Simple Ways to Save on Gas: Tips from an Oil Executive
Are higher gas prices driving your budget off course? An oil company executive shares ways to use less gas and save on gas.
Whether you’re trying to combat higher gas prices or just looking to pay less at the pump, these insider tips can help make your gas dollars go farther and let you pay a little less when you do have to fill up.
1. Use cruise control for highway driving.
What seems like a simple convenience can also save fuel because the cruise-control system is almost always better at maintaining a steady speed and making smooth transitions when traveling on hilly highways.
2. Avoid buying higher octane gas than your car requires.
Higher octane gas is more expensive, and if your car doesn’t need it, you’re wasting money. Most cars do not require it though the manual will say its “recommended.”
3. Consider getting steel-belted radial tires.
They can increase gas mileage up to 10% and will pay for themselves over time.
4. Keep your tires properly inflated.
This can make a huge difference in your gas mileage, up to 6% loss for every single pound your tire is under-inflated. Check your tire pressure frequently, especially if your tires have a tendency to lose pressure.
5. Drive gently.
Accelerating rapidly, speeding and other forms of aggressive driving can cut your fuel economy by 5% in around-town driving and by as much as a third on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Slowing down improves fuel economy and is also safer.
6. Don’t carry unnecessary items in your car.
Every 250 extra pounds eats up an extra mile per gallon.
7. Steer clear of the highway.
Avoid the convenient gas station on the side of the highway as you drive home from work. Stations close to highways and Interstates charge more for those ideal locations.
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8. Save money with self-service whenever possible.
And pay cash if there is an extra charge to use a credit card/debit card.
9. Don’t let your car idle, either when you warm it up or when you are at a standstill.
If you’re going to be standing for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
10. Buy gas early or late in the day.
Buy gas when it’s cooler during the day (like the early morning or at night) to reduce gas evaporation.
11. Don’t over-fill your gas tank.
This surprises a lot of people, but you don’t want the gas to slosh out or evaporate.
12. Drive the speed limit.
Most cars are less efficient at higher speeds. You’ll save two miles per gallon driving 55 mph rather than 65 mph. That adds up.
13. Another obvious suggestion is to drive less.
Combine errands, carpool, and plot out your route beforehand to avoid backtracking whenever possible.
14. Develop good driving habits.
For example, accelerate gently, maintain a steady speed rather than speeding up and slowing down, and avoid slamming on the brakes.
15. Keep your windows closed when driving on the highway.
Open windows can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10%. In stop-and-go traffic, open the windows and turn off the air conditioning to save money.
16. Download some gas apps for your phone.
If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of free apps that help you find the cheapest gas near your destination. GasBuddy is a good one to consider.
17. Rent fuel-efficient cars when you travel.
Research and find reasonably priced places to buy gas before you leave, especially if you’ll be driving a lot.
18. Buy discount gas gift cards.
Did you know you don’t have to pay full price for a gift card? Sites like Raise.com offer a diverse selection of discount gas gift cards from various card vendors.
19. Be loyal to your reward card.
Grocery stores that sell gas offer as much as 10 cents off per gallon for buying groceries and filling up at their tanks. Some stores offer an additional savings if you pay cash, when combined with your reward card. Just make sure you save your cashier’s receipt to get the full savings.
Warehouse clubs also offer big gas savings. If you aren’t a member, you might want to calculate if the gas savings alone might more than pay for your yearly membership fee.
Reviewed April 2021
About the Author
Chris Faulkner is President and Chief Executive Officer of Breitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company.
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