What to Do When Driving My Car, Costs More Than Owning My Car
The Top 3 Ways to save money when gas prices are high...
...and not just high - but insanely high.
Like Snoop Dogg and Cheech Marin shooting a beer commercial while on vacation high.
That's where we are nowadays, and it's absolutely insane.
So how do we combat this?
How do we find a way to do all the things we need to do, without this gas inflation killing our driving vibe?
Find Cost-Friendly Gas in Your Area
This first suggestion might be the most obvious one.
Find cheaper gas.
This bit takes a little planning, granted, but the return could ultimately be well-worth your time, as even a difference of just 25 cents less per gallon, could result in a savings of as much as $200 per year.
So how do we find this cheaper gas you might ask...
Well, Gasbuddy (gasbuddy.com) is a good place to start.
Their site allows you to search for the best gas prices available, by things like address, fuel type, or payment method. So, if there's a station that is offering better prices for cash customers, or there's one that has a bigger discount on Regular (87 octane) versus Premium (91 to 93 octane), you'll know about it.
Research your gas, plan your route, and go save you some money.
It may not get you back to the $1.50 per gallon that we'd all rather be paying; but it's a start.
Help Your Car Improve its Gas Mileage
It's fair to say that this is a far less enticing option than simply 'finding cheaper gas', but when there's no great 'cheaper gas' options out there - this is the next best thing.
Fortunately, there are several ways to get a better gas mileage from your car; and an improvement of just 10% annually could save you another $200 per year on gas.
Three of the best ways to achieve this are...
By using the fuel type that works best for your car
Not all cars are made equal and the cheapest gas available could be costing you more in the long-run.
Some cars perform better on a mid or premium grade of gas; so using the proper gas in your vehicle can maximize its fuel efficiency, getting an improved mileage that can compensate for the increased up-front costs.
Check out the Owner's Manual, or the info slip on the inside of your gas cap, for details on which grade of gas is actually meant for your car.
By reducing stress on your car
Excess weight is a quick and deadly killer when it comes to fuel efficiency.
Think about a time when you were lugging around a bunch of stuff you didn't actually need; a camping trip you were overly prepared for, maybe a suitcase full of clothes when one outfit would have sufficed.
You didn't suddenly move quicker, faster, because of the excess weight - if anything, you were slower, exhausted even...
and that - that's your car.
Every extra pound of books and clothes, boxes and furniture, that your car is lugging around, is just further stressing its ability to maximize the gas you're giving it.
Drop the excess weight, reduce the stress on your vehicle, and improve the mileage you're getting from your ride.
By finding your inner peace
No, we didn't suddenly go all Zen on you - think less 'feng shui yoga room', and more 'not driving with so much aggression'.
All that aggression and suddenness in your driving - the revving of the engine, that abrupt speed-up when the light turns green - that's putting unnecessary wear-and-tear on your vehicle, and hindering its ability to maximize gas mileage.
Driving, instead, with a 'slow and steady wins the race' attitude, will help reduce this wear-and-tear and do wonders for your fuel efficiency.
Just remember, words like gradual and slow are your new best friends, 'cause they're the ones that are going to help you reduce your car's stress, improve its efficiency, and increase its gas mileage.
Make Use of Gas Rewards Programs
Between gas stations, grocery stores, and mobile apps, seems like everyone nowadays has a gas rewards program.
They are everywhere, and the great thing is - they work.
Enroll in a gas rewards program with places you're already spending money at - like you're local grocer or convenience store - and start building up your rewards points quickly.
Exxon Mobile Rewards + is one of the top programs out there, offering a minimum 3 cents off per gallon, with a point value of $1 off for every 100 points redeemed.
Redeem 5,000 points and you can get a maximum $50 off towards your gas.
If you're already shopping there, it only makes sense to take advantage of the rewards companies likes these are offering you.
Shop, build points, save money on gas - it's that simple.
Though none of these suggestions may be the thing that we all desperately want to hear; they are all great ways at reducing costs - to your car, and to you. They each have their value, and most importantly, there is no bad time to start implementing them.
Even if the day comes when gas prices return to something we all feel is more 'normal'; these suggestions can still help to reduce the investment you make each month in your car, and in its gas tank...
and should all else fail, there are always ways to balance rising gas prices by reducing the costs of other things in your life, like your car's insurance.
That's what we do, it's who we are, and we're always here to help.
There for you when you need us...
Just in Case.