Like many Canadians, gasoline probably features on your monthly list of expenses as a consumer item. While it is an essential expense if you own a vehicle, it does not buy you anything tangible, but it does help you get from point A to point B. Just as you pay for a car, groceries, or heating costs for your home, gasoline can’t really buy you something that you can see and touch. Read ahead for some smart tips that can help you save on fuel costs for your car.
Check Authoritative Websites for Energy Saving Tips
Check the U.S. Department of Energy website and you can learn many tips on how to lower your gas consumption. Here are some of them:
- Avoid rush hour traffic so you can drive at a steady speed. Each time you accelerate and brake, you consume more gas.
- Maintain tire pressure to optimum levels and you can save on gas by 2% per 1 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Your car will give you up to 3% better mileage just with the right tire pressure.
- Aerodynamic rules dictate that you can save on energy by keeping the windows and sunroof closed when you drive. You’ll reduce the air drag and save on fuel.
- Check with your car service station for the optimum grade motor oil you must use. The wrong motor oil can raise your fuel mileage by 1% to 2%.
- Offload the unnecessary stuff that’s laying around in your car. By lowering the weight your car has to lug around, you’ll save gas.
- Combine the errands you need to run to a single location. You’ll save both time and energy. Consider pooling errands with friends and family members.
- Treat your car well by accelerating slowly, slowing before braking, and avoiding revving the engine unnecessarily.
Use Online Apps to Find Best Gas Prices
Driving around to different stations to find the one that offers you the cheapest prices used to be the old-fashioned way to search for economical gasoline. However, this can also waste a lot of gas and time. Besides, prices change all the time. You could very well show up at a station, only to find that another one offers you even cheaper rates on a particular day.
A high-tech and more efficient option is to download the online app – my GasBuddy. It scouts around the gas stations in your area and shows you a list of the ones offering the most economical fuel prices that are close to where you live or work. For instance, it might show you a particular outlet selling you gas for $109.30 per liter,while all others are selling at $112.8 per liter. The advantage – you can make substantial savings on gas per month.
The GasBuddy app is especially useful when you’re traveling long distances. Most gas stations within a particular vicinity are likely to offer the same rates on gas to avoid the possibility of price wars. But on a long road trip, you can always find stations located far apart from one another that can offer you better prices.
Invest in a Credit Card that Offers Rewards for Gasoline Purchases
If you and your family tend to drive around a lot and spend a lot on gas, scout for the best cash-back credit cards that can help you lower your expenses. These cards are beneficial since they offer you cash back on groceries, gas and a specific list of items. Look for a card that gives you the highest percentage of cash back on gas. For example, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card offers 4% cash back.
Stay One Step Ahead of Gasoline Price Hikes
Each time there is an impending hike in gasoline prices, you can always get information in advance if you know where to look. For instance, make it a point to listen to drive time radio. These radio stations have a dedicated audience of consumers who regularly buy gas and are interested in knowing about the possibility of prices rising or falling. Listen in for a few weeks and you’ll get a fair view of the days when they announce price hikes. For instance, if you live in Halifax, you’re probably aware that the gas prices typically hike on Thursday nights. Accordingly, you might want to check in with the radio station on Wednesday and Thursday.
Cut Back on Your Gas Fuel Usage – And Get Healthy
The best possible way to lower your gas expenses is to lower consumption. Balance the time and effort you can devote to saving on gas with the convenience you absolutely need. For instance, consider using a bicycle in place of your car. If you don’t own one, you could always buy a used or inexpensive bicycle.
If you’re not habituated to cycling around, go on short trips to nearby locations like a trip to the grocery store. As your body gets used to cycling around, you can make longer trips. Of course, you don’t need to switch to cycling completely; but every time you choose your bicycle in place of your car, you’ll be saving on gas money. In addition, you’ll be doing your health, the environment, and crowded traffic conditions a huge favor. Add walking and carpooling to your list of options and watch your gas expenses drop quickly.