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Budgeting, Financial Fitness |

11 Ways to Save Money on Gas

Driving around can be expensive. These 11 tips will show you how to save on gas.

Look for the Cheapest PriceWhen you have to put gas in your car, go to a gas station that charges the lowest price per gallon. Find a gas station near you with the help of an app like GasBuddy.

Drive, Don’t WaitAfter starting your car, don’t hesitate to put it in gear and drive. It’s unnecessary to warm up your engine if your vehicle is relatively new. Once your car is moving, it will warm up fast.

Don’t be Heavy on the PedalWhen you are out and about in your car, refrain from driving faster than the marked speed limit. Driving fast will have you spending more on gas because you use more of it when you speed. Instead, go slower to keep your gas cost down and take your foot off the gas pedal when you approach a stop sign or a red light. Also, step easy when you brake to avoid spending more than you have to on gas.

Buy an Electric CarIf you are ready to purchase a new car, consider buying an electric vehicle or a hybrid plug-in model. According to energy.gov, driving a vehicle that runs on electricity is half of what it costs to drive a car that runs on gas. A bonus of buying a plug-in hybrid is that when you buy one, you can apply for a tax credit of up to $7,500.

Keep Your Trunk LightKeeping 100 pounds of junk in your trunk will cost you more gas. Remove unnecessary items from the trunk to eliminate extra fuel charges.

Keep Nothing on Your RoofInstead of transporting items by securing them to the roof of your car, lay them on the seat or the floor. If you drive around with anything on your roof, your gas economy is reduced by as much as 8 percent when you travel through the city and by up to 25 percent when you drive fast on the freeway.

Avoid Unnecessary Air ConditioningUnless the heat is unbearable, leaving your air conditioner off may save you money. The use of this cooling system significantly lowers the gas economy. Instead, put your air conditioner on a setting that will allow your air conditioner to work less if it needs to cool down and save money on gas.

Cut Down on DrivingLimit driving if you can travel by bus or bike instead. If you have errands to do, do them in one trip. Once you turn off your engine and start it again to make another trip, your car has to warm up again, using much more gas.

Shop for Gas RewardsThere are several grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations that reward you with gas savings when you shop there. You accumulate points with your purchases at these stores, and the points can be redeemed for gas savings. Fred Meyer (Kroger) and Safeway offer gas rewards programs.

Use the Right Motor OilYour vehicle’s manufacturer will recommend which motor oil you should put in your car. If you use a grade of oil other than the one recommended, the result could be less gas mileage. Check the manual that came with your car for information on this.

Keep Your Car in Top ShapeKeep down the amount of gas you use by maintaining your car. Make sure your tires have the right amount of air in them at all times. In addition, spark plugs, brakes, belts, transmission, and fluid levels should all be checked frequently. Watch for an alert from your check-engine light and take care of the problem right away. For additional financial information regarding savings, budgeting, improving credit and much more, check out our financial fitness resources. Questions? Call 503-588-0211.

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