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Financial Fitness

Financial Fitness: 12 Ways to Save Money on Gas

A car with balloons

Driving around can be expensive, so, understandably, you would want to find ways to save cash on gas. These 12 tips will show you how.

Look for the Cheapest Price
When you have to put gas in your car, go to a gas station that charges the lowest price per gallon. Find a gas station near you with the help of an app like GasBuddy.

Drive, Don’t Wait
After starting your car, don’t hesitate to put it in gear and drive after 30 seconds. It’s unnecessary to warm up your engine if your vehicle is relatively new. Once your car is moving, it will warm up fast.

Don’t be Heavy on the Pedal
When you are out and about in your car, refrain from driving faster than the marked speed limit. Driving fast will have you spending more on gas because you use more of it when you speed. Instead, go slower to keep your gas cost down and take your foot off the gas pedal when you approach a stop sign or a red light. Also, step easy when you brake to avoid spending more than you have to on gas.

Buy an Electric Car
If you are ready to purchase a new car, consider buying an electric vehicle or a hybrid plug-in model. According to energy.gov, driving a vehicle that runs on electricity is half of what it costs to drive a car that runs on gas. A bonus of buying a plug-in hybrid is that when you buy one, you can apply for a tax credit of up to $7,500.

Idle Less
Turn the car key to stop the engine from running and using your gas when you’re stopped in heavy traffic or held up. Do this after waiting 10 seconds. You will save money by conserving gas when you do. You will also contribute to a healthier planet by polluting the air less.

Keep Your Trunk Light
Keeping 100 pounds of junk in your trunk will cost you more gas. Remove unnecessary items from the trunk to eliminate extra fuel charges.

Keep Nothing on Your Roof
Instead of transporting items by securing them to the roof of your car, lay them on the seat or the floor. If you drive around with anything on your roof, your gas economy is reduced by as much as 8 percent when you travel through the city and by up to 25 percent when you drive fast on the expressway.

Avoid Unnecessary Air Conditioning
Unless the heat is unbearable, leaving your air conditioner off may save you money. The use of this cooling system significantly lowers the gas economy. Instead, put your air conditioner on a setting that will allow your air conditioner to work less if it needs to cool down and save money on gas.

Cut Down on Driving
Limit driving if you can and travel by bike instead. If you have errands to do, do them in one trip. Once you turn off your engine and start it again to make another trip, your car has to warm up again, using much more gas.

Shop for Gas Rewards
There are several grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations that reward you with gas savings when you shop there. You accumulate points with your purchase at these stores, and the points can be redeemed for gas savings. So look for such a store near you to start saving money on gas.

Use the Right Motor Oil
Your vehicle’s manufacturer will recommend which motor oil you should put in your car. If you use a grade of oil other than the one recommended, the result could be less gas mileage. Check the manual that came with your car for information on this.

Keep Your Car in Top Shape
Keep down the amount of gas you use by maintaining your car. Make sure your tires have the right amount of air in them at all times. In addition, spark plugs, brakes, belts, transmission, and fluid levels should all be checked frequently. Watch for an alert from your check-engine light and take care of the problem right away.

It’s easy to save money on gas once you know how. Use these 12 tips to help you save. Keep a copy of this list handy as a reminder.

Darrell McVea, Community Financial Educator
Darrell McVea
Community Financial Educator
800.426.1601 x3184
[email protected]

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