Listen, we all know filling up your car can hit the wallet pretty hard these days, especially since gas prices spiked in the last couple of years. But don't worry, we're here to help. Let's dig into five simple strategies to save some cash at the pump.
1. Try to minimize your drives
It's the simplest trick in the book. Drive less, save more. We all love an occasional joy ride, but the more you're out there cruising, the more gas you’re going to burn.
At the start of each week, take a minute to map out your plans. See what can be consolidated or if you can carpool or walk to or between any locations. And don't forget, your smartphone can be a money-saver too. Map apps like Google Maps can help you find the quickest route, cutting down the time you're burning gas on the road.
2. Keep an eye on your tire pressure
Alright, let's admit, tire pressure isn't the first thing that pops into your mind when you hit the road. But did you know that low tire pressure means your car’s engine has to work extra hard? And working hard = more gas = more trips to the gas station.
Since your car's warning light might not always give you the full picture, just [literally] kick the tires] next time you're filling up and check your tire pressure. Lots of gas stations have air-fill spots, and they’re usually free. Once your tires are pumped right, your car's fuel efficiency can go up a notch.
3. Don’t lug around extra weight
Did you know that the heavier your ride is, the more gas you’ll burn? Even an extra hundred pounds can knock your fuel efficiency down by 2%. Maybe take a peek in your trunk or back seat for any random items you've been carting around.
4. Save with rewards programs
Quite a few gas stations have reward programs, which let you build up savings over time. The more you fill up at a particular chain, the more discounts you can rack up. And some grocery stores even work with gas stations, which means you can earn fuel rewards while buying your groceries.
5. Download cashback apps
Check out cashback apps that pay you back after you fill up – they actually work! We’ve done some research and our top pick is Upside.
It's super easy. Once you've got the app, type in your zip code, and Upside will list all the gas stations nearby where you can save. Fill up your tank, follow the app's instructions, and voila – you're saving cash. We also like Upside because it works with local places, so you can keep going to the stores you know and love.