11 tips for saving money on gas

Did you know that speeding at just 120km an hour can increase your fuel consumption by about 20%? Slowing down will not only help save you from getting a hefty fine, but it can also give you better mileage out of every fill-up. While gas station discounts might be hard to come by, there are other easy ways to save money on gas. Here are some other handy tips that can save you a chunk of change on your monthly spending.

1. Use apps

Don’t roll your eyes just yet at the idea of downloading yet another app. We promise these ones are really worth the extra space on your phone. Whenever you need to fill up, check out these great apps to find the best gas prices in your area so that you can save a couple of dollars by going to the right station:

  • Waze: Aside from being a great navigation app that gives you real-time information on traffic, Waze also has a built-in feature that shows you gas prices at nearby stations.
  • GasBuddy: Get a list of gas prices at stations near you that are regularly updated by Gas Buddy users.
  • CAA: If you’re a member of CAA, you can use the app on your phone to find local gas prices.

2. Fill up during the week

Gas prices tend to go up on weekends and the days leading up to it. Last year, GasBuddy studied gas prices across Canada to find out which days were best to fill up. They found that Tuesday and Wednesday were the best days, and Thursday and Friday were typically the most expensive.

3. Get memberships

Registering for a membership is a great way to save on gas anytime you head to the pump. Some of the best gas loyalty programs in Canada are with companies like Esso, Shell, and Petro Canada, which offer rewards points every time you fill-up. Shell, Esso and Petro Canada also offer points that can be redeemed for things like in-store items, discounts on gas purchases, car washes, and other perks.

You can also rely on your membership from warehouse stores like Costco to pay less for gas. If you’re already paying for a Costco membership, then you should be taking advantage of the cheaper gas prices. Costco purposely sells gas for cheaper than its competitors by offering lower prices to its members only. With annual memberships starting at just $60 a year, it can be worth becoming a Costco member just for the gas savings alone.

4. Monitor your car maintenance and driving habits

Speeding isn’t the only thing that can waste a lot of gas. There are a lot of other driving habits you may not notice that are eating into your mileage. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your fuel consumption:

  • Don’t idle for more than 30 seconds at a time.
  • Get your car serviced. Low air pressure in your tires can cause your car to use more fuel.
  • Make sure your engine is tuned and your oil is changed regularly.
  • Remove things from the trunk or roof rack that are weighing down your car.

5. Use A/C wisely

Contrary to popular belief, using your A/C won’t significantly impact your mileage, but this also depends on your car. If you drive a smaller sedan, it’s usually more fuel-efficient to use your A/C since opening the windows can create resistance and makes your car work harder. For bigger cars, there’s already more resistance, so opening the windows instead of cranking the A/C might be a better option. In general, the best rule of thumb is to roll down the windows while you’re driving in town and rely on the A/C on the highway.

6. Don’t wait until you’re empty

It’s a bad habit, but we’ve all done it. You want to squeeze every last drop out of your engine before you rush to fill up again. The problem with this is that instead of waiting for the best price or day to fill up, you’ll need to rush to the closest station just to continue your drive, which means you might be overspending.

7. Use the right type of gas

Most cars use regular, so there’s no real need to add premium gas to your tank. Unless your car specifically requires it, there are no additional benefits to using premium over regular. You’re just spending extra money for nothing.

8. Carpool when you can

By carpooling with co-workers or friends who are headed in the same direction, you’ll be able to split gas costs by not having to use your car all the time. Another perk? You can use the carpool lane and get to your destination quicker.

If you don’t know anyone you can carpool with to work or you’re looking to split the cost of gas on longer routes between cities, check out Poparide to fill some seats in your car and earn back money for gas.

9. Plan your route in advance

If you’re headed out to run some errands, take a few moments to plan out your route. Say you need to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, and post office. Find a route that’s efficient that saves you from driving back and forth between destinations.

10. Use the right credit card

Use these tips together with a credit card that offers a good rate for rewards or cash back on gas purchases and you can save even more. There are quite a few great credit cards in Canada for gas savings.

11. Use alternative means of transport

The best way to save money on gas is to simply avoid driving. Of course, if you work far from home you may still need to drive but there’s no reason you can’t give your legs a stretch when you need to do a quick errand nearby. Use a bicycle or public transit instead. These small changes can end up having a big effect on your gas bill (and the environment, too).

To wrap up

You shouldn’t have to wait for gas prices to drop just to fill up your car. With these tips, you’ll be able to save some cash with every fill-up. Try and combine a few different tips to save more, like pairing up loyalty programs or gas station memberships with a rewards credit card to gain double on each gas purchase.

About the Author

Alicia Schneider

Alicia Schneider

Author

Montreal-born Alicia Schneider is a digital nomad that specializes in freelance content and travel writing. She has experience writing about financial topics such as invoicing and accounting as well as business technology and software. When she's not writing, she's exploring a new destination that most likely includes sun and a beach. You can see more of her work at aliciaschneider.com.

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