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Road Trip Anyone? 12 Simple Tips to Save Money on Gas This Summer

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Ready to hit the road? 🚗

First, some bad news: AAA expects the national average for gas to hit $3 a gallon soon!

Good news? Luckily, we’ve got some simple tips that’ll save you money on gas so you can squeeze more miles (and fun) out of every gallon this summer.

Here’s how to get the most bang for your buck at the pump:

1. Buy discounted gas gift cards. 💳

Before heading to the pump, consider snagging a discounted gas gift card online at sites like Raise.com, eBay, Groupon, or even Best Buy! Also, some gas stations may offer a lower price if you pay with cash instead of a credit card – and this discount usually applies to gift cards, too (may vary)! The difference between the cash and credit price usually ranges from around 10¢ – 15¢ per gallon.


2. Check your local grocery store first. 🛒

simple tips to save money on gas – shopper reward card

Watch for fuel promotions or even gift card deals at your local grocery store. Select grocers will sometimes team up with affiliated fuel stations to offer a gas discount whenever you shop at their store. Plus, some stores even offer double fuel rewards whenever you purchase gift cards!

Here are just a few stores that offer fuel perks with your store loyalty card:

  • Albertsons: Earn one fuel point for every $1 spent on groceries or pharmacy items and two fuel points for every $1 spent on gift cards. Get 10¢ off per gallon when you earn 100 points.

  • Fred Meyer: Earn one fuel point for every $1 you spend and two fuel points for every $1 spent on gift cards; fill prescriptions and earn 50 points. Earn 10¢ off per gallon when you spend $100.

  • Giant Eagle: Earn 10¢ off per gallon at GetGo with your $50 Giant Eagle purchase.

  • Hy-Vee: Earn special offers, digital deals, surprise savings and the chance for random rewards such as a kitchen makeover, vacation packages, or even a car loaded to your card.

  • Kroger: Earn one fuel point for every $1 you spend and two fuel points for every $1 spent on gift cards; fill prescriptions and earn 50 points. Earn 10¢ off per gallon when you spend $100.

  • Murphy USA: Save 3¢ per gallon whenever you fill up at Murphy USA stations using a Walmart gift card (not valid at Murphy Express). Offer not valid in Alabama.


  • Safeway: Earn 10¢ off per gallon when you spend $100.

  • Stop & Shop: Earn one point for every $1 you spend with your Stop & Shop Card. Save 10¢ per gallon for every 100 points you receive.

  • Winn-Dixie: Earn points and use them for savings on both groceries and fuel at Shell and other select fuel stations. Get 5¢ off per gallon at every fill, every day at Shell.

Don’t see your store listed above? Be sure to ask or check their website as many stores with fuel stations offer rewards programs or even credit cards with exclusive savings.


3. Save big by filling up at Costco. ⛽

simple tips to save money on gas – Costco card

Are you a Costco member? Get the most out of your membership by filling up while you’re there as you’ll save money and get quality gas. Costco sells only TOP TIER detergent gasoline – the fuel recommended by dealerships and manufacturers – so it cleans your engine with every fill up.

Plus, the average gas price at Costco is over 20¢ per gallon lower than its competitors! In fact, in this Oil Price Information Service survey in March 2018, Costco beat out major gas chains (as well as warehouse rivals such as Sam’s Club and BJ’s) to rank as the #2 cheapest place to buy gas in the US.


4. Don’t pay for premium gas unless… 🛑

simple tips to save money on gas – gas pumps

Does filling up your car with premium gas give you the nice, warm fuzzies – like you’re filling your car with liquid gold? Well, some cars require premium gas, but others simply carry a recommendation that owners use it – which means you may be dumping money down the drain every time you fill up.

Consumer Reports tested the fuel economy and acceleration of cars on different grades of gasoline used in two different sedans and found that both cars achieved the same fuel economy and felt/sounded the same when tested with regular fuel as they did with premium.

That means it’s probably okay to use regular gas even if the manufacturer recommends using premium gas, but be sure to check the inside of your fuel-filler door or the owner’s manual before making the switch.


5. Find the cheapest gas near you. 📲

simple tips to save money on gas – mobile phone

Download free gas apps that find the cheapest gas near you (driving around town to find the cheapest gas kinda defeats the whole purpose). A few reputable apps we like are GasBuddy, AAA, Fuel Finder, and Gas Guru.

Want to track and compare your gas mileage? Fuelly (iOS or Android) is a handy mobile app and website that helps you calculate your vehicle’s fuel economy. Tracking your usage over time can help you monitor changes to your driving habits and keep tabs on the health of your vehicle.


6. Know the best times to fill up. ⏱

simple tips to save money on gas – gas nozzle in a gas tank

Fill up your tank when it is coolest outside (early in the morning or late at night) and avoid the heat of the day as much as possible. Why? The fuel is denser at those times, so you’ll get more gas for the same amount of money.

It’s also best to avoid filling up an empty tank during a holiday or on the weekend when people are doing more driving (that’s when gas stations are likely to raise their prices).

simple tips to save money on gas – fuel gauge

Hip Tip: Have a hard time remembering which side of the car your gas tank is on? If you’re driving a newer car, look for the arrow by the gas gauge on your dashboard. This is a directional indicator that identifies which side of the car the gas tank is located. If the arrow points to the left, the gas cap is located on the left side, so the car should be parked to the right of the gas pump.


7. Leave extra items at home. 🏀

simple tips to save money on gas – trunk filled with sports gear

Been toting around items for Goodwill in the back of your trunk for a few months – or carry sports equipment in your car? 🙋🏼‍♀️ Even an additional 100 pounds in your car can reduce gas mileage by up to two percent.

Note that the reduction is relative to the vehicle’s weight, so smaller vehicles are more affected by increased weight than larger ones. Still, for every 100 pounds in extra weight, you can plan on spending up to 6¢ more per gallon. Yikes! Ditch the stuff you don’t need – especially the heavy items!


8. Waiting? Turn off the car. 🔑

simple tips to save money on gas – woman looking at her watch

The California Energy Commission (CEC) advises that vehicles should be turned off if your expected wait time will be longer than 10 seconds since an idling vehicle can burn as much as one gallon of gas each hour. Turning the car off can save about 5¢ per minute. Every little bit adds up!


9. Don’t always take the car. 🚶🏼‍♂️

simple tips to save money on gas – dog looking out of a car window

Before jumping in the car to drop your kids off at a friend’s house, consider walking or hopping on a bike instead to help save gas. You’ll burn calories, enjoy the great outdoors, and reduce emissions, too!


10. Don’t drive like a race car driver. 🏁

simple tips to save money on gas – race cars

You may aspire to be Danica Patrick or Dale Earnhardt Jr., but unless you’re racing in the Indy 500, avoid that kind of driving to save money on gas.

My husband always says to drive a car like you’re riding a bike – not like you’re driving a race car. You don’t ride your bike and slam on the brake pedal right when you get to each stop sign, right? You slow down nice and steady a little ways before the stop sign to ensure a smooth stop. Then you start again at a slow, steady pace. The same should be true for driving!

Speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration waste gas – and gas mileage decreases at above 60 miles per hour. Based on an average price of $3.12 per gallon for regular gasoline, driving sensibly can lead to an equivalent gas savings of between 16¢ and $1.03 per gallon.


11. Keep your tires inflated & wheels aligned. 🚘

simple tips to save money on gas – air compressor for filling tires

A little vehicle maintenance can go a long way in improving your car’s gas mileage! Because tires may naturally lose air over time, it’s important to check tire the pressure on ALL tires, including your spare, at least once a month. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to three percent in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

simple tips to save money on gas – tire pressure gauge

Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you have a tire gauge in your glove box and know how to use it. And, if you don’t have a tire gauge and need air fast, you can actually fill up your tires using a bike pump if you have one!

Also, be sure to check that your wheels are properly aligned and tires are balanced! Wheels out of alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10% (around 31¢ per gallon), and tires that are out of balance can cause uneven tire wear, which can result in lower gas mileage.

The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.


12. Check your air filter & spark plugs. ✅

simple tips to save money on gas – air filter

In addition to checking your tire pressure and alignment/balance (tip #2), make sure your car has clean air filters so the airflow stays at the proper level to mix with the gasoline. It has been estimated that replacing your dirty air filter will increase miles per gallon on the car up to 10% and also generates a fuel savings of close 15¢ per gallon at the fuel pump!

Also, be sure to replace your spark plugs when needed, especially if your car’s gas mileage suddenly drops. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence indicates that bad spark plugs can decrease fuel economy by up to 30% and can cost drivers up to about 94¢ per gallon.


How do YOU save on gas? Please share in the comments!

P.S. – Be sure to watch this oldie but goodie video for a few more tips from Collin on how to save on gas – you’ll even get a sneak peek of her favorite mode of transportation! Enjoy! 😉


Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off Jesus, running long distance, bargain shopping, warm Texas weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She also loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Amy

    The average gas price in my area is $3.30 😢. We spent over twice our usual amount of money on gas last month. 😬 so frustrating!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Oh yikes! That is frustrating Amy! 😳

  2. Marie

    Gas has always been something I look at like water or electricity. Doesnt matter how much it costs, I’ll still pay it so I just ignore the cost of gas and just be thankful when that .10 off per gallon reward pops up from time to time. 🙂

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Great way to look at it Marie 🙂

    • Allison

      My husband gets so frustrated when he asks me how much gas was after I fill up & I have no idea. Lol. I feel the same way you do, Marie. I have to have it so what does the price matter? Oh well.

  3. tia in boise

    yah…gas here has been $3.14/gallon for a while…

    i use gas buddy, but i don’t download the app (no room for any more apps); i just google the town and “gas buddy”.

    i buy gas at Fred Meyer because it’s the cheapest near me. DH and i have started purchasing gift cards at FM for wherever we plan to go in order to get more points for gas. i pre-buy gift cards for presents and to pay for presents when the 4x points deal comes out.

  4. MrsK

    We plan our trips before starting the engine. And sometimes I pay more at a store that is closer than driving further to save a small amount. We also walk places when we can.

  5. Wendy

    I’m a hardcore swagbucker, and I get gas cards from their site…We haven’t paid cash for gas in over 2 years…

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Wow – that’s amazing Wendy!

  6. 50ShadesofLipstick

    #8- turning off the car if you’re waiting…that wouldn’t work here in TX lol. We’re already hitting temperatures above 100 degrees and we’re only in the first week of June- I have to run my AC in the car til October, any time that we are sitting in the car for whatever reason. So turning the car off to save a few cents on gas isn’t an option b/c it’s dangerously hot out.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      I get ya – I’m a Texan too. 🙂 The weather has been brutal lately!

    • Kaylee

      Fellow Texan! With three kids screaming at me because of the heat. The car gets left on. I have auto start and thank God for that because it helps a lot when needing to cool it down for the little one. When we first moved out here we had a truck without air. So I am very thankful to have a car with A/C.

  7. Cw

    I use Gas Buddy! We’ve saved $45.39 since December. You get 5 cents off a gallon at most gas stations, it excludes Costco, HEB, Exxon/Mobil and 2-3 others. From start to finish it takes 10-14 days to set up! This is my link, it saves you 10 cents off per gallon for your first fill up. It is WONDERFUL!!!
    I’m offering you the biggest everyday savings on gas anywhere. Join for free and use code EB73DCU. Sign up today: https://gb.onelink.me/2n60?pid=referral&af_dp=gasbuddy%3A%2F%2Fwallet%3FreferralCode%3DEB73DCU&af_web_dp=https%3A%2F%2Fpay.gasbuddy.com%2F

    • Deb

      Why does it take so long to set up?

  8. Dee

    Thanks for all the great tips. The idling one is especially important next to schools and hospitals. Kids and sick people shouldn’t breathe in all that exhaust.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome Dee!

  9. JMMPA

    I couldn’t buy gas without Gas Buddy around where I live..

  10. tracy

    Kroger allows you to take a survey at krogerfeedback.com for 50 points, once per week. So thats 200 points per month, which is .20 off per gallon.

  11. Sara

    The lowest gas price I have seen lately in Baton Rouge that wasn’t at Costco is $2.46.

    When did Murphy USA stop giving a discount in Alabama? I am pretty sure that my mom got the discount near Mobile on 12/31/16.

    On a side note, Albertsons points can also be used to get free groceries or $1 off $1 or more to $10 off $10 or more. Some of the discounts are for a particular department(ex. produce, meat, floral). There was a reward for $5 off a Albertsons gift card the month that grocery rewards were added to the program. The rewards change each month.

    • Sara

      At Albertsons Companies Banner stations, you can get $1 off per gallon by using 1,000 points. You can get up to $0.20 off per gallon by using 200 points at all participating stations.

      Also, uou earn 1 point per $1 spent on select pharmacy items, including out-of-pocket costs on prescriptions.

  12. Wendy

    My husband and I earn gas points at our grocery store and we fill up our tanks at the same time in order to maximize the discount. This only works if you use the same type of gas (and unfortunately the max is 20 gallons).

  13. shop4mybabies

    Lakewood WA, gas is 3.54 a gallon.
    you forgot the best way to save money on gas, take grandma somewhere on an empty tank, it will magically get full

    • Shelly

      If you have a Murphy USA credit card you can save 5cents a gallon they are usually the cheapest in our area as is. It’s a nice savings when you have to fill up every other day.;)

    • frecklelily

      Lol! That’s how my mother is too!!!! I took her somewhere last week and she gave me a $50 Shell gift card instead of filling the tank.

  14. RMS

    I used to use the Gas Buddy app and loved it…until they updated it so it tracks every trip. Just a little too invasive for me. I will definitely be checking out Fuel Finder and Gas Guru. Thanks!

  15. Tricia

    My husband and I both use the Trunow app. It’s only 1% back sometimes 2% on all gas purchases. But hey every little bit helps. You can download in the App Store. You also get bonus points for verifying gas prices. https://trunow.app.link/q402xk4ZRM

  16. Jessica

    Try noticing trends. In our area, they typically lower gas on Tuesdays. I don’t know why but it drops from $3.15 to $3.03 then right back up again the next day. We always fill all of our cars up on Tuesdays.

  17. Casey

    Not in Texas but sill get the heat in Georgia.

  18. Rob

    If u have a BJs clubhouse near u and have their credit card u save 10 cents per gallon every fill up PLUS if u go in and but 2 promo items (changes every few weeks) you save an additional 25 cents per gallon up to 30 gallons. The BJs I go to is next door to costco and they are always the same price and I get the additional 10-35 cents off. Sometimes the promo items are 4.99 so it’s worth it even if it’s something you don’t need and we take both cars when we can so we can use the whole discounted 30 gallons

  19. Heather

    We just got back from a trip to California which we had to google maps every where we went, but in doing so realized that google maps if you type in a particular gas station or gas stations near you, it will show how far they are and it tells you how much gas is at that location!!

  20. Heidi

    Thorntons gas station has great fuel rewards. If you sign up for their free rewards program, you can save .03 a gallon. However, almost every week I get a special reward of saving .06 a gallon if you load that reward to your account.

    Also, gas buddy has a card (attached to your bank account) that you can use at most gas stations, and when you do, it takes over on average .05 a gallon every time. My husband and I both use the card, and use Thorntons card and rewards, along wtih taking advantage of Kroger fuel points and the gift card extra points. 🙂

  21. Shrinidhi Rai

    I use Filld to get gas delivered to my car- without having to drive to the gas station. I can schedule the fill ups at night, when it is convenient to me.
    Gas prices are based on neighbourhood gas station rates- and filld charges the same rate as the lowest gas station in your neighbourhood at a 5 mile radius.
    Use my code to get $15 off your first order – B99PMG
    No subscription required. Download the app from https://filld.com/

  22. zinlaterti

    Definitely get Upside. https://upside.app.link/5TKG6 if you use my link you can get 20cents off extra per gallon on top of whatever deal you find. It’s not all over, but it’s getting better on the east coast. It’s available for some restaurants and grocery stores too. I have saved over $200 so far and it can be put into my paypal account.
    Also, right now if you use the Exxon/Mobile app, you can get an extra 10 cents off per gallon until July 10th. It’s awesome, you can authorize a pump (only when you’re at the gas station) before you even get out of the car! Makes it quick an easy!

  23. Jamie

    I NEVER knew about the arrow pointing to where your tank is!!! THANK YOU! I feel like everyone else does because no one else is excited or mentioned it lol.

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