This 4th of July means “road trip” for countless us: AAA estimates that 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 or higher miles from your home this holiday week (a lot of them by car), up nearly 5% from a year ago. Though with gas prices hovering at around $3.40 a gallon (lower than a year ago, sure, but nevertheless not too cheap!), that road trip could easily get pretty pricey — until you be aware of best ways to save.
So, while we all probably know the basics concerning how to spend less on gas — don’t crank the AC (like that’s an option this summer!), don’t tool around town aimlessly (duh!) — below are a few less popular strategies to cut the expense of gas this summer:
1. Buy discounted gas gift cards
Sites like PlasticJungle.com and GiftCardGranny.com sometimes sell discounted gas gift certificates for service stations like Shell, Gulf and Mobil. This means you might get Shell Gas Gift Card Generator Online worth, say, $100 only pay about $95 for this. That’s $5 in free gas!
2. Drive like a sane person
Sure, traffic jams, slow drivers inside the left lane and rubberneckers might make you crazy. But “angry driving” — like rapidly accelerating — can cost you big, says Kelli Grant, the senior consumer reporter for SmartMoney.com. “If you peel away from a traffic light like you’re within the Indy 500, you’re going to fund that,” she says. The truth is, in the test by Edmunds.com, accelerating slowly from a green light and stopping gradually for a red light cut fuel consumption for someone driving a Land Rover by more than 35% and then for a Mustang a lot more than 27%. Furthermore, the investigation found out that cruise control is the ideal solution on the highway: A Land Rover got roughly 14% better mileage using cruise control set at 70 mph compared to a driver cruising between speeds of 65 and 75 mph; for the Mustang, it was actually 4.5% better mileage.
3. Strategically time your trips to the pump
Throughout a regular week, you want to top off your tank on Wednesday or Thursday before 10 a.m., says Chris Faulkner, president and CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company. The key reason why: “Gas prices rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel” and “10 a.m. occurs when most station owners make their price change for the day,” he writes. “Unless it is really an emergency, will not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday.” During the holidays, some experts claim that prices could increase in anticipation of more drivers on your way. So, see tip #4 below for locating the best prices prior to deciding to top off this 4th of July.
4. Make use of smartphone
Utilize the AAA Triptik or GasBuddy apps to discover the cheapest gas in the area, says Grant. Also you can make use of your smartphone (the Maps app about the iPhone, by way of example, shows you traffic) to look for the traffic before leaving your house in order to avoid gas-wasting backtracking and idling.
5. Think about gas rewards card (your food market might even offer one)
If you drive a whole lot, it may sound right to get a credit card that rewards you for buying gas. To determine if one is practical to suit your needs, have a look at NerdWallet.com, where you’ll enter within your spending, and will also recommend good bank cards for yourself. (NerdWallet.com also just launched an internet site to assist you to find cheap gas in your community.) However, it’s important to note that a majority of rewards cards carry high interest rates, so until you pay back your balance entirely each month, these cards probably aren’t good for you (instead, look for a low-interest card). Furthermore, “grocery chains like Safeway, Kroger and Winn-Dixie offer gasoline rewards programs,” says Jim Toedtman, editor of AARP Bulletin, which publishes a long list of gas saving tips. “Get family and friends to share with you the card so points stack up faster,“ he adds. However, it’s important to remember that the cost in that service station may not be the very best price on the market, so in spite of the savings it will not be the best deal, says Grant.