High inflation and the war in Ukraine have resulted in very high gas prices. Everyone is feeling the pinch. This is not a new problem. Gas prices have been high in the past, such as the 1970’s. Just like back then, you have to get resourceful in order to reduce costs. Here are 10 ways to offset high gas prices.
1. Work from Home
Working from home is one big way to save that many people didn’t have before the internet. This is the best one, because if you don’t drive, you spend zero on gas. How great is that? If your employer has any work from home flexibility, take advantage of it!
If you are able to ride share with someone at work for even just two days a week (you drive once and they drive once), you can drop you gas costs by 20% (1 day of 5). This does take a little effort to coordinate, but 20% is 20%!
3. Milk Runs
When you go out shopping or running errands, try to plan ahead and do one “milk run” where you visit multiple locations on one trip rather than separate trips. The obvious goal is to reduce the total miles you are driving by being intentional about your trips.
4. Buy the right gas
Before you buy gas again, take a moment to check your owner’s manual for the octane level that your car requires. In most cases the car won’t require premium or the highest octane products.
In other words, don’t spend the money to put a higher octane in your vehicle if the car manufacturer does not require it. If you do you are likely just throwing your money away.
If the pump has a Top Tier rating the gas should be clean and safe to use. You can also check out the quality of gas for a gas station by going to www.toptiergas.com.
5. Use a Gas Card or Rewards Program
Other ways to save gas include membership clubs (such as Costco) that sell members gas that is often 5% lower than the competition. This often adds up to significant money over time. There are some gas reward credit cards that offer good cash back rewards for buying gas, although there are often limitations as to which stations you can use them at. Check out CardRatings.com for various credit card choices.
6. Get a good price for gas in your area
Apps such as Gas Buddy allow you to join an online community that reports the price of gas at various stations. As a user you can then quickly search for the best deals on gasoline surrounding your current location.
7. Improve your driving habits
Hard acceleration, driving too fast, and aggressive driving drain your gas tank much faster than more reasonable driving habits.
8. Know your mpg
If you drive a modern car, it will track your miles per gallon for you. If you drive an older car, you’ll have to do the math manually. To do it manually, reset your tripmeter (on your odometer) to zero after you fill up to full. Then, next time you fill up, divide your miles by the number of gallons on your receipt.
You need to know your mpg to see if your gas mileage is improving by applying many of the ideas mentioned in this article. In order to improve something, you need a way of measuring it.
9. Proper Car Maintenance makes a difference
Underinflated tires are one of the common causes for lower gas mileage. Check for the recommended inflation for your tires and make sure they are set properly.
Brake drag is another. This has happened to me. I noticed my mpg drop about 4 mpg and it was due to a frozen brake caliper that was creating friction on the wheel. Spark plugs and air filters are other parts to make sure they are in good working order. If not, replace them.
All of the items mentioned about can improve your gas mileage.
10. When you Gas up matters
If you watch the gas prices of the same stations, you will often notice a pattern. Gas prices tend to be the lowest on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then the prices go up later in the week.
They are almost always the highest on Friday and the weekends. There are a number of reasons that may drive this, but ultimately having some awareness here can save you more.
These are the daily averages. They don’t hold true every week, but if you try to fill up on the lower cost days you should come out ahead in the long run.
By applying the 10 ways to offset high gas prices you should be able to claw back some of your hard earned money, so you can put it to better use!