When gas prices increase, your wallet can feel the pinch. Fluctuating prices make it hard to budget. The following tips can help you save money whether prices are high or low.

The following tips can help you save money whether prices are high or low.

Drive Wisely

  • Observe the speed limit. Aerodynamic drag increases as your speed increases and reduces fuel efficiency.

  • Avoid rapid acceleration and braking. Slow steady acceleration and braking use less fuel.

  • Reduce the weight. Keeping unnecessary items, especially heavy ones, in a vehicle can reduce your fuel efficiency.

  • Take the rack off the roof. Roof racks, cargo containers, and other items carried on a vehicle's roof increase the aerodynamic drag, which in turn increases fuel consumption.

  • Reduce idling. Idling for more than a minute when parked uses more gas than restarting the vehicle.

Drive Less

  • Combine trips. A warm engine uses less fuel than a cold engine. Combining trips means fewer cold engine starts.

  • Avoid peak rush hours. Whether you are commuting or running errands, more time on the road uses more fuel.

  • Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. Sharing the drive with others reduces each person's fuel costs as well as wear on their vehicles.

  • Work from home. Save gas and wear on your vehicle for every day you can work from home.

  • Bike or walk. Consider walking or biking if you live close enough and can do it safely.

  • Public transit. Consider taking the bus or train if it available and convenient.

Maintain Your Car

  • Keep engine properly tuned.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. Underinflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil.
  • Use the appropriate grade of gas.

Save at the Pump

  • Use a gas app or website to help find the lowest gas prices in your area. But don't go too far out of your way which could negate any savings.

  • Pay with cash. Some stations offer a lower price for paying with cash rather than with a credit card or other payment method.

  • Buy your gas at a nearby Costco, Sam's Club, or other warehouse club that has fuel at discounted prices. The savings might pay for the membership.

  • When you are traveling, gas stations further away from major highways tend to have lower prices.

  • Grocery or fuel rewards programs may offer a savings at the pump. However, many are tied to a specific brand.

Thinking About a New Vehicle?

If your current vehicle is more than a few years old, a newer one might be more fuel efficient. But given the continuing automotive supply chain issues, unless you absolutely need a new car, you may want to wait. These resources can help.