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5 Ways to Save Money on Gasoline

While there is not much you can do about rising fuel prices, here are 5 ways to save money on gasoline.

$5, you may want to prepare yourself, as that is how much a gallon of gas may cost soon. This is NOT a year down the road, more like a couple of months perhaps. We already see gas prices well over $4 in many parts of the country and experts expect prices to continue to rise as we near the spring and summer holiday travel. You can check gas prices here for major cities across the U.S.

  1. Search for the Best Deals. Use online tools and mobile apps to find the lowest gas prices in town. Free mobile apps like GasBuddy make it easy to track down local gas stations with the lowest prices. A bonus: Reporting prices in your area can enter you into prize giveaways. Mapquest also has a gas-prices tool that lets you see national highs and lows at a glance, and can find gas prices at any intersection, address, or city using a basic search tool.
  2. Get a tune-up. Head to your local mechanic for a tuneup, and get your fluids topped off while you’re there. A properly tuned car will burn gas more efficiently, boosting your mileage — which translates to saving money. Tuneup costs and basic performance checks vary by vehicle, but it’s an annual checkup you won’t want to miss.
  3. Have your tires checked. Head to the nearest tire store or mechanic to make sure your tires have enough air in them; check your wheel alignment on the same trip. Poor alignment can reduce your mileage while also causing unnecessary wear and tear. Check your car’s manual to make sure you know how much air to put in each tire. Some models require different amounts in the front and back tires. A four-wheel alignment typically costs less than $100 and takes only about an hour.
  4. Take advantage of gas card benefits. Consumers with good spending habits can use gas rewards credit cards to earn cash back on every fuel purchase. The Costco AMEX TrueEarnings Card is my favorite, offering 3% cash back for gasoline. If you have a long commute or take care of multiple vehicles, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars on gas every month, so the rewards can really add up. Take a good look at the terms and benefits of your credit card rewards programs to ensure you’re making the most of your purchases.
  5. Stop speeding. The Consumer Federation of America reports that you can reduce fuel consumption by 7% for every five miles per hour you cut back on the highways. This equates to saving about 27 cents per gallon by reducing your speed from 70 to 65. Gas mileage decreases rapidly once you hit the 55-miles-per-hour mark. Simply driving slower could help you save on a sizable portion of your gas expenses this month.

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