This should be an interesting summer when it comes to travel. With some cities being expected to see gas prices soaring into the $5 per gallon range, there’s a good chance that many people will be planning their summer vacations closer to home. After all, what sense does it make to spend so much money to get somewhere that you don’t have enough extra money to enjoy it once you arrive?
That’s “the cloud”.
The silver lining is that when it comes to gas prices, there are specific things that you can do to save some extra money while at the gas pump. Here are five of them:
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1. Check for deals.
We think to do this when it comes to clothes and furniture, but rarely when it comes to gas. However, the truth of the matter is that there are websites and phone applications that can provide you with information on where to get some of the cheapest gas in your area on a weekly basis. GasBuddy.com and FuelMeUp.com are just two of them.
2. Use your credit and discount cards.
A lot of financial advisors warn against using your credit card for random, everyday use (especially with their interest ratings oftentimes being between 12-15%), but when you’re at the gas pump, there are some benefits; mostly that many cards offer rebates for when they are used at the pump (check with your credit card company to be sure). Speaking of cards, grocery stores like Kroger’s and shopper’s clubs like Sam’s Club have their own gas stations. A perk in being a member with either one is that you can sign up for a card that comes with noticeable discounts every time you fill up at one of their stations.
3. Keep up with the maintenance.
Sometimes, also due to the economy, people are tempted to fudge on the routine maintenance that their car may need like oil changes and tune-ups; it only ends up costing them, and in many ways their engine, in the end. Oil changes every 3,000 miles cut down on the wear and tear of your engine, which aids in improving your fuel economy; regularly replacing your air filters can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and studies indicate that consistent tune-ups will also improve your gas mileage by as much as four percent as well.
4. Drive smart. Not hard.
One of the best things that you can do for your wallet is to check your car manual to see what kind of octane is required. This is because the truth of the matter is that most cars don’t need more than regular octane and that fact alone can save you a few hundred dollars a year if you don’t go for the “super” kind. When it comes to whatever level of octane you use, remember that the faster your drive, the more gas that you burn and so at the speed limit (and using cruise control for long commutes) can end up keeping some extra bucks in your pocket too.
5. Release the baggage.
This is a minor tip that you do wonders. Just like a lot of keys on your keychain can put unnecessary weight on your ignition, lots of stuff in your car’s trunk can ultimately cause your car to drag far more than it should. Whether you’re driving your own vehicle or a rental car, you won’t have to fill your tank up as much, if there’s not a lot of baggage in your trunk!