When it comes to paying for gas, most of us feel just like this guy; why is it so expensive! No matter what kind of car you drive, economy car or SUV, everyone wants to save money on gas. If you have a long commute every day, you probably keep a sharp eye on the price of gas, and the different stations that tend to be the cheapest. We can help you save with cheap car insurance, but saving on fuel for your vehicle might take more effort. If carpooling or public transportation isn’t your favorite way to save gas, here’s some clever tips for getting cheap gas that might help.
- Rewards Programs are a very popular way to save money on gas. There are three options for programs that give you rewards in the form of discounts on gas. First are rewards programs offered by gas stations directly. Shell Fuel Rewards give you 3 cents off a gallon every day and the option to earn more points shopping with participating merchants. The Exxon Plenti program gives you points on every gas purchase you make that you can spend on other participating stores.
- The second option is store rewards programs. This is a very convenient option, since you have to go to the store to buy groceries anyway, so why not get rewarded for it. Most programs, like Safeway and Vons, give you 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 dollars you spend in the store. You do have to go to the specific gas station their program is with, but it can feel really good to get gas for $2.60 a gallon when everyone else is paying over $3.00.
- The third choice is a credit card rewards program. They offer you extra reward points when you buy gas, even up to 5%. Some cards offer gas rewards on a rotating category, but there are some that have cash back on gas as a permanent reward feature. If you are looking at different credit cards with rewards programs, pay attention to any spending caps, brand restrictions, or time limits. These things could make using the card more of a hassle than a convenience for your particular needs. Some warehouse stores offer gas rewards as well, like Sam’s Club and Costco. If you are a regular shopper there, it may be worth participating in there program. As with all credit cards, be sure to check and compare all interest rates. For a more in depth look at the options for the 12 top gas credit cards, click here.
Always Get The Best Price
- With gas prices changing almost daily, it is difficult to keep up with which gas stations in your neighborhood have the best prices on any given day. GasBuddy is an app that lists gas prices at the stations near you, so you can drive directly to the cheapest one, instead of wasting time driving around searching. You can also check with your auto insurance company for more tips on saving gas.
- GassGuru is another app that tracks local prices, and it also gives you a map to each nearby station. These are also great options to have with you on road trips, so you don’t have to choose only from name brand stations you are familiar with.
- Fuel Buddy is another helpful tool that can keep track of your mileage and how often you fill up, so you can see if your car is getting the best mileage it can.
At The Pump
- Believe it or not, the way you fill up your tank can be used to make sure you are getting what you pay for. Sometimes there will still be gas in the hose after you finish pumping. Keep the dispenser in your tank for as long as possible, and give the hose a gentle shake. The rest of the gas will get into your tank, instead of spilling on the ground, or going into the next customers tank.
- It is also a good idea to print out your receipt and check it. Sometimes the gas you pay for does not match up with what is being advertised, and some pumps can be miscalibrated. If you find a station in your area with pumps that regularly seem to be wrong, keep going in and complaining about it. You may just get a few free gallons for being that squeaky wheel.
- Buy gas early or late in the day, especially during the summer. Gas density as it gets hotter, and you will get less when you pump. Buy gas early in the week because prices tend to go up between Wednesday and Saturday.
- Avoid stopping at gas stations that are near the highway. They know they are convenient, and will take advantage of that by tacking on a few more cents per gallon.
- Don’t wait until your tank is almost empty because you may be stuck with paying for whatever is closest to you, and not be able to go the few extra miles to get to the cheaper gas station.
We are unlikely to see gas drop below $2.50 any time soon, so instead of waiting for a miracle in government management, look for the little ways to save. These will add up to significant savings for you, and make you feel like you’re not being swindled, at least not at the pump.