How to Save Money on Gas When Prices are High

how to save money on gas

The all-time high gas prices in California are just a reflection of the staggering increase in nationwide gas prices. In the last few weeks, the national diesel average hit an all-time high of over $4 with the price of gas closing in on $5 per gallon in some states. But why are gas prices going back up?  Few factors are contributing to the fast and furious increase in the price of gas, but the main reasons are Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rising inflation.

As the average price of gas continues to increase, business energy prices are also expected to soar.

How to Save Money on Gas: 21 Simple Ideas

Some oil experts are predicting that gas prices could stay elevated for months, so finding ways to reduce gasoline costs is of utmost importance. Here are a few ideas to reduce gas costs!

1. Get Regular Maintenance Checks and Avoid Fuel Economy

Keeping your tires properly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure can increase your miles per gallon and overall fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires, a clogged air filter, and a poorly tuned engine will impact your fuel consumption.

2. Don’t Use Premium Gas

For most cars, using premium gasoline is an unnecessary expense. Simply using the recommended motor oil by your vehicle manufacturer that’s available on your owner’s manual can help boost fuel economy.

3. Get an App to Compare Prices at Gas Stations

Even gas prices can vary significantly within a few miles or from day to day. Luckily, there are gas-saving apps such as GasBuddy, AAA Mobile, and Gas Guru that can help you find and buy gasoline from the cheapest gas stations.

4 Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle

When you are ready to purchase a new car, look into a hybrid or electric vehicle. The sticker price on these cars might be higher, but don’t get hung on that. When you add in the lower gas pump prices, great gas mileage, and energy efficiency, these cars pay off within a few years.

5. Reduce Your Air Conditioner Use

Regular use of air conditioning can increase your visits to the gas station. To save fuel, use the air conditioner as little as possible, especially for short city drives.  On the other hand, you will use less gas on the highways by keeping your windows up.

6. Ease up on Gas and Brakes

Revving your engine wastes a lot of petrol. Accelerate gently, observe the speed limit, and drive at steady speeds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that rapid acceleration and aggressive driving habits can lower efficiency by 5% on urban streets and up to 33% on the highway. Use cruise control on the highway.

7. Pay Cash at the Pump

Many petrol stations offer a discount if you pay in cash. If you do not have cash, fill up at a station that will allow you to get the same cash price when using your card.

8. Leave Extras at Home

According to the U.S Department of Energy, an additional 100 pounds in your car can reduce your gas mileage by up to 1%. At the current market rate, that would mean spending 4 cents more per gallon.

9. Avoid Heavy Traffic

Find the most fuel-efficient route by planning ahead. Tools like Google Maps and Waze can help you avoid those nasty traffic jams that eat up your time and reduce fuel economy.

10. Combine Errands

Reduce the total mileage by consolidating those excursions. Several short trips, each taken from a cold start can use two times as much petrol as one single trip covering the same distance on a warm engine.

Read More: how to get better gas mileage

11. Don’t Idle Away Your Gas

An idling car can use a quarter to half a gallon of gasoline per hour. Don’t warm up your car engine for more than a minute. Instead, accelerate slowly and turn off the engine when parked.

12. Use Loyalty Cards

Most major fuel brands offer free gas cards that allow you to rack up points or score discounts with your fill-ups. Additionally, petrol prices tend to be lower at big-box grocery stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, but you’ll need a membership to fill up in those places.

13. Earn Cash Back Using Credit Card

Use a rewards credit card when fueling. Some business gas credit cards will offer anything between 2% and 5% cashback for petrol purchases. You can easily save hundreds of dollars per year on average.

14. Avoid Hauling Cargo on the Roof

Remove the external cargo container when not in use. Keeping a cargo box on your rooftop can reduce gasoline efficiency by more than 6% on the highway and up to 8% for city driving.

15. Keep your Tires Balanced and Aligned

Misaligned tires increase drag and reduce petrol efficiency by as much as 10%. In addition, misaligned tires wear out faster and unevenly. Ensure your tires are properly aligned and balanced to improve efficiency and tire performance.

16. Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are vital for engine performance. Bad spark plugs can decrease fuel efficiency by up to 30%. High-quality spark plugs will ensure you get consistent combustion and optimal miles per gallon.

17. Fuel Economy in Cold Weather

Cold temperatures increase transmission and engine friction due to cold engine and drive-line fluids. Parking your vehicle in a warmer place such as the garage can help increase the initial temperature of your engine and cabin.

18. Know the Best Days to Buy Gas

A 2021 study by gas buddy found out that Monday offers the lowest national average gas price in most states. This was still the case as noted in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 studies.

19. Buy Groceries and Gas

Some grocery and wholesale store chains such as Winn-Dixie, BJ’s, and Safeway will offer you discounts or petrol rewards when you shop at their stores. You can save up to 10 cents per gallon the next time you fill up.

20. Share Rides

If you live near your co-workers and have similar schedules, it might just make sense for you to carpool. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have also made ridesharing easier and more affordable.

21. Check Your Gas Cap

If you drive an older car, you might not get the warning light when your gas cap seal is worn out. A worn-out cap will allow oxygen to leak into the tank, which means you will be burning more fuel than usual. If your gas per mile output is suffering, check your cap.

Save Money on Gas Starting Today

Reducing the amount of driving we do is certainly one of the best ways to reduce emissions and save gas. While there is no end in sight for the rising fuel costs, following a vehicle’s maintenance schedule, taking public transportation, fixing a faulty oxygen sensor, changing gas-guzzling habits, paying special attention to your carload and aerodynamic drag, and using apps to compare local gas prices can certainly help with gas savings.

Image: Depositphotos

Antony Maina Antony Maina is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 8 years. Antony covers business and technology and is also a successful freelance writer.