5 Ways to Save Money on Gas

5 Ways to Save Money on Gas October 5, 2011

Retail gas prices affect everybody and everything, from individuals to big businesses. The rising cost of gas prices has many consequences that go beyond having to pay more at the pump. Big businesses are often deeply affected by the cost of fuel. Transportation companies such as the airlines industry are very sensitive to the cost of fuel. If the cost fuel goes up, it will reflect on the ticket prices, and the cost of service. Similar to the domino effect the rising cost of fuel will reflect on the cost of the prices for travel tickets. If ticket prices are too high, people just won’t take vacations and wait until prices come down in order to take vacations, and people traveling for business will have to pay excessive prices for tickets.

Individuals are deeply affected by the rising cost of fuel; everybody in your morning and evening commutes are affected by the cost of rising gas prices, and if your family is thinking of taking a road trip for your summer vacation you might think twice before you hit the open road if gas is over $4.00 a gallon.

Historical Gas Prices:

gas price chart

For any regular consumer any increasing price of gasoline will certainly impact their month-to-month allocated fuel expense, and if you’re on the road in the mornings and evenings, coming and going from work gas is going to be a big part of your monthly budget; finding ways to save money on gas should be every working commuter’s priority. The DoT (Department of Transportation) and other independent studies have been conducted on what actually affects a vehicles MPG (miles per gallon) and how what everyday consumers to save money on their gas, but before we get into that let’s untangle some misconceptions in regards to your MPG:

 Gas Saving Misconceptions

1. The AC: Studies have shown that running your air conditioning doesn’t not significantly impact your car’s MPG. So if you want to drive in comfort roll up those windows on a hot day and crank up the AC.

2. Tire Inflation: There’s was a trend with motorist going around that had commuters thinking that overinflating their tires was going to save them gas. Studies show that keeping your tires over-inflated is not going to save you money and actually might be not cost effective in the long run due to the fact that if your tires are over-inflated you might ruin that treads of your tires.

Five Tips for Saving Gas

1. Technology helps. If you’re walking around with smart phone in your pocket you’re in luck, it can be used to save you a lot of money on gas. Gas Buddy is an application (and website you can log on to) that will tell you the cheapest gas within a certain radius of your cell phone location. Use a little common sense when you’re using this application, for one do not use it while you’re driving. We don’t need a bunch of distracted consumers driving around with their eyes glued to their cell phones looking for cheap gas. Another thing, it doesn’t make sense to drive more than five miles to save a penny per gallon, the best thing to do is to find the cheapest gas within a reasonable distance. I’ve been using this application and more often than not the cheapest spots for gas end up being Costco, but you need to cough up $50 for a membership.

2. Drive the speed limit. Driving the speed limit is not only going to save you a lot of cash on gas, it’s also going to possibly save your life. Over half of all car accident fatalities happen over 55 MPH so if you’re going the speed limit you’re not only saving money, you’re saving lives.

3. Cruise control control’s MPG. Somebody once told me that I shouldn’t use the cruise control because it wastes gas, well turns out they were wrong. Using the cruise control, especially on the freeway is going to save you significant money at the gas pump.

4. Lose weight. Studies show 30 lbs of weight will roughly increase your MPG by one-tenth to one-hundredth of a percent depending on your vehicle. So if losing 30 lbs around your waist isn’t realistic or convenient the first place to look is the junk in your trunk. You would be amazed about all the stuff that’s lying around in there; some might even go as far as getting rid of that spare tire (not around their waist) in their trunk.

5. Get your foot of that brake! When it comes to MPG, efficiency is saving money, and it’s simply inefficient to drive around and slam on your brakes. Try coasting to stop lights and using your brakes as little as possible, if you’re not using your brakes then you’re saving money.

For many consumers in this current economic climate it’s simply uneconomical to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle or a brand new Prius just for the sake of saving gas, so everybody needs to chip and do what they can to not only save money but preserve the world’s natural resources.

Bobby Dee is a personal finance blogger and works with a non-profit Christian debt counseling organization that helps consumers with their credit card debt, setting up a budget and offers free debt analysis.

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