It’s that little light on your dashboard that everyone dreads. The gas light.
With the rising cost of gas prices, it can seem like you are throwing money away each time you fill up. Some say to quit driving altogether, but how realistic is that?
Let us help you find corners to cut in your fuel budget.
1. Find a fuel loyalty program and stick with it.
If you haven’t joined a loyalty program already, now is the time. It’s an easy way to save on gas expenses.
Check out the top 10 fuel loyalty programs. You’ll be sure to find one you love.
GasBuddy is a free app that allows you to enter your location anywhere in the US and helps you find the cheapest fuel price.
Plus, if you post and report prices in your area, they offer a weekly drawing for a $100 gas gift card. You receive points every time you post, and about six to seven posts will get you entered in the drawing. Worth it!
3. Find the cheapest gas prices by interstate exit with iExit.
You happen to be on a road trip. Having so much fun that you didn’t realize you needed to fill up three exits ago.
iExit helps you quickly find the cheapest gas stations at each interstate exit.
iExit uses GasBuddy fuel prices with the US highway system. You open the app, and it will automatically switch into “on highway” mode and show the upcoming exits with the cheapest gas station highlighted at each exit. This one costs $0.99 for lifetime access.
4. Use Scoop to carpool to work.
Scoop is a free app that provides a safe and flexible way to share a daily commute with co-workers or neighbors.
Morning commutes are set the night before, and an evening commute can be set an hour before you plan on taking off.
If you know co-workers who live close by or drive the same route to work, ask about carpooling together and coming up with some sort of drive schedule (this saves you both money).
5. Buy discounted gift cards from Raise, Cardpool or Gift Card Granny and save 11-40%.
There are discounted gift cards available for your gas purchases! For example, you can buy a $30 gas gift card and save at least 11.07%.
These savings feel small, but with how often a car needs gas, you’re going to end up saving a lot in a year.
RELATED: 29 Gift Card Hacks You Should Be Using
6. Get up to 5% cash back when you buy gas with your rewards credit card.
Rewards credit cards are the best way to consistently save on everything from travel to groceries to — you guessed it — gas! Here are some that offer gas perks:
- Blue Cash Preferred (American Express): Get 3% unlimited cash back at US gas stations.
- Discover it Chrome: Get 2% cash back on gas
- Discover it: Get 5% cash back on gas during one quarter per year
- Chase Freedom: Get 5% cash back on gas purchases during one quarter per year
- BankAmericard Cash Rewards: Get 3% cash back on gas, up to $2,500 per quarter
7. Avoid buying gas on Thursday through Sunday whenever possible.
Most gas companies up gas prices at 10am on Thursday. So if at all possible, avoid buying gas Thursday after 10am through Sunday, as prices will be the highest due to weekend travel.
8. Ask your employer for a commuting gas allowance.
Living in urban cities can have its advantages. Some employers offer a stipend or will reimburse for your commute.
Most of the time there is a program set in place; we suggest asking your employer or HR department if they participate in a plan!
9. Keep your car maintained.
- Check tire pressure. Having under-inflated tires reduce mileage, so keep those babies pumped up!
- Check the air filter. Having a dirty air filter can reduce your gas mileage by 10%!
- Check the gas cap. Gas can evaporate from the tank if the cap is loose or damaged. Always be sure to give it an extra tight twist.
10. Change your driving habits.
Little changes can go a long way!
For example, if you stop letting your car idle for too long, it’s going to save you money. Letting your car idle for longer than 10 minutes uses as much fuel as traveling 5 miles.
Don’t wait until the tank is empty to fill up. Experts say to keep your gas tank no less than half or a quarter full so you don’t end up with expensive car repairs.
Watch how much you brake and accelerate. Bursts of acceleration and braking suddenly reduce a car’s mpg by two to three mpg.