While energy costs had been on the rise over the last year, recent global political instability worsened the supply demand imbalance. As a result, the price of oil jumped to levels not seen since 2008, leading to even more dollars out of your pockets at the gas pump. According to David Lundgren, Hancock Whitney’s Chief Investment Officer, “oil and gas prices are unlikely to decrease until supply issues are resolved.”
Here are 10 easy tips to help you save money on your next fill-up at the gas pump.
Use apps to compare prices
Gas prices can vary within a few blocks – using apps like Waze, GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and AAA can help you find the lowest prices in your neighborhood, or along your commute.
Earn rewards, pay with rewards
Many credit cards offer rewards points on fuel purchases. For example, Hancock Whitney’s Visa® Points Plus Credit Card offers 1% cash back on most purchases, including gas. You can also redeem your points for gift cards for gas purchases.
Another option is to join the fuel rewards program at your local gas station. There are even some grocery stores that offer rewards programs that can translate into gas discounts.
Best time of day and week to buy gas
According to GasBuddy, prices typically dip to their lowest average level of the week on Mondays in most areas of the country. Weekends are typically the most expensive days of the week for gas, so try and avoid filling up on Saturday and Sunday.
Join a wholesale club
With reduced prices on gas and bulk pricing on groceries, the small fee you pay to join club can be made up with a few gas purchases.
Fill your tank up all the way
The moment you find a gas station with great prices, fill up! Prices change rapidly and may rise by the next time you need gas, so keep your tank full as much as possible.
Lighten your load
When there’s less weighing your car down, you will get better gas mileage. Take out all the extra stuff in your car, and remove any exterior racks that you’re not using.
Check your tire pressure
Underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual or the inside of your driver-side door for the recommended air pressure.
Don’t skip regular maintenance
Taking your car in for regularly scheduled services helps ensure optimum fuel economy and performance.
Premium vs. regular gas
Unless your car specifies premium fuel you should use regular, which will give you an automatic savings. Consult your owner's manual to verify the type of gas required for your vehicle.
Combine multiple errands into one trip
Since fewer trips out on the road mean less gas used, plan ahead and use apps to find the best route from place to place.
Incorporating some or all of these tips may help lessen the hit to your wallet. If you’re concerned about ongoing increases to the price of necessities, now may be a good time to review and update your overall budget to find ways to free up some additional funds. Looking for a place to start? Hancock Whitney Financial Cents provides strategies and tools to help you build and stick to your budget.
What are your additional tips for saving money at the gas pump? Share your comments below: