Let’s face it, most of us are driving way fewer places these days. The upside? Instant savings on transportation. But we’ve got more tips. Here are seven ways to save money on gas.
7 Ways to Save Money on Gas
1. Shop around for the best gas prices.
Okay, so sometimes you’re riding on E, and you’ve got to get gas as quickly as possible. But if you plan ahead, you can really save money on gas. One way is to use an app like GasBuddy that searches your local area to find the cheapest gas prices around. Or pay attention on your way to and from work or the kids’ school to see what places offer the best price.
2. Combine your errands.
Don't make a special trip out to get milk when you can just pick it up on the way home from work. You can also cut back on trips to the grocery store in general by meal planning and keeping a list of all the household essentials you need. The fewer trips out, the less you pay in gas.
3. Use that cruise control.
Spending lots of time on the interstate? Turn on your cruise control and save on gasoline and leg cramps.
4. Keep your tires properly inflated.
There’s a savings myth out there that overinflating your tires can save you money on gas. The reality is, this is a bit of a Goldilocks situation. Overinflating doesn’t help anything. And underinflating can actually hurt your gas mileage—but getting the proper tire pressure is like that perfect bowl of porridge. Just right. And those just-right savings will add up over time.
5. Ditch the extra weight.
Take everything off your roof rack and unpack the trunk or cargo space. Turns out, the more your car is weighted down, the harder your engine has to work to lug all your junk around. And a harder working engine is a gas guzzling engine. So, clean out your car, and enjoy less clutter and fewer trips to the gas station.
6. Join gas reward programs.
Hear us well: We aren’t talking about credit card “reward points” here. (Ew.) We mean your grocery store may offer gas rewards—discounts on gasoline for buying stuff you have to buy anyway. You might have to sign up for a rewards card, but often these are 100% free and 100% worth it. Cheaper gas from the place you already go to stock up on toilet paper and potato chips? Yes, please.
7. Join a warehouse membership.
Some warehouse stores offer lower gas prices to members. Now, that membership will cost you something. So, before you commit, be sure the annual fee is worth it to save money on gas and other things (like all that bulk cereal shopping).
What to Do With the Money You Save on Gas
Okay, so you’re saving cash with those tips. Now what should you do with the extra money? We're glad you asked.
1. Save money.
Extra money in the budget every month is a beautiful feeling. But don’t ignore it, or you’ll spend it here and there without even noticing. The first thing you should do with any extra money is save up a starter emergency fund. That’s $1,000 in savings as a safety net for when life happens. Once you’ve got this, jump into our second step.
2. Pay off debt.
Debt keeps you and your money living in the past. You can’t get ahead when you’re paying off something from last month—or last year. So, once you’ve got your starter emergency fund, put any extra money toward paying off debt with the debt snowball method. Because being stuck in the past is bad for your hairstyle, your relationships and your money.
3. Save even more money.
Once you’re debt-free, it’s back to saving until you’ve got a fully funded emergency fund of 3–6 months of expenses. Then you’ll be ready for even bigger unexpected life moments—like job loss.
4. Invest it.
When you’ve got a solid savings, you should start investing 15% of your take-home pay. Retirement is coming—be ready for it!
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These steps aren’t something we pulled out of a hat. They’re the first four of the 7 Baby Steps—the proven plan for ditching debt, saving for emergencies, and building wealth in just (you guessed it) seven steps!
Listen: Saving money on gas is an awesome way to make a small change with your money that can lead to big results. When you make lots of those small changes, you’ll get even bigger results. Those 7 Baby Steps are just what you need to get there.
Learn how to walk those Baby Steps in Financial Peace University—an online Ramsey+ course you can check out today in a free trial. Plus, get the premium version of the EveryDollar budgeting tool, so you can make saving money (on gas and in life!), paying off debt, and investing a reality.