Gas Woah!s – 70 Gasoline Saving Tips

Written by Jennifer On June - 27 - 2011 4 Comments

If gas prices are making you say “WHOA!” every time you go to the pump, read on.  We can’t control the price of gas, but we can control how we use it, where we get it, and how much of it we use.  These tips on saving gas will give you ideas for ways to cut your fuel costs.

  1. – This site tells you what gas stations in an area (or on a route) are charging, and which ones are cheapest.  The site is free, by the way.  If you aren’t using this site, time to start!  Plan where you will get gas before you go out.
  2. GasBuddy App – If you have a smart phone (of course you may not want one, read here) make sure you have his app downloaded.  It is free, and it will help you know where to find cheap gas when you are out and about.
  3. Slow down – The faster you go the more fuel you waste.  If you routinely speed you are regularly losing money.  Take that foot off the pedal and free your wallet!
  4. Get the right kind of fuel – Most cars only need regular gas, so don’t needlessly use the premium stuff.  On the other hand, don’t harm your car or waste fuel efficiency on cars that actually do require a better type of fuel.  Consult your owners manual for more info.
  5. Try the freeway – This may sound opposite of slow down but surely you’ve noticed that highway mileage gets better gas mileage than city driving.  That’s because braking often expels a lot of energy.  Avoid hitting the brakes by taking the freeway, but remember not to speed!
  6. Coast when possible – Instead of braking try taking your foot off the gas further back and coasting, or shifting into netural.
  7. Don’t rest your foot on the brake – A bit of pressure could go a long way..if you want to waste gas.
  8. Stay back – Keep a far enough distance from the car in front of you that you won’t have to be tapping the brake every few seconds.  Hitting the brake because of tailgating is a good way to waste gas.
  9. Accelerate and decelerate gradually – Easing into a faster or a slower speed can definitely improve your gas mileage.  Fast starts and stops are no-no’s!
  10. Avoid air conditioning (when possible) – I have put this one in, but I live in Texas and in the summer there is no way I could bear it, especially because:
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  12. Don’t roll down your windows – Keeping the windows open drags down the car and reduces your fuel efficiency, especially at speeds over 40mph.
  13. Keep your tires properly inflated – Making sure that your tires have the proper pressure can improve your gas mileage, and is also just good for your car.
  14. Don’t idle – Try not to have a long idle on start-up, and don’t sit idling for long periods of time for no reason.  Turn off the car if you are stopped somewhere for a prolonged period like if you are stopped at a railroad crossing.
  15. Check the air filter – A dirty air filter can cost you on fuel economy.  Check it and get a new one if it is dirty.  This inexpensive change can save you money.
  16. Remove excess baggage – Take out any heavy objects that are not needed from the car.  Heavy toolboxes, boxes, water jugs, etc. will weigh down your car and this will lighten up your wallet.
  17. Don’t top off the gas tank – Topping off the gas tank can cause you to spill gas out onto the sidewalk, that is just burning cash, and is not healthy for you either.
  18. Limit your driving – The times of pleasure cruising are over, sadly.  If you don’t need to go out, do not go out.  It sounds simple, and is as easy as being more mindful of your habits.
  19. Keep the engine tuned – A well maintained engine runs better and is more fuel-efficient than its non-tuned counterparts.
  20. Carpool with someone – Find someone or a group of people (friends, co-workers, neighbors or family) to share fuel costs with.  Take turns using each other’s vehicles, and you will find your fuel costs cut in half!
  21. Fill up your tank – Filling up your tank will eliminate having to make several mini-trips to the pump. The less time you spend idling at the pump the better.
  22. Run our your tank – Don’t fill up your tank until you get below 1/4 tank.  The less weight you are carrying around in gas will actually help your fuel economy.
  23. Check your alignment – A well aligned car will save you money.
  24. Check your fuel cap – Make sure it’s on tight so that you aren’t losing gas through evaporation.
  25. Walk to nearby places – Instead of driving up to the corner store, or other close places use your feet, or grab a bike and go that way instead!
  26. Gas rewards – Some gas stations have gas rewards, sign up to their programs and you can earn free gas, drinks and other prizes.  If you gotta spend the money, you might as well get some back!
  27. Buy a smaller car – Obviously this is only if you are in the market for a car, but stay away from large trucks and SUV’s.
  28. Buy a fuel-efficient car – Try to stay away from the sports cars with the big engines, and as with the last tip, smaller is usually better on mileage.  Check out hybrids if they are affordable.
  29. Buy a car with a manual transmission – If you know how to drive it, a manual transmission usually gets better gas mileage.  If you don’t know how to drive one, it might be a good idea to learn!
  30. Buy a scooter or motorbike instead of a car – If you want to go extreme, and you don’t have to transport people think about getting a small scooter or motorbike, they often get 70 miles to the gallon!
  31. Don’t use snow tires in good weather – Better to have regular tires in the summer.  Snow tires eat your gas.
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  33. Use GPS – Don’t spend lots of time being lost!  Use your GPS (or get a map beforehand) to save yourself burning gas while wandering around lost. Plus, who wants to be lost, right?
  34. Use Cruise Control – When you are on an open stretch of highway that is flat.  It will keep you at a consistent speed which will help your fuel economy.
  35. Don’t Use Cruise Control – However, on hilly roads, it will put too much pressure on your engine to speed up the hills, better to ease up them yourself.
  36. Park in the shade – It will be better for your car and help curb gas evaporation.
  37. Use the overdrive gears – Putting your car in overdrive can increase fuel efficiency.  I’m not sure why, I don’t even understand overdrive, but so I hear.
  38. Know how to get a good gas price – For instance, you get 3 cents off your gas at Wal-Mart if you buy it on a Wal-Mart gift card, you get money off at Shell if you use your Kroger plus card.  There are many such programs.  Get to know them.
  39. On well-traveled commutes, pick a good route – Even if it’s technically closer a short route isn’t a good route if you are stuck in a traffic jam.  Try to pick the closest route that you can drive freely on the roads, and without too many traffic lights.
  40. On long trips fill up when you see it for cheap – This means that if you are on a long stretch where you see no towns the first gas station you see will be the most expensive.  Try to plan ahead before you get stuck in an area with high gas.
  41. Avoid buying gas in big cities – Usually in most U.S. major cities gas is higher in the city.  Try the outskirts of the city and suburbs.  Also, poorer areas usually have cheaper gas.
  42. Avoid buying gas in very rural areas – When there is no competition it tends to be higher priced, so try to pick a mid-sized city to buy from, if possible.
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  44. Buy gas on Tuesday – Generally speaking the best day when gas tends to be the cheapest.
  45. Don’t buy gas on the weekends – Friday & Saturday are usually bad days for buying gas because a lot of people buy after they get paid and in anticipation for going out on the weekends.
  46. Buy gas early for holiday weekends – Try to get your gas earlier in the week when you know it will spike for the holiday weekend.
  47. Buy gas in the morning – It is the best time to avoid evaporation of gas.
  48. Find local shops – Try to find places close to your house or work that sell things you previously would travel far to buy.  You might find a local repair shop, for instance, that is as good as the one you go to across town. (Or shop online, even)
  49. Get a job closer to home – This isn’t for everyone, but if you have a job that you have a long commute you can move around in see if you can either transfer to a branch closer to home, or start looking for a new job that cuts the commute.
  50. Combine trips – If you are going out for one thing, do it all!  If you have to take your son to soccer practice in the next city over stop by the bank and post office in the same trip!
  51. Eat at home more – Try to eliminate special trips to eat out or to fast food places.  Buy your food once a week at the store and it will save you several trips to restaurants. (Read about portion control here)
  52. Avoid the drive through – When you do go for fast food you should park and go in.  Avoid idling in a long queue at your local burger joint.
  53. Get an electric lawn mower – Statistics show that you will spend only $3-$5 a year in electricity compared to that per gallon of gas that you put into your mower.
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  55. Get it delivered – mainly this applies to when you can get it delivered at a low-cost or free because if it costs a lot there is no savings, but if you can get something delivered and it saves you the trip out, go for it!
  56. Public transport – This is something that depends on costs, but public transportation if available might very well be cheaper than making the trip.
  57. Rent a small car on vacations – Instead of going for all the bells and whistles, rent the smallest car you can while on vacation.
  58. Don’t haul unless necessary – Try not to haul anything behind your car or truck unless it is necessary.
  59. Ask for help – if you are giving someone a ride, ask for a bit of money to offset the gas cost.
  60. Close the sun & moon roof – They drag your car down and take away the aerodynamicy-ness.  Yes, I make up words sometimes.
  61. Only mow your lawn once a week – Don’t be overly obsessive about your lawn and mow it 2 or 3 times a week, only do it when needed.
  62. Check for gas leaks – Make sure your car, or mower, or any other gas-powered object are not leaking any gas.
  63. Don’t wander in the parking lot – Stop circling to try to find the best spot, instead just park and walk.  You need the excercise anyway!
  64. Gas cards can have perks – Some gas credit cards have rewards that will earn you cash back or extra savings at the pump next time.
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  66. Use reward credit cards – If you can’t get a gas card with rewards use another rewards credit card.  Pay it off right away or it is not a savings.
  67. Avoid getting gas in a tourist trap – Enough said, you will be paying an too much as soon as you get to your favorite theme park or tourist destination.
  68. Don’t drive out of your way to find cheap gas – If you are driving two cities out of your way to save 2 cents a gallon you are wasting more money than you are saving.
  69. Buy your groceries for the month – If you do it all at one time there is fewer trips for everyone.  Then just pick up other miscellaneous items when you are out and about for other things.  You can freeze bread and milk.
  70. Cut down your extracurriculars – Less time out means less money going out, and less gas. Cut down your extras and those of your kids.
  71. If you have multiple cars use the most fuel-efficient one – Try to use the most fuel-efficient one the most.  Sometimes it is hard, especially if you have a really cool gas guzzler, read more about that here.
  72. Use the garage – Park the car in the garage to keep the temperature more regulated. It will save on heating and cooling when you first turn the car on.
  73. Write it off – If you use your car for your personal business your mileage will be a tax write-off.  Make sure you keep good records.
  74. Tax credits – Buying some fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles can save you money via tax credit.
  75. How low can you go? – Don’t go too low on gas or you will be buying the next most expensive thing that you see, and it will be costly to you in the long run.

Most of these are pretty easy, although some require spending money, which I don’t recommend unless you were going to anyway.  Are you going to do them all?  Probably not, but I give them for your consideration hoping some will benefit everyone! (Read 101 more painless tips to saving money HERE)

I do not recommend doing anything that is dangerous (ie drafting) and in general I doubt it would save gas since you’ll end up hitting the brake to compensate.  From everything I read none of the gas boosters or fuel efficiency boosters that you can use in or on your car work, so I would avoid spending the money on those.

You may note that I didn’t mention E-85 or Ethanol.  That is because I did some research (I recently bought a car that has flex-fuel) and found three things 1. it is not that cheaper than gasoline now 2. there are not many gas stations that sell it (30 something in the state of Texas) and 3. you get fewer miles to the gallon with ethanol.  To me that doesn’t equate to a savings.

Have a fuel saving tip?  E-mail me: or comment below!


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4 Responses so far.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Do they have E85 in Texas? Apparently I can put that in my van. It’s super cheap, you might not get good mileage from it, but I don’t do much driving (my oil change sticker date expires looong before I hit the mileage…)so it would be effective for me. Now if I can just talk Dave into putting it in the van… And you can go half and half apparently. Words straight out of the mouth of my father in law, who researches this stuff.

    • Jennifer says:

      I’ve never used E85 (apparently my van uses it, too) but there aren’t many gas stations who sell it down here (30 in the whole state of Texas, from what I could see). From the research I did it didn’t look like it was much cheaper here than gasoline and the fuel efficiency was less so I didn’t see that it would be a savings though I might try it if I ever see it.
      Our gas bills are topping $150 per week now, so this is very relevant to our lives. I will be trying to implement these ideas to save gas. Ross works far so we have no choice. We are blessed that he gets a gas allowance but it doesn’t cover everything, obviously, with gas being this high!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    when will my gravatar show up?

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