If many of you keep a close eye on gas prices the way that I do, you may have noticed that it’s been going up steadily for a while now and unfortunately, it does not seem to be going down anytime soon. Although this may be true, I want to share with you a few ways you can reduce your gas spending and save some extra cash that could go into the family or that nice vacation you’ve been thinking about. This post highlights some of the best tips to follow to save on your gas consumption and spending.
Time your pump times
In most parts of the US, I’ve noticed that gas stations increase their pump price just before the weekend in anticipation of the weekend travel rush because they know most of us will be traveling or running errands. The weekend is always a time where I work around the house and get a few groceries. I’ve also noticed that the same goes for holiday periods as I travel across the state to visit family. As a result I’ve planned my pump dates so I fill up my tank before the price increase. A great piece of insight that I’ve gather form Chris Faulkner, President and CEO Breitling Oil and Gas, is to get gas on Wednesdays and early Thursdays as it’s a great time to fill up your tank. Also, it is best to fill up your tank in the mornings or at night, according to Money Crashers. This is because gas is usually denser in the cool hours of the morning or evening and lighter during midday making it easier for you get more on the gallon when you fill earlier or later.
The way you drive
I love to travel, however there have been many times were I’ve experienced a few drivers that like to behave recklessly on the road. Driving responsibly and obeying traffic rules and speed limits can actually save your gas mileage. Driving erratically, in a road rage, and braking and revving suddenly can all contribute to a higher fuel mileage than driving calmly. When traveling, I’ve learned from experience that using cruise control for safe and medium speeds is actually best for your gas mileage than high speeds. Moving at high speeds increases the drag, which demands more fuel consumption. I’ve also noticed that when traveling with friends with a different vehicle results in different mileage as well simply due to the aerodynamic variations of the vehicles.
Boxy shaped vehicles, vehicles that have non-aerodynamic objects on them, or vehicles carrying too much weight drag more and consume more fuel. Another factor I’ve noticed in getting the most out of my gas mileage is a quick tip that I’ve learned to keep in mind when traveling with my dog. My dog absolutely loves to have his head out the window as much as the next dog; however leaving my windows open increases the wind resistance which can contribute to some drag and increase fuel consumption.
Drive a fuel efficient car
A recent change that our family has made was purchasing an eco-friendly car. My previous vehicle was an older SUV model so I highly recommend that if you are thinking of purchasing a new car, opt for a more fuel efficient option. A quick fix that I would recommend to those driving gas hogs would be to consider that they are properly maintained to bolster their fuel efficiency. According to Good Housekeeping a clean air filter improves gas mileage by up to 10%. The one thing that I really appreciated about my older SUV was that it had manual transmission which means that it’s usually more fuel efficient than automatic transmission cars. A few of my close friends simply aren’t considering some of the fuel-efficient vehicles so they have to remain careful about the places they fill their tank including the gas they use to fill up. Before switching to my eco-friendly vehicle, I consulted with my mechanic to be sure about the high octane fuel so that I would not spend unnecessarily on the premium fuel for my SUV.
Leveraging on technology is one of the most beneficial factors that I’ve been able to utilize to save up on fuel usage. Some apps help me determine the traffic pattern to my destination, and following a path with less traffic means less stops and starts which helps me save even more. I have an iPhone so I typically use INRIX for traffic, maps, and routes. The same applies for routes with less stop signs and traffic lights. I’ve also download apps that show which gas stations have the most competitive gas prices in my area. I usually find that GasBuddy, found in iTunes, is one of the best apps for finding cheaper gas prices.
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