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Gas prices are always fluctuating depending on the time of year. Yet one thing is for certain – it’s not cheap. I’ve put together a list of 10 different ways for how to save money on gas. By following these steps, you should be able to save 15% or more on each purchase.
1. Buy A Discounted Gift Card – 5% off
One of the most immediate ways on how to save money on gas is to buy a discounted gift card. There are multiple online gift card vendors online that sell gift cards at a discount.
My favorite gift card vendor site is Raise, where I can typically get 2% – 5% off on gas station gift cards. It’s also one of the most popular and most reliable gift card resellers on the web.
Here’s how it works in 5 simple steps:
- Sign-up for a free Raise account by clicking this link here. You even get a $5 bonus for signing-up as a new user.
- Search for the retailer of your choice using their search bar. In this case, we’re going to use the QuikTrip gas station as an example.
- We notice that we can get 5% off of gas by buying a discounted QuikTrip gas station card. We can get a gift card that has a $50 value for only $47.52. Click on the buy now button to make your purchase.
- If possible, select electronic gift cards since they only take up to 24 hours to arrive in your inbox. Physical gift cards still work and I’ve have always received my card, but they can take up to 7 business days to arrive.
- Use your gift card at the station to save 5% on gas.
Keep in mind that these rates may fluctuate depending on demand and what they have in stock. Raise always has an excellent money-back guarantee policy in case you receive a gift card without any cash. This has only happened to me one time, and they gave me a new e-gift card within 24 hours.
2. Get a Cash BackCredit Card – 5% Off
When you purchase fuel at a gas station always, be sure to always use a cash back credit card. With the Discover It Credit Card, you can get 5% cash back when purchasing fuel from the months of January to March at any gas station.
If it’s not during these months, you still get 1% in cash back on all purchases with double the amount of cash back your first year. This means that if you’re getting 5% off on gas, you’re actually getting 10% back.
Keep in mind that the first 5% will be awarded the following statement while the second 5% will be awarded to you after one year of owning the card, or on your 13th statement.
The card comes with no annual fee so you don’t have to worry about paying anything. Here’s a quick look at what the card has to offer:
- No annual fee
- Double the amount of cash back on all purchases your first year
- Receive 5% cash back up to $1,500 on categories that rotate quarterly: gas, restaurants, home improvement stores, theme parks and movies.
- All other purchases receive a 1% cash back bonus
- Each monthly statement has a free credit score from FICO to help you keep track of your credit
- The Discover Deals Shopping Portal will give you 5% – 40% in cash back when shopping online
The Chase Freedom Card Is A Great Alternative
If you don’t want to get a Discover Card, we recommend going with the Chase Freedom Credit Card instead. You’ll get 5% cash back on gas from the months of April to June.
Not only that, but as a new member you get a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $500 or more within your first 3 months of opening an account.
It comes with no annual fee. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer:
- Receive $100 cash back bonus when spending $500 within the first three months of opening an accont
- 5% cash back up to $1,500 spent per quarter on categories that rotate quarterly: Amazon, gas stations, restaurants and more
- Earn 1% cash back on everything else
- Receive 5% – 20% cash back when shopping through the Ultimate Online Rewards Mall
- No annual fee
3. Use The Gas Buddy App
The GasBuddy App tells you how much gas costs at gas stations in your local area. It’s updated on a daily basis and is updated from users that verify gas prices in order to earn points.
Simply type in your zip code and a list of gas prices near you will appear. You can sort by either location or price. More often than not, you’ll be able to save at least $.10 cents per gallon by going to a gas station that’s only slightly farther away.
Users submit gas prices that they see at gas station. When a user submits a gas price, GasBuddy verifies this price by waiting for 2 more users to submit the same exact price.
When three users report the same price on a given day, the price is updated. In exchange, gas buddy gives away points that can be used to enter gift card drawings of up to $100.
4. Gas Station Rewards Cards
Using a rewards card at stores such as Safeway and Fred Meyer can help you save a lot of money on gas in the long run. Not only that, but I find that Safeway and Fred Meyer typically have the cheapest prices around.
Let’s take Safeway as an example. Each time you make a purchase at their store, they ask for your rewards card that can be used to earn fuel points toward discounts off of gas purchases. If you don’t have one, ask the cashier how to sign-up for one for free.
Once you’re approved, each time you make a purchase, either scan your rewards card or tell the cashier your phone number associated with the card. In exchange, for every $100 spent on groceries, you get 10 cents off per gallon on a single fill-up.
If you don’t want to use your points at Safeway, the grocery store is now partnered with Chevron and Texaco so you can still get cash back at other locations as well.
Cash back on fuel can found at many grocery store locations, so it never hurts to ask if the store you’re at has a rewards program.
Note: The Safeway rewards card can also be stacked with other offers such as the ones mentioned above, so it won’t interfere with any other discounts that you may have.
5. Search for a Carpool Buddy
Find out if your coworkers live nearby and offer to split the cost of gas by riding together on the way to work. Just try to persuade your coworker to use your credit card when you purchase gas so that you’re the one who’s getting the cash back bonus.
6. Change the Way You Drive
According to GasBuddy, by applying slow acceleration you can increase your fuel economy as much as 20%. Here are 9 other simple tips that they list:
1. Avoid high speeds.
As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%.
2. Do not accelerate or break hard.
By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.
3. Keep tired properly inflated.
Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1%.
4. Use A/C sparingly.
When the air conditioner is on it puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used (by about 20%). The defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner.
5. Keep windows closed.
Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.
6. Service your vehicle regularly.
Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels.
7. Use cruise control.
Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.
8. Avoid heavy loads.
Remove the sand bags from your trunk in the spring and pack lightly for long trips.
9. Avoid long idles.
If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.
10. Purchase a fuel efficient vehicle.
When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy.
7. Don’t Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles
While this one isn’t specifically related to gas, but I still find it important when managing a car. There’s no need to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles like most car service stations tell you.
The reason why the recommended mileage before changing your oil is 3,000 is because at one point it was a good idea. However, today cars are more efficient and don’t need to change as often.
Certain cars only need an oil change after 7,500 – 10,000 miles of driving. Also keep in mind that cars that tend to do more highway driving need to change their oil less than cars that drive more in the city.
Be sure to read your car manual to find out the recommended mileage at which you should change your oil. To keep it simple and to prevent my engine from getting damaged, I always get my oil changed at around 5,000 miles.
8. Avoid Extra Fees During Oil Changes
I always find that the person changing your oil can make things seem more urgent than they really are, especially at Jiffy Lube.
One time I went there due to a $5 coupon off my next oil change and also due to the fact that they were cheaper than a lot of other places. Not only that, but they also usually clean your car and inflate your tires for free.
What I didn’t know is that after they finished checking my car, they told me that my air filter was extremely dirty and needed to be replaced. They stressed that it was urgent and needed to be done immediately at a meager $49.
Without even hesitating, I almost said yes due to the urgency in his voice, but luckily I calmed down and said that I already had one and could replace it myself.
A quick Google search showed me that it wasn’t so urgent, and that most of the time if a problem doesn’t sound serious when it comes to cars, it probably isn’t. I went to an auto shop and bought an air filter for my car for around $12. This ended up saving me $36.
Always be wary when people in the service industry make any “suggestions” – especially when it’s not in their field of expertise.
9. Check for Coupons
Groupon is the first place I go to when checking for great deals when it comes to cars, especially when it comes to saving money on gas. Groupon is one of the most popular coupon sites around, often offering deals that can save you anywhere between 40 and 80 percent.
After doing a quick search on Groupon, I found out that there was currently a way to save 60% on a $10 purchase on gas! We can see this in the image below:
Unfortunately, this Groupon quickly expired as it was only available for a few days. Yet this doesn’t mean that new ones quickly become available. Not only does Groupon offer discounts on gas, but they often feature deals on oil changes as well.
10. Drive Less
This one is pretty obvious, but the best way for how to save money on gas is to not drive at all. Here are some healthy alternatives:
- Take the subway or light rail
- Ride a bike
- Move closer to work
- Take public transportation
- Walk or run to work
- Use a skateboard or scooter
- Get a ride from a friend
Not only do these methods save you money, but over half give you good exercise and help the environment in the process.
These 10 simple tips for how to save money on gas have saved me around 15% or more on fuel purchases. While it’s not a lot, the amount adds up and I can easily save a few hundred dollars per year.
See a tip that’s not on this list and should be? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!