Are you looking for ways to save on gas right now?
As fuel prices fluctuate throughout the year, it may leave you wondering how to save on gas. In 2022 alone, the national gas price average in the US went from $2.87 to between $4.10 and $4.20 a gallon.
Fortunately, saving on gas isn’t as hard as it seems. We’ve found the top 22 ways to ease the strain on your wallet when paying for gas. Keep reading to learn more.
22 Easy ways to save on gas
Some of the best gas-saving tips are obvious, and others aren’t. You might have to do a little extra work or think outside the box, but if it means keeping more money in your wallet, it’s worth it.
First, you can save money at the pump, right where it hurts. Here are some of the top ways to make it happen.
1. Stop using premium gas
Read your car’s manual and see if your vehicle requires premium gas or if the manufacturer just recommends it. There’s a big difference.
If your manufacturer requires it, then you risk voiding the car’s warranty if you don’t use it. But, if it’s just a recommendation, you could stop using premium gas and use unleaded at least until prices fall again. Heed the manufacturer’s warning and pay close attention to how the engine runs. If you hear knocking or the car seems to be running poorly, go back to premium.
2. Buy a fuel-efficient car
Today, you have many more options for fuel-efficient cars than ever before. So if saving on gas is one of your top priorities (along with doing your part to protect the environment) consider an electric or even hybrid card.
Think about your habits and what you can handle. If you don’t mind recharging your car often, an electric vehicle all but negates the need for fuel. If you want the reassurance of having gas plus the option to have electric, a hybrid model may be an excellent way to ease your way into this new way of driving.
Some of the best hybrid cars today are the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. As you can see, you can still drive the cars you love and save on gas simultaneously.
3. Track your fuel economy
Just like we use scales to measure our weight loss, you need a way to track your fuel-saving efforts. Be sure to reset your fuel economy meter every time you fill up. Then, track how many miles you get per tank and see if you’re increasing the mileage you get out of it.
4. Use apps to find the cheapest gas
Do a quick search online, and you’ll find apps dedicated to saving money on gas. The best app for saving money on gas nationwide is GasBuddy. You just plug in your zip code, and it pulls up the latest gas prices in real-time. Users upload the prices, so always double-check before filling up to ensure the information is accurate.
Gas Guru and Waze are two more popular money-saving gas apps. Gas Guru gets its information directly from the Oil Price Information Service, and Waze is the ever-popular directions and road hazard notification app that also posts gas prices reported by users.
5. Join a fuel rewards program
Today, most gas stations have a fuel rewards program to make saving money on gas a little easier. You’ll still pay the same prices at the pump, but you’ll earn points or cashback to spend at either a grocery store or convenience store, depending on where you fill up. Some gas stations even offer cents off each gallon just for joining their loyalty program.
Every gas station and grocery/convenience store has its own rules regarding how you earn cents off per gallon or redeem your rewards. So read the fine print and choose the gas station that offers the best rewards at stores or gas stations that you’ll use.
6. Use a rewards credit card
If you choose to use a credit card, try to find one that pays a high reward for gas. The average card pays approximately 3% back on gas purchases.
Some cards allow you to earn 5% back on the highest spending category each month, including gas stations. Others rotate their highest-paying categories quarterly, paying 5% cashback in each category which can include gas stations.
If you have a flat-rate rewards credit card, that works too, but you’ll usually earn a lower percentage. Just make sure you read the fine print and ensure that gas stations are included in the cashback opportunities.
If you’re particular to a specific brand of gas, saving money on gas is possible by applying for the brand’s credit card. Gas stations usually offer a discount to their credit cardholders, making it easy to save on gas without thinking about it.
7. Fill up early in the week
A study conducted by GasBuddy found that the best day to fill up on gas is Monday and that as the week goes on, gas prices increase. Most gas stations are slower early in the week. This means there is less demand, so prices are lower. However, the demand for gas increases as the weekend nears and drivers travel more. This means gas stations often increase the prices to keep up with demand.
8. Regularly check tire pressure
According to FuelEconomy.gov, you can improve your gas mileage by 0.6 – 3% just by keeping your tires properly inflated.
If you aren’t sure what pressure your tires should be at, read the owner’s manual. Many local tire shops also check your tire pressure for free and will even fill your tires up if they aren’t properly inflated.
9. Check the seal on your gas cap to avoid evaporation
If you drive an older car or your car doesn’t have a sensor letting you know the gas cap is leaking oxygen, check the seal yourself. You can easily replace the gas cap yourself for less than $20, and it could save you a lot of money at the pump because you’ll have to fill up less.
10. Reduce your vehicle’s weight
Even if you feel like you live in your car, keep it as light as possible. Don’t lug around items you don’t need, like chairs for the kids’ sporting events or even their sporting equipment. It might be a little inconvenient to make sure you have everything each time you leave, but it will leave more money in your wallet, so it’s worth it.
11. Choose higher quality oil
Gas and oil may not seem to have anything to do with one another, but using the right oil can improve your gas mileage slightly. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with anything to do with your car. Use the oil they suggest and you’ll save on gas by improving your gas mileage. Even though you might spend a little more money on your oil change, it will pay off in the long run when you have to fill up less often.
12. Perform routine maintenance
Routine maintenance may seem like a hassle, but it can be one of the best gas-saving tips you find. For example, regularly replacing the air filter and spark plugs can increase your gas mileage considerably. It’s also important to have your car’s oxygen sensor checked regularly.
Check with your car’s manufacturer to determine the proper mileage to complete each of these maintenance tasks. Keep a log so you know when your vehicle is due for its next maintenance to keep your gas mileage under control.
13. Keep your car aerodynamic
It might sound crazy, but keeping your car’s windows up might increase your fuel mileage. Rolling the windows down may feel great in your hair and on your face, but it makes your car less aerodynamic, which means it burns more fuel.
If you’re trying to save on gas, keep the windows up and spend more time outdoors when you’re not in your car.
14. Regularly perform engine tune-UPS
Engine tune-ups can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 4%. This is another one of those tasks each car manufacturer has different guidelines on, so read the manual to find out how often you should have your engine tuned.
15. Take public transit, bike, or walk when you can
This might seem like the hardest option, but it will save you the most money. If public transportation is readily available in your area, spend the few dollars it takes to ride the train or bus and save money on gas.
If you live in a walkable area or can reasonably bike to your destination, enjoy the fresh air skip the car ride and bike or walk to where you need to be.
Working from home if your job allows it or even starting your own business from home to cut out commuting altogether can save you big money.
Saving money on gas is a common goal for many, so why not rideshare? Whether you ride in with a group to work or you set up a carpool to get the kids to school and their activities, you’ll save money on gas and your sanity.
Even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, it doesn’t mean you have to be the one driving everywhere. Instead, take turns with the other parents in your area so everyone can save money.
Driving your car less also puts less wear and tear on your vehicle, which helps keep more money in your pocket.
17. Plan errands to be completed during one trip instead of multiple throughout the week
If you’re the type of person that runs out each time you need something, try consolidating your trips. Keep track of the items you need by keeping a running list on the fridge or using an app on your phone. If you have an iPhone, the Reminders app that comes with your phone is a free and simple way to track what you need throughout the week.
Plan your route so that you’re hitting most or all of the stores you need for the week in one trip, and try to make do with what you have until next week, even if things run out.
18. Reduce your idle time
If you’re a parent, you may spend a lot of time waiting on your kids. Don’t do it with your car running. Idling wastes gas and money. Start the car right before everyone is ready to go, and if you have to sit in line to wait for your kids, shut the car off until the kids are released and ready to go.
19. Accelerate slowly and coast more
Don’t be a hot rod and put the pedal to the metal. Instead, gradually get up to the speed you want and try to coast. Look ahead at what’s coming so you know when you’ll be stopping ahead of time. This way, you can ease into the stop versus doing a lot of starting and stopping and wasting gas.
20. Slow down
Speeding leads to car accidents, tickets, and wasted gas. If you want to save on gas, slow down. Driving speeds of 50 miles per hour or higher drastically reduces your fuel mileage. While you can’t help it if you have to take the expressway, try taking slower routes whenever possible to preserve your fuel mileage.
21. Use cruise control
Cruise control (when you’re on non-hilly roads) can increase your fuel mileage because there’s less variance in your speed. However, you’re better off handling the gas pedal yourself if you’re driving on hills so you don’t excessively downshift and waste gas.
22. Reduce the use of your heater and air conditioning
Depending on the season, you need to stay warm or cool. However, excessively using your heater or air conditioner can wreck your fuel economy. Keep your car comfortable, but turn the heat or A/C down or up to preserve your gas.
Saving on gas FAQ
What days is gas the cheapest?
Try getting gas early in the week, and if possible, early in the day too. As the days and weeks go on, gas prices tend to increase as a general rule.
Is gas cheaper if you pay cash?
Some gas stations offer a cash and credit card price. The cash price is always lower because gas stations don’t have to pay the fees credit card companies charge to allow them to accept credit cards.
What is the best time to fill up gas?
The earlier in the day you can fill up on gas, the better. When gas stations are slow, they tend to lower the prices, but prices tend to increase as demand increases during regular commuting times.
What is the best way to save on gas?
There’s no one best way to save on gas. Instead, using as many methods as possible will yield the best results, such as using a gas app, paying with a reward credit card, changing your driving habits, and switching from premium to regular if your manufacturer allows it.
How can I spend less money on gas?
The best way to spend less money on gas is to take good care of your car. Get it maintained regularly, learn how to coast versus pressing hard on the gas all the time, and always look for the lowest gas prices in your area.
What apps to save on gas are there?
Today with the high gas prices we’re facing, there are hundreds of apps for saving on gas, but the top apps we recommend are GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and Waze.
Final fuel-saving tips
Don’t let high gas prices get you down. Instead, use this as an opportunity to learn how to save on gas and potentially protect the environment. By taking care of your car, changing your driving habits, and possibly buying a fuel-efficient vehicle, you’ll keep more money in your wallet and help the environment at the same time.