Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a global increase in oil prices. For Americans, this has meant substantially higher gas prices at the pump. There isn’t much you can do to change the price of gas, but there are ways to be smart and save money by shopping around and using less gasoline.
Many gas stations offer lower prices if you’re paying in cash. The discount probably isn’t worth it if you have to pay an ATM fee at the gas station, but getting cash for filling up in advance could save you a few cents per gallon. If you’re a Neighbors member, you probably won’t have to go far to find a free ATM thanks to the Co-op Shared Branch Network.
In the digital age, it’s easy to see what the gas stations near you are currently charging for gas. Many services exist for this exact purpose, such as GasBuddy and GasGuru. AAA and Google Maps also provide gas price tracking features in their mobile apps.
Once you’ve found a gas station with a good price, see if they have a rewards program. If they do, make an effort to visit that same gas station whenever you fill up and take advantage of the rewards program. This is one of the best ways to save money on gas, and you may get some other benefits as well.
Increase Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency
There are also a few things you can do to make your car consume less gasoline. First off, check your tire pressure if you haven’t recently. Having your tires at the proper pressure can help your vehicle consume less fuel per mile. Removing any excess cargo from your car can also increase fuel efficiency by decreasing weight. Changing your engine’s air filter can also help it run more efficiently.
Changing how you drive can also make your vehicle more efficient. Avoiding rapid acceleration and braking can drastically reduce your fuel consumption. Another piece of information to keep in mind is that your car’s engine reaches peak efficiency around 50 miles per hour. Going any faster will reduce fuel economy, so slow down! Of course, don’t go 50 in a 70 mph zone. If you’re on the interstate, though, using cruise control can increase your fuel economy.
At the end of the day, the easiest way to save money on gas is to drive less. Many people don’t have an alternate means of transportation but, if you do, try to take advantage of public transportation. If you don’t have to go very far, consider riding a bike instead. Baton Rouge and many other cities have recently introduced bike share services, which are inexpensive and provide safe, quality bicycles.
You’re going to spend more on gasoline in the coming months. But with the above tips, you can hopefully keep your gasoline spending at a level you’re comfortable with.