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How to save money on gas

Updated on August 28, 2012

Ready to hit the road this summer?

If you're one of the estimated 55 million people getting ready to tour the US this summer, you probably are interested in finding how to save on gas. With our nation's average at $3.87 (as of today - May 24, 2011), any of the below tips will help you save your hard earned dollars and pass up more gas stations than you might expect.

Although I am conscious about the gas I use to tote a 94 year old mother and 6 dogs around town, everyone likes (and deserves) a ride once in a while. Just ask my Aussie, Killian, in the motorcycle helmet - he's ready to go!

Note: if you like this lens, please click the "Thumbs up" button at the top left, right under the title - that helps the lens get more popular. Thanks!

Tip #1 to save on gas - get your car tuned up.

With tough economic times occuring, more and more people are thinking they'll save the money and skip their car's tune up this year. Don't do it! Getting new spark plugs, checking your car's fluids to ensure optimum performance, and changing your oil every few thousand miles will get you better gas mileage. So, just do it!

Some items to help you save gas on tune ups and car maintenance

Tip #2 to save on gas - lighten your load

It's an age old fight between husbands and wives - what to take along. Husbands, who traditionally do all of the packing of the car, are always scratching their heads trying to figure out why the family of 4 needs 8 suitcases for the weekend trip to the mountains. Well, he was right!

Lightening your car's load by just 100 pounds will increase you fuel economy about 2%. If you really want to save on gas this summer, forget that roof rack. Using a roof rack will decrease your mileage by an approximate 5%.

Clean out the trunk and cargo area of your car even if you're not planning a road trip. These trunk organizers are a wonderful addition to your car and are a great way to ensure that your groceries will arrive safe (and upright!) on your trips around town. I always keep my dog supplies, such as additional leashes and a can of dog food (if I see a stray, this is a great way to lure them to me) in the trunk organizer.

Tip #3 to saving on gas - keep your car's tires properly inflated

Did you know that you can increase your gas mileage by approximately 3% just by having your tires inflated to the proper pressure? And, with the newest tire pressure gauges being digital, it's much easier to check your tires now.

Make sure to find a gas station that has free air pumps - when did it become ok to charge for air??!

Tire gauges on eBay

If you're a gambler, how about trying to save some money and bidding on a nice tire gauge on eBay?

Tip #4 to save on gas - get App happy!

The market has been flooded with applications which will help you find the shortest route on your drive or the cheapest gas. My favorite application of all is Gasbuddy.com.

This wonderful site contains much useful information about finding cheap gas. And, if you join the site, you can earn points each time you add new gas prices. The points enter you into a contest to earn a $250 gas card each week. That's a double bonus!

Gasbuddy has many different applications for different phones so you'll be armed with the most up to date information possible. Spend just a few minutes getting acquainted with the site - I'll bet you will be glad you did.

Tip #5 to save money on gas - plan your route

Even if you're running around town, those miles add up so take a moment before you start in on your errands to plan your route. And, there's no easier way to plan the best route than with the use of a new GPS! The below are my favorites - I even like the TomTom over the built in GPS in my Mercedes - the TomTom gives much more detailed routes and will even reroute you through traffic jams (you'll really save money by not sitting around idling).

Tip #6 tip to save money on gas - S-L-O-W down

You could see a 15% improvement on gas mileage simply by slowing from 65 to 55 mph. Now, that doesn't mean that you should impede traffic is the speed limit is 70 mph as moving too slow can cause accidents. But, if you're a lead foot driver like I am, slowing down will definitely improve your gas mileage. In fact, I just tested this theory - my car at 65 mph on the open road got 24 mph. At 55 mph my mileage went up to 28 mph. Not too shabby and an easy enough way to save money on gasoline.

I'm curious as to how rising gas prices have affected others. Please answer my poll!

How have you rising gas prices affected you?

See results

Share your misery regarding high gas prices and leave me a comment! Please...

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    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Those digital pressure gauges are a great idea as I have found every tire pump gives a different reading at each garage!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      We've kept to one car just to save on gas and we try to carpool as much as possible.

    • PaulWinter profile image

      PaulWinter 4 years ago

      Gas is cheap in the USA compared with here in the UK. We are paying £1.34 a liter which is roughly $9 a gallon and rising!

    • Frugal Bride profile image

      Frugal Bride 5 years ago

      Gas prices have gotten so out of control that I'm basically home all the time; which is great because it gives me more time to read your amazing lens! When I do go out, its usually cheaper for me to take the bus.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Nice tips! I think people should walk more, carpool more, ride more, use taxi's more or any other creative way that works. Eventually the savings will be felt. Great job!!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image
      Author

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: I can't really ride my bike as I live on a semi-busy street so must take the car. I do group my errands these days though. Thanks for the comment!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      When the weather is nice here, I ride my bike to run errands, mostly to get exercise but don't drive much. These are great ways to save though when you have to drive a lot.

    • profile image

      HBMaughen 6 years ago

      In this day and age, we all need help to save on gas. Great lens!

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Great tips! I did not realize that about the roof rack. I am going to see about removing mine. I never use it.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image
      Author

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Virginia, my "commute" is down the steps to the kitchen and then back up to fetch Mom for breakfast. Sweet commute!

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 6 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Great subject! We all need ways to save on gas.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm sure glad I'm not commuting to work each day. We run our errands about once a week or every ten days. Saves a lot of gas.