As I pulled into the gas station over the weekend I was amazed at the price of gasoline. I know it's been all over the news, but to see the price on the sign in excess of $3.30 is disheartening. While many people will experience a dent in their spending plan because of the rising prices, there are many who simply can't afford to keep gasoline in their car. If you have a shortfall of cash everything month as it is, rising gasoline prices makes matters much worse.
How do you save money on gas when the prices are high and rising? There are a number of ways which I discuss below, but the one thing everyone should be doing is adjusting their spending plans. When you think about your spending for the month consider what the additional cost in gasoline is going to be. You've got to make a cut in your budget somewhere whether that be less entertainment, savings or some other area. Unfortunately, it's a reality right now and we have to manage to it.
So, let's look at some ways to minimize the cost of gas and the impacts on your budget.
Ride Share or Public Transportation
If you're used to driving to work each day, consider other forms of transportation. This is a great time to look into taking the bus or ride sharing with others who live nearby. This tip is especially helpful if you have a long range commute.
Find The Cheapest Gas
This past week I downloaded the GasBuddy iPhone app. GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas near me. For example, I just looked on the app and it identified gas at $3.39 down the street versus the next highest price of $3.49 about a mile further. Go to GasBuddy.com to learn more.
Fill Up At Warehouse Clubs
Warehouse clubs such as a Sam's and Costco almost always offer cheaper gasoline. There is less mark up on their gas prices since they are making money by people shopping for items in in the club.
Smart Driving Saves Gas
For those who drive fast and accelerate a lot, you'll find you waste more gas. Rather, accelerate steady and don't weave in and out of traffic. Follow the speed limit and you'll also find you don't have to stop at as many stoplights which requires you to accelerate more.
Take Advantage Of Coupons
According to CNNMoney.com there are a number of gas coupons you can find online and in newspapers. Make it a habit to start watching for them each week.
Some gas stations, for example, offer coupons for discounts on gas that can be found in newspapers, circulars and online. A quick web search will result in printable coupons for as much as 7 cents off per gallon, but they're scattered across various stations around the country.
Take Advantage Of Cash Back Reward Cards
Finally, you might consider getting a gas credit card and take advantage of cash back rewards. A lot of gasoline companies offer credit cards which can also be an easy way to track your gasoline spending. Just remember to pay it off each month by budgeting your spending. A gasoline credit card isn't a free ticket to spend without a plan!
How high are the gasoline prices in your area? Have you noticed an impact on your budget? If so, can you share some tips you're using to minimize gas prices?