How can I Spend Less Money on Gas?

Bronwyn Harris

Gas prices just seem to be going up and up, with no end in sight! Some people are lucky enough to live in cities with outstanding public transportation, but for many of us, our cars are going to be a part of our lives for a long time to come. There are a few simple tips that can help you to spend less money on gas, as well as reduce the amount of gas you use for the sake of the environment.

Keeping tires properly inflated can help you use less gas.
Keeping tires properly inflated can help you use less gas.

Don't drive unless you have to. Is your destination nearby? Walk or ride your bike to get there. This won't just save you gas, but also give you some great exercise. If your destination is a little farther away, consider public transportation. You might be able to listen to music, read or relax instead of fighting brutal commute traffic.

Getting oil changes regularly can help improve gas mileage.
Getting oil changes regularly can help improve gas mileage.

Carpool. Check to see if your city has a casual carpool program. Ask your co-workers or parents of your children's friends if they would be interested in carpooling. Again, you won't only spend less money on gas, but you'll also help the environment and reduce traffic congestion.

Keeping tires properly inflated can help save gas.
Keeping tires properly inflated can help save gas.

Choose a smaller car. In general, smaller cars are more fuel-efficient. If you can afford a hybrid, that's great. Even those of us without a Prius in our budget can avoid driving monstrous gas-guzzling SUVs. You'll spend less money on gas as well as find it much easier to park!

Carpooling is a way to save money on gas.
Carpooling is a way to save money on gas.

Keep your car well-maintained. Get oil changes on time and tune-ups when they are needed. You'll save money in the long run by spending less money on gas.

Gas mileage may be improved by avoiding speeding.
Gas mileage may be improved by avoiding speeding.

Keep your tires properly inflated. Here again, you will spend less money on gas by using less. Your car's manual will specify what the tire pressure should be; by keeping it there, you will get more miles to the gallon.

Don't keep the kitchen sink in your trunk. Some of us drive around with most of our earthly possessions in our car. While it's nice to feel prepared, getting rid of the extra weight will save you some gasoline, and therefore, some money.

Don't idle your car. While waiting to pick someone up or waiting for an exceptionally long train to pass, turn off your car. Turning your car off and restarting it uses less gas than idling it for more than about two minutes.

Drive calmly and safely. Quick starts and stops will not only destroy your nerves, but your gas mileage. Spend less money on gas by using less when getting your car moving.

Apply for gas station credit cards. Many gasoline companies offer credit cards which provide discounts on gas. You can save 5% on gas with some of these credit cards, which adds up quickly.

Finally, buy the cheapest gas you can find, without going out of your way. Some people drive all over their city to get to cheaper gas, not realizing that in their quest to spend less money on gas, they are using gallons of it just to get to the gas station! Be reasonable — buy cheaper gas, but don't waste money, time, and gasoline driving miles out of your way to get there.

Keeping the car maintained, with regular oil changes and tune-ups, can help save money at the gas pump.
Keeping the car maintained, with regular oil changes and tune-ups, can help save money at the gas pump.

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Discussion Comments

Laotionne

When I drive back and forth to work, most of the cars I see have only one person in the vehicle. When I see all of the cars with only the driver in them, I immediately think this is such a waste. I want to lower my window and scream at them to not be so selfish and to carpool. However, I don't think my comments would be appreciated since I am the only person in my car, too.

I know carpooling saves money and energy, and it is good for the environment, but the bottom line is that it is also inconvenient. I don't want to be late to work because the person riding with me can't get ready to go on time. And I definitely don't want to be the one causing everyone else in the carpool to be late.

Animandel

I am so tired of hearing people complain and complain about the price of gasoline only to find out that these same people drive gas guzzlers that get fewer than 20 miles to the gallon. If you are truly stressed by the amount of money you pay every time you stop at the gasoline pump then buy a car that gets decent gasoline mileage so you can spend less money on gas. Otherwise, stop bothering the rest of us with your complaints.

If you are driving a hybrid that gets 40 miles to the gallon, and you are still complaining then feel free to do so in my presence, and I will simply nod my head in agreement.

Feryll

This article makes a good point about not driving all over town just to get a better price on gas. I have a friend who needs to rad this. He is always checking the signs at the gas stations to see which store has the cheapest gas so he can save a little money. Once he finds the store with the cheapest gas, he is completely loyal.

He will wait until he is near that station before he adds gas to his tank, and if he is about to run out before he gets back to that station then he will make a special trip there to fill up his tank. The sad part is that most of the time he is saving only a few cents on the gallon. Even if he is saving 10 cents on a gallon of gas, that adds up to only about $1.50 per fill-up.

If the station where he buys the gas is not out of the way then this makes sense, but if he has to travel five miles out of the way to the station and then five miles back then what's the use?

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