Ways to Save on Gas

The American way of life is centered around driving. For most of us who have not yet bought hybrid vehicles, that also means gasoline dependence. Thanks to several factors, gas prices in the United States are rising to levels we have not seen before. Considering our dependence on fuel, rising prices can cramp people’s lifestyles and budgets; it certainly has ours. Out of necessity, over the last few months, we’ve found ways to save on gas. Every little bit saved makes a difference when prices are this high.

11 Ways We Save On Gas

We utilize several strategies to save as much as we can on gas:

Pay Cash

Ways to Save on Gas

If I don’t have my kids with me and I have the cash available, I always pay with cash rather than credit cards. The credit card company charges a fee to any company that allows customers to pay by credit card. Gas stations pass that fee on to the customer. If you pay cash, the price you pay is often two to ten cents per gallon cheaper than the credit card price.

Fill Up at Costco

One of the best perks of a Costco membership is discounted Costco gas. Costco typically charges 30 to 50 cents less per gallon than other stations around town. I have a 20-gallon tank, so the savings can add up to $6 to $10 per fill-up. You can cover the cost of your Costco membership fee in a hurry with those savings.  If you’re interested in more information about Costco gas, we’ve covered in in depth here.

Use GasBuddy App

The GasBuddy app helps us find the lowest price of gas in town. However, I do not drive out of my way to get gas that is a few cents cheaper. I only go to the cheapest station if I’m nearby.

Use Gas Rewards from Kroger

We have a Kroger affiliate grocery store, Fry’s, near us. One of the perks of shopping at Fry’s is the fuel rewards. For every dollar we spend, we get one fuel reward point. When we get gas, every 100 points gets us 10 cents off per gallon of gas. At least once a month, I can fill up and use my points. I typically receive between 50 cents and one dollar off per gallon, which adds up to significant savings when filling my 20-gallon tank.

If you have a Kroger affiliate grocery store near you, look into the fuel rewards program.

Use 5% Cashback Credit Card

If you have a credit card that gives you a higher cashback reward for gas, use that card! Right now, our Discover Card is offering 5% cash back for gas from April through June this year. We only buy gas with this credit card during these three months. 

Another card to consider is the Citi card that partners with Costco. This card offers 4% cash back on gas purchases up to the first $7,000 per year.

Behavioral Changes

In addition to the above ways to save money on gas, we also implement some behavioral changes to help us save even more.

Work at Home More

Ways to Save on Gas

I have always worked from home, but since the pandemic, my husband also has the option to work from home. He tries to go into the office only once a week now; before gas prices climbed so high, he was going to work three times a week. Because we live 30 minutes from his office, this option saves us quite a bit on the expense of gas.

Eliminate Some Trips

We live in Tucson, a city that is spread out. Our preferred grocery store, Trader Joe’s, is 30 minutes away. I used to go there every week, but not since gas prices jumped. Instead, I only stop by Trader Joe’s when I’m in the area. Then, I stock up on the groceries we need there for the next month. I use smaller grocery stores that I like less but are closer to my home to fill in with what we need for the rest of the month.

Combine Trips

Combining trips is smart no matter the price of gas, but when gas is cheap, I often forget to do so. By combining trips, I may only go out once or twice a week to run errands and go shopping, but I do everything at once so I minimize fuel waste.

Fill Up on Monday

I never used to pay attention to what day of the week I filled up. When I needed gas, I bought it. However, in my desire to save at the pump, I’ve discovered that Mondays typically have the lowest gas prices of the week, so now I try to fill up on that day.

Completely Fill the Tank

When you get gas, do you fill up or just get $20 or $40 worth of gas? I experimented with getting a small amount of gas, such as four to six gallons each time, but I find I’m not as gas-conscious when I do that because I know I’ll run out soon. When I fill the tank, I can gauge how quickly I’m using gas and change my behavior to make the gas stretch longer. I know how many days I want the tank to last.

Using the More Fuel-Efficient Car for Family Outings

We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna and a 2013 Subaru Outback. The Sienna is more comfortable when our family of five rides together. However, lately, we’ve switched to the Outback because it gets much better mileage. 

Final Thoughts

Paying for fuel right now is painful, especially if you don’t have flexibility in your ability to work from home. However, even if you do have to drive to work every day, hopefully, you can use some of these ways to save on gas to help ease the pain at the pump a bit. Every way you can use to save money helps when the gas price is as high as it is right now.

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