Frugal Fueling: Small Gas Mileage Strategies That Could Make a Big Dent in Your Spending

How much did you pay the last time you filled up your automobile gas tank? If you’re like most people, you probably paid more than you had to. You may have needed to fuel your car a lot sooner, too. In the interest of saving car owners a bundle on fuel costs, we present a few small strategies that might make a big difference in the amount you spend on gasoline.

Tech savvy gas savings

Use your smartphone or other data connected device to find the best gas prices in your vicinity. AAA Triptik and GasBuddy are handy free apps available for Android and Apple phones. Use a maps app to determine the best route to your local filling station. A good map app can also show current traffic tie-ups, so you don’t waste time idling in heavy traffic.

A rewarding opportunity

Get a gas rewards card and use it every time you shop. Many grocery store chains offer free rewards cards that provide big savings at the pump. The amount you will save depends on how much money you spend at the store that gave you the rewards card. Families with multiple drivers may accrue points quicker by using the same rewards card number at the grocery store checkout. Use your rewards points at a station with already lower prices to save even more on fuel, says Forbes magazine.

Another smart tip for saving at the pump is to fill up no later in the week than Thursday. Do it prior to 10 o’clock in the morning, as well. Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas, explains: “Gas prices rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel, and 10 a.m. is when most station owners make their price change for the day. Unless it is an emergency, do not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday.”

Drive with deliberation

Don’t leave rubber on the road by zooming as soon as a traffic light turns green. So-called ‘jackrabbit starts’ look fun in movies; in reality, that sort of acceleration wastes a tremendous amount of valuable fuel. Accelerating slowly from a newly-green light and making gradual stops whenever prudent may cut your fuel consumption by up to 35 percent for someone driving a Chrysler 300 or another similar sized motor vehicle. Use a cruise control on long expanses of road, and see your SUV or other large utility vehicle use around 14 percent less gasoline. When you run errands, do several in one trip. Once your car is warmed up, it will require less fuel than if you start cold and run one errand every day. Plan your trip efficiently, and you’ll get more from your gas tank.

Carpool when you can. Sharing a ride with a friend who pays for a portion of the fuel is a good way to save on fuel costs. You get to hang out with a friend, too, and that’s a sweet bonus.

Richard Pearce writes about saving money. His articles cover a range of money-saving topics that you may or may not have already thought about when working on your budget!

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