Gasoline continues to be a basic need for many Americans even with the onset of electric cars which don’t need fuel. If you have to commute every day to work or visit friends and family on the weekend, you know how big of an expensive gas can run on your pocket. It is fun and all to run for a couple of miles but the real pain comes when you have to continue paying thousands of dollars annually.
Making things worse is the ever-escalating gas price which in turn goes to affect other aspects of your life because you’re forced to dig deep into your pockets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), modern cars are much more efficient with gas but surprisingly the prices aren’t going down.
There are many ways of saving money on gas starting with where you purchase gas or the method of paying for gas. It also depends on the decisions you make like the need to travel on regular, weekend trips or driving routes you use. Here ways you can reduce the cost of gas and save on other basic expenses or even investment prospects.
1. Pay for gas with cash
In as much as it is convenient to pay for gas with a credit card, there are massive costs that come with it making cash the better option. Some gas stations charge lower prices per gallon which can go a long way if you pay with cash instead of a credit card. Credit cards have surcharges that will have you paying for more than you should if you used cash instead. With cash on the other hand you may end up paying lower than what is advertised on the gas station signboards.
Some gas stations use credit card prices on their signs while placing cash prices on the side depending on the state laws. This may be confusing but to be on the safer side always walk and pay with cash instead. Credit cards are also prone to fraud as your information may get in the wrong hands and maybe make fraudulent charges.
2. Stop filling up on the weekends
You need to play smart if you want to save on gas. Some research shows that it is less costly to fuel on the weekdays than on the weekends. For instance, research by the Gasbuddy app shows that the best days to fill up are Mondays and Tuesdays. Prices on Mondays and Tuesdays are at their best between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. plus you will also not have to wait because traffic is also at its minimum.
Filling up at the beginning of the week also sets you up well as your budget for the rest of the week. Did you know buying gas on Mondays saves motorists over $.2.5 billion collectively? Now imagine how much you can save also if you start this routine. Friday registers the highest weekly average among all the days which also makes it unfavorable if you want to save on costs.
As the week progresses to the weekend while most people are excited to go home, fuel prices on the weekends tend to be inconvenient in terms of prices. According to the GasBuddy app, gas prices are expensive on Saturdays for most states same as Sundays although the traffic is low.
3. If possible, Work from Home
The average person commutes to work at least 12 miles while some commute for 45 miles. Thanks to Covid19 some workers have cut the cost of commuting to and from work. This is also good as it helps reduce the rate of carbon emission. Many white-collar jobs can be effectively done at home with no need for daily movements to work.
Working from home simply means you don’t need to spend a buck to go to work which in turn saves you hundreds of dollars by the end of the year. You can still save massive amounts even working part-time remotely. For instance, if the average price of gas per gallon is $2.60 and the commuting distance is 20 miles per day, you spend at least $640 on gas alone. This could go down to $374 if you only commuted twice a week which means you end up saving at least $260.
4. Take advantage of gas-finding apps
Gas prices can greatly vary even in stations within the same radius and location. This may make better sense to you when gas prices are going up rapidly or you are traveling between counties and state borders. Gas finding apps come in handy because gas prices are volatile based on many factors that make them change abruptly. Gas finding apps are constantly monitoring gas prices and are always up to date on where and what time to fill up your gas at a competitive rate.
Some of the most common gas finding apps include Gasbuddy, Gas Guru, Waze, and many more. Gasbuddy has been the most popular app especially to heavy premium consumers who want to reduce the costs of gas as much as possible. Some great features include a handy payment platform with convenient discounts of up to $0.20 per gallon. With an annual subscription, premium users can save up to $0.40 per gallon which goes a long way in the long run.
5. Plan on the routes
Your drive time goes down on how much you spend on gas daily, weekly or monthly. Reducing the amount of time you are on road is a great way to cut down the cost of gas and save more at the end of the year. You need to have a good plan on the number of trips you make and how important they are.
Whether you have a long road trip on the weekend, going to the grocery store, or commuting to work on weekdays, find the best route and time to begin your journey. The good thing maps and route finding apps come in handy and will give you an accurate forecast on what to expect ahead and what routes to take.