Pay Less for Gas: Easy Ways to Save Money at the Pump

Pay Less for Gas: Easy Ways to Save Money at the Pump

gas prices They’ve fallen dramatically since hitting a national record of $5.02 a gallon on June 16, but they’re still 16% higher From last year at this time. Drivers in California are still paying more than $5.50 per gallonThey cost about $18 extra to fill a 15-gallon tank.

increasing of demands Crude oil in 2022 and the lower supply is partly due to The war in Ukraine Both contributed to the continued high prices at the pump. While you can’t do much about global economic factors, you can take some simple actions to save money on gas.

Read on for details on price tracking tools, and tips on Improve fuel efficiencyAnd the club memberships and more.

Track local prices

GasBuddy It is a well-known website for tracking gas prices in the United States and Canada. It also provides data for the US Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy gas tracking pages. Sites present information in different ways – try both to see which you prefer. GasBuddy is available on the web or via mobile apps for Android And the iOSthough Critics raised concerns About tracking data and privacy policies.

A row of gas pumps and a sign showing prices in the top 300s

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Geico also provides a file Useful local gas station tracker: Enter an address, city, or zip code plus maximum distance area, and Geico will return a detailed list and map with regular, medium, and premium gas prices as well as directions to stations.

AAA provides a gas price tracker in its mobile app (AndroidAnd the iOS), as does Gas Guru (AndroidAnd the iOS), and you can check fuel prices in your vicinity when using navigation apps like wizz and google maps.

Get your money back on gas cards and fuel rewards programs

Major gas stations usually Offer credit cards Rewards programs that give you a percentage. Quick Rewards You give a $25 gift card when you hit 500 points, or 50 gallons of gas. At $5 a gallon, that’s 10% of your gas spending back.

coincidence And the BP Claim that you’ll save at least 5 cents a gallon with their respective reward programs, and ExxonMobil He says you will get at least 3 cents. Be sure to review the terms of each program to see exactly what percentage of your gas spending will get back.

Supermarket chains also offer reward programs: for every $100 you spend on groceries at safe road or Kroger For example, you’ll get 10 cents of gasoline the next time you fill up. Kroger works with Shell and Kroger fuel centers, while the Safeway program operates at Chevron, Texaco and Safeway stations.

Pay for gas with cash

GasBuddy screen shows lower rates for cash than credit

GasBuddy displays both credit and cash rates if there is a difference.

Screenshot Peter Butler/CNET

The practice of charging less gasoline to cash-paying customers varies by region and individual gas station: In Los Angeles, many gas stations offer discounts of 20 cents in cash, especially for premium gas.

This difference can add up quickly: You can save $3 each time you fill a full 15-gallon tank, or $156 annually if you’re increasing weekly. (Just watch these ATM fees: If you pay $2 to $3 to get your money back every time, you may lose money.)

Check tire pressure

Ensure that the tires are properly inflated Gas mileage can be increased by 3%, according to the US Department of Energy. At current prices, that can save you about 15 cents per gallon.

But 60% of car owners only check tire pressure if the indicator light comes on, according to the Jiffy Lube Vehicle Maintenance Survey. A tire pressure gauge can monitor the health of your tires and only costs about $10 to $20.

When tires wear down to 1/16 of an inch, they are considered “bald” and should be replaced immediately.

It is recommended for a fuel-saving trip

Google Maps will recommend routes designed to save gas.

Shot by Cliff Colby/CNET

Map your route

Google Maps Your miles per gallon can also be increased by suggesting specific routes that avoid hills and traffic, ideally leading to more stable driving speeds. Fuel-saving routes available on mobile Android And the iOS applications, although the feature has not been rolled out to all users yet.

To turn on Google Maps fuel efficiency, tap the three dots on the directions screen, tap Route Options and toggle the Prefer Fuel-Saving Routes option.

Other fuel tracking mobile apps like July And the Jerry can Suggest ways to improve fuel efficiency in addition to tracking gas prices at stations. JerryCan claims that drivers who use the app can improve fuel efficiency by up to 20%.

Try club membership to get discounted gas prices

costcoAnd the Sam’s Club And the Walmart Plus All offer discounted gas prices to members. Walmart Plus charges 5 cents less at gas stations, as well as access to all Sam’s Club locations. Membership costs $13 per month or $98 per year, while Sam’s Club membership ranges between $45 and $100 per year.

Costco fuel prices almost always Much less than traditional gas stationsgenerally about five to 25 cents, according to Consumer Reports. Its June 10 review of gas prices found a 34-cent discount on Costco gas in Independence, Missouri, compared to the nearest commercial gas station. Costco membership costs between $60 and $120 per year.

Warning: Due to the high prices nationwide, Gas lines at Costco had become For a long time.

Buy discount gas cards through distributors

Gift cards are a popular option for easy gifts, but as you might expect, not all of these gift cards are used. A variety of distributors allow consumers to use unused gift cards or buy them cheaply.

upload And the Grandma Gift Card Two sites that allow users to buy and sell unused gift cards from Chevon, Texaco, Shell, BP and other gas providers. As you might imagine, most discount gas gift cards are sold out right now, but you can set up alerts when new cards come in.

Be careful to check the actual price discount and other details of any card – both sites also sell gift cards at retail prices, and Gift Card Granny also sells rewards cards.

Become a fuel efficiency expert

You can reduce your gas consumption a little by learning the basics fuel efficiency practices. Tips to save fuel while driving abound on the Internet, and AAA assembled Some great advice. Here are some of the biggest savers:

  • Drive the speed limit, especially on the highway. Fuel economy drops sharply once you start driving over 50 mph.
  • Reduce the acceleration. “Jackrabbit starts” – when a car swings forward too fast – is a huge gas waster. Accelerating smoothly will also allow the automatic transmission to be shifted to higher gears earlier, saving more fuel.
  • Avoid extended idle. You are not going anywhere while you are burning your gases. If the duration is longer than 60 seconds, turn off the engine.
  • Reduce the air conditioning. Even at high speeds, open windows harm fuel efficiency to a lesser extent than air conditioning. Park your car in the shade or use a windscreen to keep your car as cool as possible in the summer.
  • While driving in the city, time the traffic lights so you don’t need to stop and start. Likewise, take your foot off the gas as soon as you see a red light or near a stop sign. The less braking and acceleration, the more gas you will save.

Go even further with hypermiling

Hypermiling is the practice of maximizing fuel efficiency, from choosing roads that require less braking and acceleration to cleaning the trunk to reduce the weight of your vehicle.

Hypermilers may even The garden facing the sun When it is cold to save energy spent on defrosting the windshield, and in the shade when it is cold to save energy on the air conditioner.

In the video below, CNET’s Brian Cooley explains how drivers can adapt extreme hypermiling techniques to increase their fuel efficiency.

Consider bicycles, public transportation, and electric vehicles

High gas prices provide a convenient opportunity to get rid of gasoline-dependent transportation. Obviously, riding a bike or using public transportation more often will help reduce gasoline costs.

Likewise, if you can buy an electric car, it will surely reduce your gas usage. And it’s not just Tesla – Hyundai, Ford, Porsche, Audi and many other automakers sell electric cars. Bonus: You’ll be fighting pollution and climate change at the same time you’re saving money.

paying off CNET Cars’ list of the best electric cars Learn about the latest and greatest EVs.

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