It may seem impossible with today’s gas prices to drive frugally, but with some minor tricks, you can get the most out of your car and the gas tank for as little as possible. Don’t let the price at the pump scare you into believing it is not possible to save money!
The traveling season is here, so these tips are even more valuable if you are planning a vacation or getaway on a tight budget.
A Guide to Frugal Driving
Tips for saving money on gas:
Go to GasBuddy.com and compare rates in your local area and along your route if you are traveling. You may be surprised by the price difference even across town. One thing that is almost always cheaper is buying gas in town rather than near the freeway. Gas stations jack up prices to rake in as much from weary travelers. Here are more apps to help you save money on gas.
Keep an eye on your tire pressure. Low or uneven tire pressure is not only bad for your alignment, but also gas mileage. Buy a tire pressure gauge and keep it in the car with you. Whenever you fill up, check the air. Many times, you can’t tell with the naked eye if you are low or not. Look in your car’s owner’s manual on the recommended tire pressure.
Try to avoid stop and go traffic as much as possible. Not only is it hard on your engine, but it can totally be a gas waster. Instead, if you have one, use your car’s navigation system to find routes that are off the main roads so you can avoid stop lights as much as possible.
Tips for saving money on your car’s maintenance:
Stay on top of oil changes. One of the number one reasons people run into issues with their cars and end up having to fork out hundreds of dollars is not regularly changing oil. This not only ruins your engine, but wastes gas as well.
Don’t overpay for oil changes. They are fairly easy to do yourself with some very simple and inexpensive tools. You will find that you can save about 50% or more doing it yourself as opposed to taking it in to an oil and lube shop. If you must take it in, look for coupons. My local ValPak has coupons for several places every month that are offering discounts. You can also sign up for email newsletter from these places for special discounts.
Once in a while, take your car to the car wash and spray the engine down with plain water. Keeping it clean can save you from costly repairs later due to dirt getting into your engine.
Replace inexpensive items like spark plugs and air filters regularly. This kind of maintenance will save you a bundle in the long run.
Once a year or so, have a 15 point inspection done, however don’t just make all repairs they say are necessary. Many times, these places try to get you to pay for unnecessary services. Research what they tell you to find out if it is important to do now, or if it can wait.