By Lauralynn Schueckler
The cost of living continues to rise for the average American, forcing many to make drastic budget cuts and eliminate many luxuries from their lives. One element that is a necessary component in nearly every person’s life is the availability of a car. However, the rising cost of gas has travelers looking for ways to save money. Here are a few strategies that will help the penny pincher shave a few dollars off their cost of refueling at the pump.
Do Not Use A/C Constantly
There is no doubt it is hot in the summer and the convenience of air conditioning is a widely utilized component on a vehicle. Although the system will keep the passengers cool, it makes the motor of the vehicle work harder and uses more gasoline to perform properly. Only use the air conditioning on occasion and use the recirculation air option if available.
Properly Inflate Tires
Having the tires on the vehicle inflated to the proper PSI will save on gas mileage. Owners should refer to their owner’s manual for the proper amount of pounds per square inch of air which should be in each of the tires. Inflate or deflate the tires accordingly to assure the best mileage and gasoline savings available.
Use Direct Routes
Cutting out back roads and streets with a lot of stop signs will save the traveler a lot of money on gas. It takes more energy for a vehicle to start out from a stop than to yield or drive a straight line. Find the most direct and continuous path from point A to point B, and follow it strictly. Plan routes to accommodate the inclusion of other necessary stops, tasks, or errands.
Coupons and Deals
The use of and giving of coupons has become more and more popular among shoppers and manufacturers. There are retail stores that offer incentives to their shoppers for cash off of the price of a gallon of gas when they buy certain specially marked products in their stores. Consumers are then able to take these printed receipt coupons to the gas station for money off of their fill-up. Some stations even offer this savings automatically at the pump using a member’s identification card. Consumers can also save money on gas by buying specially marked products at participating grocers and earning money off of gasoline at the pump.
Tune Up and Maintenance
Keeping up the maintenance on a vehicle is essential to the gas mileage. This includes such things as oil changes, clean filters, and clean and properly gapped spark plugs. When a vehicle is running at the optimum performance level, the engine does not have to work so hard to function, thus saving gas.
Eco Friendly Cars
Owning or purchasing a vehicle that runs on an eco-friendly fuel will save the owner money on the cost of fuel. On average, these bio-fuels are offered to the public at a lower cost than traditional gasoline. Another type of gas saving eco-friendly type of vehicle uses electricity and gasoline to function. These types of autos have the capability of being used as an electric vehicle with a gasoline backup system.
Shop Online to Save Money on Gas
Shopping online from the comfort of your own home can save both time and money. Everyone knows you can save money on big ticket items like computers and other electronics by purchasing online, but what many people don’t know is that you can actually save a significant amount of money on just about anything online, including even basic household items.
Search for Shipping Discounts and Freebies
And what’s even better than finding online deals is finding deals and getting your items shipped to you for free. In order to get free shipping, you may not even have to spend as much money as you may think. Many websites offer free shipping on orders as low as $25, and some online retailers offer prime membership for shoppers for a fee of under $100 per year for free two-day shipping on any order. Some even offer free shipping to students, parents, and caregivers, and it is not a rare occurrence to stumble on a promotional code that will get you free shipping on any order no matter who you are or how large or small your order.
Save Time, Gas, and Transportation Fees
A hidden benefit of online shopping is the money you save at the pump and other transportation expenses. With no end in sight to high and rising gas prices, free shipping can’t be beat as you save on gas from the trips you would normally be making to and from the store. For city-dwellers who rely on public transportation, not only will you save money, but you can save yourself the trouble of lugging bags and boxes down city blocks or in cabs or the subway. If parking in your city or town is limited, difficult or expensive, shopping online can save you quite a bit of hassle.
If stores themselves are scarce, particularly for individuals in rural areas, online shopping puts every item you need right at your fingertips without having to worry about where to find it. And if your work or personal schedule is hectic, making it difficult to find time to get out and run errands all over town, shopping online will save you quite a bit of time and trouble.
There are many ways to save money on gasoline the next time a fill up is necessary. By implementing these simple practices, saving cash on the cost of the next tank of gas will be noticed. Travelers will enjoy more miles to the gallon, savings with coupons, and costly vehicle repairs when these suggestions for saving money on gas are embraced. Each individual suggestion will save the driver money, and entertaining all suggestions will result in a huge savings on gasoline.
Lauralynn Schueckler is the Online Marketing Specialist at Advantage Credit Counseling Service. She is the author for Advantage CCS’s Blog called Dollars & Sense. Advantage Credit Counseling Service is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Contact Advantage Credit Counseling at 866.699.2227, or visit them online at www.advantageccs.org.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.