By Beth Bohman
Who doesn’t want to save on gas? Many people wish gas prices would come down instead of climbing these days. For some practical ways to save on gas expenses, read these 12 helpful tips.
- Combine all your errands into one outing for the same area of the city or town. Don’t make separate trips to the store, the bank, and the post office if they are all in the same area. It saves gas to make fewer trips.
- Walk if at all possible.
- Carpool with others going to the same event, even if it means you have to leave earlier.
- Drive the speed limit or just below it. Although going above the speed limit may save you more time to get to your destination earlier, it increases fuel consumption.
- Avoid accelerating quickly. Instead, driving smoothly at a consistent speed is more fuel efficient.
- Keep from idling the car—it wastes gas. If you are picking up someone and waiting in the car for more than a minute or two, it will save you to turn off the car. In the winter, warming up the engine only takes one minute. If you have to warm it up longer to melt the snow and ice off the windows, then you will be using up extra fuel.
- Check the tire pressure. The lower the tire pressure the more gas the vehicle will need to go.
- If it is not sweltering outside, turn the air conditioner off. When it is on, it uses up quite a bit of fuel; instead, roll down the windows. However, when traveling at 55 mph or higher don’t drive with the windows down. That increases drag and consumes more fuel in the long run. When driving in stop-and-go traffic, keeping your windows down is fine. To keep your car cool, park in the shade or crack the windows a little to circulate the air inside.
- Shop at locations, such as Kroger and Costco, where you can use loyalty cards to build up fuel points with purchases on groceries and gift cards. Also, it’s worth it to only purchase fuel at gas stations which have their own loyalty programs, like Speedway, Shell, and BP.
- Make sure the gas cap is securely tightened to prevent evaporation from occurring.
- Because gas stations tend to increase prices on weekends and in the summer, try to fill up on the middle of the week and on non-peak travel days. Gas prices tend to be cheaper either earlier in the week or midweek.
- Decide the best places to buy gas, especially when on a road trip. It can be cheaper in suburban areas, as opposed to wealthy metro areas, where taxes will be higher due to their location on more valuable property. If you can, stay clear of stations near major freeway exits.
Follow these tips for your next big trip or for day-to day travels and you will have more money to save or use elsewhere. It is worth the effort!
*Images obtained from Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com