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If you haven't filled your gas tank recently, you're in for a real surprise at the pump. Right now the current average for a gallon of regular gas in the US is $4.31. That's a sharp increase from even just a week ago when it was $3.72!

How to Save on Your Gas Money

While we've drastically cut down on our driving since we're working from home, I know many families don't have that option.

If you're looking to cut down on your gasoline bills, becoming a savvy driver is important. These tips have saved us some money at the gas pump. I hope they can help you too!

Track Your Gas Mileage

Whether it's with a spreadsheet or app, tracking your gas mileage and price can give you great insights on how you can save.

Based on the data, I've scheduled needed tune ups, repairs, and maintenance keeping my car in good condition.

Besides some obvious choices like Costco, Sam's Club, and Walmart, you may discover some other gas stations that have competitive prices.

Be Consistent with Your Driving Speed

Don't have a lead foot when driving. Not only can that increase your chances of getting a ticket, stop and go driving decreases your fuel efficiency.

Try to maintain your speed when you're driving on the highway. Try to use cruise control when it you can to help you be steady with speed.

Don't Keep the Car Running

If you’re picking up someone as a favor, do yourself one and turn your car off if it'll be longer than a minute or two.

Keep Your Car Light

Less weight means better mileage, so remove any junk in your trunk. Having a heavy load can take its toll as you drive around town.

Join or Form a Carpool

Do you want to help the environment, save money at the gas pump, and reduce the wear and tear on your car? Carpooling to work or even when doing errands can be better for your finances. The added bonus is you can have some time to catch up with friends and coworkers.

Depending on your area, public transportation may be another viable option.

Combine Errands to Minimize Unnecessary Trips

Instead of doing several trips around the city throughout the week, I combine several errands into one or two runs during the week.

Tracking Your Car's Gas Mileage

If you’re interested in tracking your gas mileage, here are some free spreadsheets I found on the web.

How do you know if your gas mileage is good for your vehicle model?

The U.S. Department of Energy has the shared MPG estimates of many makes and models. Search for yours to see what you can expect. According to the government's site:

A vehicle that gets 30 MPG will cost you $768 less to fuel each year than one that gets 20 MPG (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $3.07).

That's quite a bit of money. Even if you improve your car's mpg by 5, that's still hundreds of dollars saved!

Thoughts on Rising Gas Prices

How have you been doing lately? Has rising gasoline prices affected your car driving lifestyle? What’s the price of gasoline in your area?

This post was originally published February 2011. Updated March 2022

Photo by sergio souza from Pexels

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

12 comments add your comment

  1. I drive like a grandpa whenever possible. Really, it is insane how much further a tank of gas goes when you are slow on the accelerator.

    I think gas is $3.07 right now…that’s in the Midwest, though, so it’s probably lower than the national average.

    • Thanks JT for sharing gas prices in your area. I was curious to see what it’s like in other areas. I think it’s $3.40 around some part of NYC right now – glad most of my family up there use public transit.

  2. I wish the loved one would be consistent with driving speed… It always cost less in gas when I am driving. I made the spouse realize that a couple of weeks ago. Hope it will help changing habits.

    • My husband is the safer driver and after a couple of years with him, I’ve learned to stop speeding. Much better for our car insurance!

  3. I do all of what you suggest except for carpooling. Although I have carpooled in the past. A year ago, I started buying gas from Costco, The price is lower and I get a 3% rebate. I filled up a week ago and paid $3.25 (net $3.15) in California.

    • Big fan of Costco too as they tend to have the lowest price in the area for us. It’s nice to get that rebate check :)

      • Costco is great for gas, though keep in mind their recent class action issue w/ the gas pricing and temperature.

        Speaking of Costco, a great way to save money on gas is to stop circling the Costco lot for 15 minutes looking for a close parking spot. Just park far (e.g.: edge of parking lot) and WALK! You’ll save gas and get some exercise.

  4. These are some great tips and thankfully I live in a place where gas still hasnt topped 3/gal. It’s getting close all the time, but it hasnt hit it yet. It’s also good because I drive so much. One of the best things that I’ve found was downloading a mileage app for my android phone . I enter the price of the gas, gallons I got and odometer reading, and it saves everything else. It even keeps track of service intervals for me. It’s so nice.

    • Where are you at Jeff? I would love to be paying less than $3/gallon :) Great idea on using an app to track your gas mileage. Anything that can make it easier to track your finances is something to consider. What is the app called?