we do need to use in our current daily lives.

 I hope you find the following tips to be both informative and relevant.

Comparison Shop

I have a very short commute to work. Having said that, I still probably pass ten gas stations on my regular commute to my job. Do yourself a favor. Spend a few extra minutes on your next drive to your job, and target the gas station with the cheapest price. I would warn against filling up the tank at so-called Mom & Pop stations, as the quality of the gas may have an effect on your automobile. However, I am quite sure that your survey of the stations that you pass by every day while commuting may uncover a less expensive place to fill up your tank.

Consolidate Trips

This tip may be tried and true, but may be  worth revisiting considering gas prices these days. Consolidate your trips. No matter what I am doing, whenever I pull out of my driveway, I always make sure that I can “stop by” somewhere to take care of an errand when on the way to do something else. Starting and stopping your car uses a good bit of gas. The fewer times you do this, the more you’ll save.

Run Errands Close To Work

Another thing I’ve also employed recently to help save gas is to take care of stops that are close to where I work while I am going to and from work. For example, I have a grocery store that I shop at that has a location much closer to where I work than the location that is closest to my house. So what do I do? I take care of my grocery shopping at that location after one of my work days. The savings may be minimal on an individual trip basis, but over the course of a year, the savings definitely add up.

Gas Card With A Rewards Program

If you are financially disciplined enough to do so, consider opening up a credit card with a gas station that you do business with the most. I know that Kroger’s has recently partnered with Shell to offer  a 10-cent discount on gas when you use your Kroger card, and just about all the other major gas “players” out there now have their own credit cards available with built-in discounts when you use their card. Open up an account and use it just for gas—just be sure to pay the balance in full at the end of every month.

Auto and Speed Maintenance

An often overlooked way to save money on gas is to keep your car in top shape. Regular oil changes, air filter changes, and tire pressure checks can have a great effect on your overall gas expenditure. At the very least, have you r car serviced on its regular maintenance schedule; at best, do these maintenance checks and repairs yourself. Also, do yourself another favor—drive the speed limit!  Your gas mileage decreases significantly when you pass most speed limits. Again, on an individual driving trip the savings probably won’t be noticed, but driving the speed limit consistently will affect your annual gasoline expense.

In Closing

Look, we are basically held hostage by the powers that be that control gas prices in this country. There is nothing we can do about it. Therefore, we are left with nothing more than to impact how much gas we need to buy. Put into practice some of these tips that I have outlined above and in short order, you should see yourself paying less at the pump.

Do you have any other ways to save on gas? Your comments are always appreciated below.

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