Ways to Save Money On Gas

a white SUV being filled with gas at the gas pump

Between 2011 and 2012, consumers spent over $8,000 on transportation. In an effort to lessen that expense, here are some tips on how to save money when you turn into the gas station.

  • Not all gas stations are created equal.  Careful!  A gas station on one corner could charge $0.20 more per gallon than the gas station down the street.  If you have a smartphone, you can download an app like AAA’s TripTik, which lists local gas stations and their current prices, so you can compare costs.
  • Try to use cash or debit cards because some gas stations will add a fee for using credit cards—as much as $0.10 per gallon!
  • You don’t have to be at the gas pump to spend less.  Your car uses more gas when you pedal to the metal, so going the speed limit can actually help you more than you think.
  • Pick the right car.  Some vehicles drink more gas than others.  If you’re looking for a new car, make sure you pay attention to how much gas it uses.  If your current car is a gas-guzzler, see if you can afford selling it to buy a new, more efficient vehicle.
  • Duck and cover when you put in your pin.  You never know who’s around and who’s watching.  Identity thieves can get your information by watching—or shoulder surfing—when you put in your pin number and other personal information for a credit or debit card.  When someone gets a hold of your personal information, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair your reputation and retrieve any lost funds.  Keep it from getting that far by shielding your hand when you punch in your pin at the gas station.
  • Strategically pick your grocery store.  Some businesses have gas stations connected with their stores, and they provide perks for their shoppers.  For example, Costco members can use Costco gas stations, which have lower gas prices than competitors (depending on the location).  Vons and Safeway shoppers can accumulate points when they get their groceries, which equals cents off the gallon when they use corresponding gas stations.

Don’t let the gas station guzzle your money!  If you would like help budgeting gas and other transportation costs, call a Money Coach at 888-724-2326.  They have helpful worksheets and can talk about virtually any financial topic.

 

1News Release: Consumer Expenditures – 2012.  Bureau of Labor and Statistics.  Washington, DC:  BLS.gov, 2013.  PDF.