How to Save Money on Gas this Summer – 7 Ways
By: Good2GoPublished: August 4, 2014
Most people worry about getting burned by the sun during summer vacation. But it should come as no surprised that drivers will inevitably be burned by high gas prices. If you’re tired of shelling out more cash than you need to on gas, here are seven ways you can save on gas and keep more money in your pocket this summer.
States with the highest gas prices
Some states have higher gas prices than others because geographical location often plays a major role in the price of gas. The states with the highest gas prices (as of July 16, 2014) are:
- Hawaii: $4.35
- Alaska: $4.17
- California: $4.09
- Washington: $3.98
- Connecticut: $3.96
- Oregon: $3.96
- New York: $3.90
- Nevada: $3.86
- Idaho: $3.77
- Vermont: $3.73
These figures are the average price per gallon of gas and are based on AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge. But these aren’t the only states feeling the pinch of high gas prices. Save money on your next trip to the pump with these seven tips.
1. Watch your speed
Driving like a mad man (or woman) not only endangers the lives of others around you, it also endangers your fuel tank. By speeding or rapidly accelerating, you are burning more gas more quickly, ultimately lowering your gas mileage. To increase fuel efficiency, it is recommended that you accelerate slowly from a stop sign or green light, and gradually stop when arriving at a red light or stop sign. If you’re cruising on the highway, you may want to consider using cruise control to save on gas as well.
2. Download mobile apps
Before getting behind the wheel, check out your mobile phone’s app store for dozens of apps that could save you money on gas. The number one app for finding cheap gas in your area is GasBuddy. This free app helps you find the cheapest gas by city or zip code and lets users report gas prices to help others save money at the pump. For more gas-saving apps, check out this list.
3. Time your trips to the gas station
If you’re getting ready for a big road trip, carefully plan your trips to the pump. In anticipation for the coming weekend (where there is bound to be plenty of travel), it is rumored that gas stations will begin increasing their gas prices on Thursdays. That means you should avoid buying gas between Thursday and Sunday. You should also aim for buying gas early in the morning, preferably before 10 a.m. which is when most stations adjust their prices for the day.
4. Pay at your own risk
Some gas stations will charge you an additional fee if you pay with a credit card. This is meant to offset the cost credit card companies charge gas stations for processing. Your best bet is to pay in cash or look for gas stations that offer the same pricing for cash, debit and credit.
5. Perform proper car maintenance
In a previous post, we discussed how proper tire maintenance can help increase fuel efficiency. By keeping your tire pressure at the proper levels and rotating them regularly, not only will you extend the life of your tires, you will extend the life of your fuel. According to the Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by 3.3% if your tires are properly inflated.
6. Remove excess weight
Whether you’re taking the family camping or on a cross-country road trip, all of that extra baggage could be costing you more money than you realize. The heavier your cargo, the more gas it uses to move. Bikes, kayaks, skis and rooftop carriers can reduce fuel economy by around 2% to 8% in city driving, 6% to 17% on the highway, and 10% to 25% on the interstate. Store these items in the basement, garage or attic when they are not in use to improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
7. Avoid idling – if you can
Whenever you’re at a stop light or stuck in traffic that doesn’t appear to be moving, your car is burning fuel. This is known as idling – when your car is running and you aren’t going anywhere. If you find yourself idling for more than 10 seconds, turn off your engine until you need to move. Idling uses more gas than shutting off and restarting your car. Not only does idling waste gas and money, it harms the environment from the release of greenhouse gases into the air.
Saving money on gas this summer is easier than you think. You just need to be willing to make the effort and take the proper precautions to get the most out of your trips to the pump – because who doesn’t want to have more green in their wallet at the end of the day?
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