12 Ways to Save Money on Gas

 photo credit jonny_hunter.jpg

Gas prices are rising again, however, gas savings can be yours, regardless of your vehicle’s make, model, and estimated gas mileage. Whether the estimated gas mileage for you vehicle is closer to 20 or 40 mph, there are things you can do before you leave home, as you are driving and at the pump to give you more fuel for your funds.

Before You Drive

1. Empty Out Your Trunk

While it may seem trivial, those boxes of books you’ve been meaning to drop off to Good Will or the bags of gardening soil you just haven’t taken out of the trunk, yet, are making your engine work harder. According to the Energy Department, fuel efficiency is reduced by 2 percent with every extra 100 pounds a vehicle hauls around.                                                                                                                    Photo Credit: Jonny Hunter    

2. Make your vehicle more aerodynamic

Roof racks, carriers and roof top bike racks cause drag, or wind resistance which can decrease your fuel economy by upwards of 5 percent.

3. Give Your Vehicle Regular Maintenance

Common maintenance tasks for your vehicle can go a long way to adding to its fuel efficiency. Consider replacing clogged air filters, getting an engine tune-up, changing the oil and making sure that your tires are properly inflated and aligned. Fuel efficiency can be enhanced anywhere from 3-10% by paying attention to these simple measures. When gas is $3.70 a gallon, you could essentially be saving 11 -37 cents per gallon.

4. Plan your trips

Plan your errands so that you take the most efficient route that is free of back tracking. Consider making a loop with quick in and out stops to all the places on your route or make stops on the way home from work rather than going back out after you’ve gone home for the evening.

5. Carpool
Ride sharing with a family member, co-worker or neighbor is a great idea not only for your pocketbook, but for the environment. Check out websites like RideSearch.com and eRideShare.com for additional ideas of where to find people with whom to share a ride.

Driving Habits

6. Drive the speed limit

For every 5 miles per hour you drive over 50 miles per hour, gas mileage decreases significantly, according to Fueleconomy.gov. This is costing you money at the pump.

7. Anticipate traffic conditions

This will lessen your need to use your brake. Being alert for slow-downs and changes in traffic signals can allow you to simply let up on the gas, rather than driving with reactive jackrabbit stops and starts. Easier, smoother driving habits can have a positive effect on the miles per gallon your vehicle gets.

8. Use cruise control whenever it is appropriate

The steady speed of cruise control does positive things for your fuel economy.

9. Limit air conditioner use

Use your vehicle air conditioning only when absolutely necessary. Air conditioning uses a large amount of energy to operate, causing a dramatic reduction in your fuel economy.

At the Pump

10. Get Price Savvy

GasBuddy.com allows you to look up stations along your travel path and find the one offering the cheapest gasoline.

11. Use Your Rewards

Locally, with a loyalty card, Kroger grocery purchases can add up to savings at Shell or Kroger fuel pumps.  Nationally, it may be wise to check into credit cards that give you rebates or rewards for gasoline purchases. Websites that offer credit card comparisons such as nerdwallet.com and creditcards.com allow you to assess which card might best suit your needs.

12. Don’t Be Trigger Happy

Holding the pump trigger all the way down when you are pumping gas produces more gas vapor. Once the gasoline turns to vapor, it isn’t going to put fuel in your tank, so you could be paying for gasoline that never makes it to your tank. Along the same line of thought, remember to pump your gas in morning when the day is coldest. Heat causes gasoline to expand and a mid-day fuel-up will give you a little less gas per gallon.

Armed with these ideas, hopefully, you can slow down the money you are pouring into the gas tank, even when the price of gasoline goes up. As always, look to the Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency for Trusted Advice ~ Reliable Solutions.

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