When was the last time you considered what you spend each month on fuel? If it’s been a while, you may be surprised to see the number is probably not as small as you think. Between commuting to and from work, running errands, and taking trips across town to visit friends or grab dinner, it’s all too easy to fly through a tank of gas and find yourself stuck in line at the gas station yet again, spending your hard-earned money.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to cut your gas spending and put a few extra dollars back into your pocket. With the surge in gas prices, here are five smart ways to stop spending so much money on gas:
- Look into Loyalty Programs.
Many grocery stores partner with gas stations – or open stations of their own – and allow shoppers to redeem points toward discounts on gasoline. Kroger, Safeway, Shaw’s, and Fred Meyer are just a few of the grocers across the country that offer this benefit. Since you already have to spend money on groceries to feed your family, you may as well score a discount for your next fill-up! Ask the cashier the next time you’re at your favorite grocery store to see if they offer a gas reward program.
- Plan Your Trips Strategically.
It’s easy to burn a tank of gas when you’re continually driving across town and running various errands. If you feel like you’re always on the road, sit down and see if you can streamline your schedule a bit better and make your trips more efficient. Instead of creating separate trips, see if you can squeeze a few errands into one run and plan to visit each shop in the order that makes the most sense instead of doubling back and wasting gas. With a little thought and effort, you may be surprised to see how much of an impact merely reevaluating your schedule can make.
- Consider a More Gas-Efficient Vehicle.
Gas-guzzlers are not only bad for the environment. They’re also hard on your wallet! A hybrid vehicle – or even a standard car that scores high on fuel efficiency tests – can severely slash your fuel spend. This may not be a logical option if your vehicle is already great on gas, or if you’ve recently purchased your vehicle, but if it’s nearing time to trade it in or you’re considering another car, make it a priority to get a vehicle that’ll keep your gas costs at a minimum.
- Download GasBuddy or a Similar App.
There are now many apps out there with a mission to help you score the lowest prices on gasoline in your area. These apps rely on user-provided data to help you find the nearest gas station with the best prices. Whether you’re running errands in your neighborhood or you’re planning for your next big road trip, this app can help you avoid getting robbed at overpriced fill stations and ensure you’re getting a great deal for your fuel.
- Perform Regular Maintenance.
Basic vehicle maintenance can have a surprising impact on the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. If your car isn’t getting the gas mileage it used to, you may want to schedule a trip to your trusted mechanic. Old motor oil or a clogged air filter may be to blame – or your car may just be due for a tune-up.
While it may not be possible to cut fuel costs out of your family budget, these tips should help you reduce the amount of money you spend on gas each month – for some, quite significantly. You might be astonished to see just how much extra cash makes its way into your wallet!