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6 Ways to Save $20 – $50 Every Month on Gasoline

6 Ways to Save $20 – $50 Every Month on Gasoline

Most people wouldn’t put a pile of money on their driveway and set it on fire.

But when you drive, you’re essentially burning money – and with gas prices on the rise, we’re all burning more money via our gas tanks than ever before.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, these six steps will save you $20 – $50 every month on gasoline.

1) Drive LESS. How? Walk, especially if you’re traveling distances less than a mile and don’t need to carry heavy loads. Bike. More than half of all commuting trips are 5 miles or less in length, a distance easily covered by two wheels rather than four. Scoot, with an electric scooter that costs far less to charge than it does to fuel up a car with gas. Get organized, so you can combine trips and chores rather than going back and forth to do them. Pay your bills and shop online. That includes using grocery delivery services if they’re available in your area. Carpool. Share the drive and share the bill. Avoid rush hour. Telecommute, go to work early and leave early, or look for other ways to avoid the worst times of the day to be in a car. Because when you’re just sitting in traffic, you’re just burning money.

2) Drive SMART. What does “smart” mean? More or less, it’s what you learned when you took driving lessons all those years ago before you even got your driver’s license. Start with the speed limit. Stick to it. The U.S. Department of Energy says that every 5 mph you drive above 50 mph can lower gas mileage by 7% or more. That could amount to as much as $.52 a gallon! Slow down a little and put the money in the bank. Plus, turn the car off rather than idle. Idling gets zero miles per gallon; if that’s not a waste of gas and money, I don’t know what is! Don’t be a “jackrabbit” and speed up only to have to slow down in between stop signs and traffic signals. As for tailgating, it can cost you 1-2 percent in fuel efficiency. What a waste.

3) Drive CHEAP. In most cases, your engine can tolerate the cheapest gas you can find. Get to know where gas costs less and buy yours there. The GasBuddy mobile app makes it easy to find the cheapest gas on your driving route every day. Don’t top off your tank. Not only will you waste money, but that “extra” evaporates pretty quickly, contributing to air pollution. Pay cash. It can be ten or twenty cents a gallon cheaper than paying by credit card. Use gas rewards programs. I earn gas points at my grocery store that I can use to lower the price I pay at the pump by ten, twenty and even thirty cents a gallon.

4) Drive IN TUNE. You’ll improve your gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent when you get a tune up. Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 – 5,000 miles, too. If that’s too frequent for you, join Groupon, Living Social, or another social shopping site. You’ll find many affordable tune-up and oil change promotions that cut the service costs significantly.  While you’re at it, replace air filters regularly to get another 10 percent gain in fuel efficiency. Checking the oxygen sensor is smart, too. That’s the engine’s fuel control feedback loop. Repairing one that’s faulty could benefit your gas mileage as much as 40 percent.

5) Drive PUMPED UP. Gas mileage will improve by around 3.3 percent if you keep your tires properly inflated. Check your owner’s manual for appropriate inflation levels. You can buy a tire pressure gauge at your local hardware store and check your tires each time the seasons change. Then fill up your tires when you get gas.

6) Drive a GAS STRETCHER. Drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your transportation needs as well as your budget. If you’re in a family with two cars, use the one that gets the most mpg for the majority of your trips. If you’re in the market for a new car, check the rebates and tax incentives available to encourage people to purchase hybrids and electric cars, rather than those that depend exclusively on fossil fuels.

All of these actions can add up to big savings, especially now that gas prices have shot up so high. An added benefit? Using less gas is a lot better for the environment, since burning gasoline contributes to air pollution, climate change and smog.

So drive less, get smart, be cheap, tune in, pump up and stretch.

Unless of course you have money to burn.

Related Posts:

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Hybrid or Electric Cars: Which Will Save You More?

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Diane MacEachern

Diane MacEachern is a best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur and mother of two with a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources and the Environment. Glamour magazine calls her an “eco hero” and she recently won the “Image of the Future Prize” from the World Communications Forum, but she’d rather tell you about the passive solar house she helped design and build way back when most people thought “green” was the color a building was painted, not how it was built. She founded because she’s passionate about inspiring consumers to shift their spending to greener products and services to protect themselves and their families while using their marketplace clout to get companies to clean up their act. Send her an email at


+ add your own
4:02AM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

I have neuropathy in my feet and legs, so we cut back on our gas when I had to give up my car!

6:23PM PDT on Sep 20, 2014


8:02AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Back to the basics, thank you.

4:06PM PDT on Jul 29, 2014


3:08AM PDT on Jul 23, 2014

Not one that I can use....but I don't have a car, I use the bus or use my mobility scooter to get around.

8:22PM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Good reminders, thanks.

12:49PM PDT on Jul 21, 2014


1:29PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014


9:40AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

In my area Shell and BP (and sometimes Exxon) have lower prices than some of the brand names. I would rather pay more $$ than support these environmental polluters.

7:39AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

liked and shared thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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