7 Smart Ways to Save Money at the Gas Pump

Happy woman at gas pump
Photo by goodluz / Shutterstock.com

American drivers love their cars but loathe the cost of gas. Whether prices at the pump are rising, falling or holding steady, fueling up is often one of the biggest household budget-busters.

Fortunately, there are ways to fight back. Even small savings can be a boon for you.

With that in mind, we present the best ways to save money on gas every time you pull up to the pump.

1. Use a smartphone app

Technology has been a benefit to frugal folks everywhere. Finding the best deal on clothing, restaurants and grocery items has never been easier. Your smartphone also can help you find the best deal on gas.

For example, the app GasBuddy can help you uncover the lowest gas price in your area. And such savings can be large. I have found that prices in the area near my Colorado home can differ by as much as 19 cents per gallon from one gas station to another.

2. Break your bad driving habits

Accelerating quickly and braking hard can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in heavy traffic.

So learning to avoid such maneuvers can significantly reduce the amount of gas you use and thus enable you to buy gas less often.

3. Open a gas rewards credit card

This works best for people who always go to the same gas station. If you exhibit such loyalty, applying for the appropriate credit card can net you substantial savings on gas prices over the course of a year.

Of course, that assumes you pay off your bill in full every month, avoiding interest charges. If you do, use a free online resource like Money Talks News’ credit card search tool to explore gas rewards credit cards. Select “Gas Rewards” from the menu on the left to limit the search results to that type of card.

4. Don’t buy premium gas unless it’s required

A 2018 AAA report found that drivers collectively waste $2.1 billion per year on high-octane gas. In other words, they paid extra for premium gas even though it wasn’t required or even recommended for their cars.

AAA advises saving your money and only buying premium gas if your car requires it. In fact, paying for premium when it’s not required is one of the mistakes we cite in “The 3 Worst Money Mistakes You Make at Gas Stations.”

5. Avoid filling up over the weekend

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the three worst days of the week to buy gas, as far as cost is concerned, according to a recent GasBuddy analysis.

If possible, fill up on Mondays. In most states, gas prices are lower on Mondays than on any other day.

6. Take advantage of grocery fuel programs

Some grocery stores reward their shoppers with fuel perks programs that can cut the cost of your next fill-up. Check with your favorite food seller.

For example, sign up at Kroger, and you earn 1 fuel point for every $1 you spend. Even better, you get twice the points when you buy gift cards. You can then use the points to net savings on gas at Kroger Fuel Centers.

7. Join a warehouse club

Warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club sell gas to members. It is often — though not always — among the lowest-priced gas in town. That’s why we include gas in our “10 Best Buys at Warehouse Clubs.”

This option especially makes sense for shoppers who, like me, know they will visit or at least drive by their warehouse club at least once weekly.

What’s your best tip for cutting the price of gas? Share it by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years
5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years

Even if you’re behind in preparing for retirement, there’s still a way to pull together a solid nest egg if you focus.

9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them
9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them

These time-tested methods can help us live smarter today.

5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Here’s how to keep Uncle Sam’s mitts away from your nest egg.

10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over
These 12 Reusable Products Save You Money Over and Over

Buy reusable versions of these household items, and you won’t have to spend another dime on them for years.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.