Gas prices always seem to be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you have to burn away your entire wallet. Here is the master list of how to save money at the pump that will help you save at the pump.
• Take out all unnecessary items from your car: We all have those heavy objects that found a way into our cars–a family pack of water bottles, an entire set of golf clubs, a set of chemistry textbooks, or a brand new camping tent. Chances are you won’t need these items for 90% of your daily drives; leave the unnecessary items at home, and lighten the load on your car.
• Maintain a consistent and steady speed: Speeds above 60mph can really make the gas in your tank disappear, as does frequent braking and accelerating. Try to refrain from sudden braking/acceleration, and use your cruise control feature if you have problems maintaining a moderate speed.
• Never leave your car idling if you can help it: Although it might not seem like it, leaving your car running idle can burn a lot of a gas. So if you need to stop and pull over to mull over a map or answer an important phone call, take a minute to turn off your car–the savings will be worth it.
• Avoid traffic: Related with avoiding idling is avoiding traffic. When you are in traffic you are burning gas to run your car, without moving any closer to your destination. Listen to the radio and check online for traffic reports, and avoid problem times or areas whenever possible.
• Buy gas on Wednesday mornings: Wednesdays are on average the best day to buy gas. Prices can go up the beginning of the week (Monday-Tuesday) as people top off their tank for the week, as well as the end of the week (Thursday-Sunday) as people prepare for weekend excursions leaving Wednesday the perfect day for gas. On top of that, mornings before 10am is when gas station owners haven’t had a chance to scope out the prices from their competition, so get there early to score the best possible deal.
• Keep your gas tank full, and refill when half gone: A lot of people have the misconception that a full tank of gas will weigh down the car, which can burn more gas. Although removing unnecessary heavy items is great (see tip #1), gas is not one of these things. Gas evaporates over time, and greater empty spaces allows for faster evaporation–this is what happens when you have an empty tank. By keeping your gas tank full, you can discourage the gas from evaporating.
• Keep your tires in good condition: Weak, flat tires reduce gas efficiency considerably. By keeping your tires in great condition, you are saving money and making your car safer to drive as well.
• Look for any available discounts: Although this option varies tremendously by region, most cities offer some kind of discount on gas. From credit card companies with rewards programs to grocery stores that reward you with credits at the pump, many towns offer some kind of discount.
• Use the knowledge of the public to find lower prices: There are many different websites and mobile apps that allow you to view user generated real-time gas prices in your area. Either check at home on your computer, or use your mobile phone to get the best available prices.
• Shorten your commute if possible: If you have a long commute to work or school that is really making your gas bill accumulate, consider moving to a closer location. Not only will a shorter commute make a world of difference in your gas bill, but it will make you happier too.
• Keep your windows down: Unless you are driving in unbearable temperatures, try to keep your car windows up as long as possible. Driving with your windows down causes considerable air drag which can reduce gas efficiency throughout your trip.
As gas prices continue to be extremely volatile, it can be difficult to maintain a tight budget with your fuel prices. However, with a little bit of preparation and foresight you can save yourself both time and money.