Buying a tank of gasoline in most states of USA is like playing a game of roulette. The problem is you can never win this game.
Buy gasoline in advance, and you miss out the opportunity to get the lowest price. Wait for a long time, and you spend a lot more for the same gasoline. On July 1, 2014, The Speedway gas station in West Lafayette was offering regular gasoline at 3.309 per gallon. But the same gasoline was sold at a price of $3.699 on the next day. A 12% increase in the gasoline price is not a matter of joke. Needless to say, consumers got a mini heart attack when buying gasoline on July 2, 2014. Just imagine the condition of the consumers who skipped buying gasoline on Tuesday evening (July 1, 2014) as they didn't want to be late for party or dinner. They must have got a huge shock when they went to the Speedway gas station on the next day.
Consumers are frustrated. Some consumers don't understand the reasons behind the rapid swings in the gasoline price. They just want to buy gasoline at the cheapest price. On the other hand, other consumers find it confusing to buy gasoline at the right time and from the right place.
7 Ways to save money on gas
Don't let the rapid rise and fall in gas price affect your road-tripping fun. Just before you sit in the driver's seat, check out the following tips on how to spend less on gas.
- Give right diet to your car: It is a myth that your car will only be healthy on premium gas. Don't purchase premium gas unless it you've been advised to do so in the manual. Moreover, premium gas is expensive. In fact, it costs 15 to 20 more than the normal gas.
Try to keep less loads in car. Huge loads can weigh your car down and make it difficult to speed up. In fact, your fuel economy can drop by 2% for every 100 packed-on pounds.
- Abide by the speed limit: Gas mileage drops fast at speeds higher than 60 miles per hour, As per the fueleconomy.gov, you need to pay extra 24 cents per gallon for every 5 mph you drive in that particular speed limit. So, next time you've the urge to press your foot down on the gas pedal to overtake another car, stop yourself from doing so.
- Carry your own lunch: You have heard that packing your own lunch helps you save money on food. But, have you heard that it can help you save money on gas too? When you don't carry your own lunch at college or office, you feel like driving to the nearest good restaurant and have a hearty meal. Sometimes, you just buy some fruits, hot dogs, sandwiches, pastries, etc and drive to a nice spot for picnic. The more you drive, the more you use gas and the more you spend on it.
- Be a responsible driver: Being a sensible driver is important, both in terms of your car insurance premiums and gasoline price. Risky drivers end up spending more on car insurance and gasoline. You would waste gas and pay more eventually under the following circumstances: (a) You accelerate fast (b) You change lanes frequently.
Safe driving not only helps you save on gasoline but also protects you from accidents. You would avoid injuring yourself and others.
- Install gas price apps: There is hardly anyone without a smartphone nowadays. Install apps like GasBuddy to locate gas stations with cheapest price. When you have to go for a drive (due to some work or other reason), you can just open the app and check out the gas stations charging less on fuel. You can save 35 cents a gallon by filling up from the right gas station.
- Make a trip to grocery store: Some grocery stores have gas stations. If there is one such grocery store in your locality and you can earn points for shopping, then fill up from there. For instance, if you shop for $100, then you may get discount (10 cents per gallon) on gas. Some grocery stores even allow consumers to earn points throughout the month. So, you can be lucky enough to get 20, 30 or 40 cents off per gallon.
- Buy a new air filter: Almost 1 in 4 cars needs to have a new air filter. Believe it or not, a clean air filter can help you save 20 cents per gallon. It can help you better your gas mileage by nearly 10%.
Few more tips and tricks to save gas
Here are some more money-saving tricks for you.
- Take the best route with less stop signs and traffic signals. Shortest routes don't always help you save gas.
- Buy an affordable fuel-efficient car. It may help you save around 40 miles per gallon.
- Fill up before crossing the state border. Different tax rates can make you shed more money.
- Opt for the manual transmission cars instead of the automatic transmission ones.
- Have a properly tuned engine in your car to save gas and money.
- Go through your car manual or browse online to know about the proper motor oil.
Never wait for the last moment. If your tank is completely empty, you won't have any option but to buy oil from whatever gas station you find. You won't get the best deal.
The average price of gasoline has moved up and down frequently in the last few years. But, there are less chances of seeing a record low price in the coming months. Instead of patiently waiting for the day when the oil price will plummet, start thinking about the ways to save gas and your precious dollars. You need to think both about your adorable car and precious wallet. Maintain your car properly. Sometimes, make a trip to office through bus. Use loyalty cards to buy gasoline. And if there's an opportunity, ride or bike instead of driving. It's damn good for your physical fitness, mother nature and your car. Sometimes, even your car deserves to get a break from its daily work.