7 Smart Ways to Save Money at the 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
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free streaming video services offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On

With some items, it makes sense to pay a little more rather than hopping on the lowest price.

11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Will Save You Money

These are simple solutions for life’s irritations.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

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

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

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.