10 Ways To Save Money On Gasoline

Way back before I got my license, gas was something like $2 per gallon.  With gas regularly reaching and surpassing $4 per gallon in New York, I long for those $2 days.  Since I find myself driving more and more, I’ve researched some ways to save money on my gas spending.  Some things are conventional and some not so conventional.  I present by top 10 ways to save money on gasoline.

  1. The first one is simple: quit driving so much!  If you’re not drivng you are saving money on gas.  I don’t drive to the bus stop, instead I walk.  I’ve even been known to (gasp) walk to the local supermarket and back.  Okay, it’s 5 blocks away, but those are some pretty long blocks.  I hear that whole walking thing is good for your health too.
  2. When driving, slow down.  Your lead foot is costing you more than you think.  I know that a 60 mile per hour speed limit sucks, but it appears that the government has done its homework and found that for every mile that you drive above 60, you use more gas. Now, I’ve been known to speed a time or two when racing to see my tenant from hell, but  I don’t advise you to do the same thing.
  3. Be a consistent driver.  Please don’t be like my BF and peel off then jam your foot on the brakes to stop.  Such erratic driving costs you money in the form of gas.  Well, it’s costing HIM anyway.  It’s less wear and tear on your car and tires.  Do you know how much a decent set of tires cost these days?
  4. Speaking of tires, make sure that yours are inflated to the right level.  Do yourself a favor and buy a $5.99 digital pressure gauge.  Check your tires every 2 weeks and inflate them to the optimal level.  You can find out what your auto manufacturer recommends by looking at the label glued to the inside of the driver side door.   Mine recommends 35 PSI.  If your tires are under inflated by 5 pounds, you’ll use 30% more gas.
  5. Since you’re maintaining your tires, you might as well maintain your car.  This means new spark plugs, air filters, oil change and the like.  Check your car’s handbook to see the recommended maintenance schedule.  I know that this will cost money, but it’ll make your car last longer in the end.
  6. Ditch all the extra stuff in your car.  If you are hauling your kids’ stuff and lots of extra things, you are slowing your car down.  I would get rid of the spare tire if I could, but BF won’t let me.  The lighter your car is the less gas you use.
  7. Live in a warm climate?  Park in the shade.  Gas expands and evaporates which means that you will be losing some of it in the heat.  I know that this one sounds like an urban legend, but trust me on this one.  Now, hold on to that trust for the next one.
  8. Don’t fill up your car during the hottest time of the day or right after a gas tanker delivery either.  Just as it does in your tank, gas expands in the storage tank at the gas station too.  In fact they put additives in the gas during the summer.  Don’t buy gas between 1pm and 4pm if you can avoid it.  Also, if the oil tanker just made a delivery, pouring all that new gasoline in the storage tanks stirs up debris and sedatives that might be sitting in the bottom of the storage tank.  You don’t want that in your gas tank, so wait!
  9. It’s been cold here and I’m guilty of this one, so I’m almost ashamed to tell you to not leave your car idling or “warming up” for too long.  I’ll admit that I stand inside and hit the auto start waiting for the car to get nice and toasty and for my seat warmers to heat up to the perfect temperature for my backside, but I’m wasting gas!   It’s going at the rate of something like one quart for every 15 minutes.  I can wear another scarf and quit the idling.
  10. Take your foot off the gas and coast for a bit.  This is especially true if you’re driving up to a red light or going downhill.  It makes no sense to me to speed my way to a red light or down a hill.

There are of course more ways to save money on gas, but these are pretty painless and easy to implement.  If you’re in the market for a new car consider paying attention to gas mileage or think about buying a car with a manual transmission.  Cars that run on diesel gas have also been known to help you save money.  This is a complete sidebar, but the car featured in the photo is the Infiniti Essence.  I saw it at the New York Auto Show last year and fell in love.  Nothing will ever be the same again.

Do you use any of these techniques?  Have you noticed any improvement in the amount of gas that you use?

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16 thoughts on “10 Ways To Save Money On Gasoline

  • CRUISE CONTROL!!! Yes I second that.

    Also, don’t drive when you’re angry. Apparently people use 30% more gas.

    BF did another experiment where he drove like a maniac and then drove calmly/slowly.. he said the difference was 50%!!!

    50%!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I do love some cruise control! I remember the first time I was confident enough to activate it. I felt like Jesus had taken the wheel for real.

  • Here’s my old college buddy’s own tip (I don’t do this):

    1) Buy a few pennies over a whole dollar amount of gas (example: $10.02)
    2) Pay cash
    3) At the counter, use the “take a penny” tray to pay for the additional $0.02.
    4) Calculate the annual savings ($0.02 x 52 weeks = $1.04)

    Without people such as this, life would be lot more boring

    • Hahahahah!! Oh my goodness 🙂

      That is priceless.

      Great post Sandy- My boyfriend thinks that they way I drive causes me to use up gas faster, except that I drive slowly and calmly and he drives like a maniac. I do keep my foot on the pedal, but gently.. like manual cruise control I suppose.

      Your boyfriend is right not to let you take the spare tire out. What if something happens, Sandy and you need it? 🙂 Unless you have CAA backing you up!

      • That’s his point. I can’t get rid of the spare in case something happens. What I say is this, I CAN’T EVEN PUT THE SPARE ON. But I guess Roadside assistance could help me with that.

  • A steady speed around 55-60, without accelerating or breaking is key to saving gas. This takes practice, because you have to watch way ahead in traffic to avoid breaking. This part of the reason highway mileage increases on cars.

  • Nice list. I found Cruise control to be a big case saver when driving longish trips on the highway. Here in the LA area you can forget about using it on your way to/from work most of the time. All the congestion makes it difficult to maintain the same speed constantly throughout your commute.

    • I never advocate getting a credit card with the thought of saving money by using the rewards because invariably, someone ends up carrying a balance which negates the savings. I tried to focus on simple, easy things that we should already be doing or can implement with little to no effort.

  • My husband is pretty good at hyper-miling or coasting a lot and timing the traffic lights (minimizing the stop and go). I really stink at it, but I’ve gotten better at trying to time a light and coast up to the red light in hopes that it turns green before I have to press on the brakes. When gas soared past $4, I just started riding my bike more often and driving less. That really does save gas!

  • Gas prices are outrageous. I’ve really limited the amount of driving I do. I combine trips and stay home more. I also make sure to pay attention to my car’s maintenance.

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