High gas prices are fast becoming a permanent feature of the economy.
While gas prices could come down in the future, there’s no guarantee that they will.
Of course, you can save money buy purchasing a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle or an EV. Even a more efficient, smaller car will go farther on less gas.
In the meantime, here are a few tricks that can help you save more money at the gas pump.
Your local gas station may offer unadvertised discounts whenever you pay for gasoline with cash. Ask the cashier or gas attendant the next time you gas up.
Gas stations, and any other retailer for that matter, must pay various transaction fees to facilitate and finalize credit card payments. And these transaction fees are essentially negated whenever you pay for gasoline with cash.
Avoid the pumps during rush hours
You may not notice it, but your local gas station will incrementally increase gas prices during the morning, noon, and evening rush hours.
When driving queue up in long lines multiple times throughout the day, gas stations will rationalize in the moment supply and demand, along with oil prices, to increase prices.
Get in the habit of gassing up at any time except rush hour. You are bound to save a few pennies each time which adds up in the long run.
Enroll in a rewards program
Your local grocery or retail store may have its own gas station or variation of a gas station rewards program. Buy more groceries, get gas discounts.
Such national retailers like Albertsons, Dollar General, Kroger, and Safeway either have their own gas stations or gas reward programs with perks.
With most of these programs, after enrolling you get a card. You then gain points for every dollar or preset dollar amount you spend in the store. You can then save several cents and up to $1 per gallon equivalent to the number of points you redeem.
For example, you may save ten cents per gallon for every 100 points you redeem.
You could save hundreds of dollars annually by using such programs. However, you must be loyal and disciplined and only use the gas stations affiliated with the gas reward program.
Also, the points you accrue may expire every month or a few weeks if you don’t use them.
Avoid premium gas
Unless your vehicle model specifically requires it, never buy premium gas.
Premium gas is simply higher octane for certain types of engines. It’s not “better” gas than regular, just different. Check your owner’s manual or consult a mechanic to be sure.
You could save between 20 cents to 40 cents per gallon by switching to regular gas if your car uses it, and most do.