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10 Tips to Save Money at the Pump

Gas prices have reached $4.80 a gallon in Baltimore!! There are many things you can do now to help you save at the pump.

So whether you’re planning a road trip or want to lower your everyday expenses, follow these ten money-saving tips.

Payment Options.
Depending on how you pay at the pump, there are ways you can reap benefits.
1) Pay with cash. Many gas stations will offer customers a discount when paying with cash. Because the gas station is not subjected to costly credit card processing fees, they frequently pass these savings on to you.
2) Pay with a debit card. Many people are lured to credit cards that offer rewards at the pump. However, unless you pay off your entire balance every month, the high-interest rates on these cards will actually cause your fuel costs to be significantly more in the long run. Therefore, it’s usually best to pay with cash or your debit card.

Caring for Your Car.
How you care for your vehicle could play a significant role in its overall fuel efficiency.
3) Slow down! While it makes sense that speeding uses more gas, did you know that excessive braking also reduces your vehicle’s fuel efficiency? When it comes to improving your car’s fuel efficiency, eliminate anything excessive: speeding, braking, acceleration. Essentially, going slow and steady wins the gas price race!
4) Treat your car to some service. Caring for your vehicle ensures it’s operating at peak performance and not ultimately draining your wallet. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and you stay up to date on oil and filter changes. A fine-tuned car typically makes for a more fuel-efficient one as well.
5) Roll the windows down…or use the air conditioner. When driving at higher speeds without frequent stops, such as on the highway, opt for using the AC. If you’re at lower speeds or in stop-and-go traffic, roll down the windows if the weather is nice. The drag is less on your vehicle at slower speeds, and you’ll save on fuel by not using the air conditioner.
6) Lighten your load. The less weight put on the tires, the less energy your car uses. Take a day to clean out extra items that may be adding excess weight to your vehicle and hampering your car’s fuel efficiency.

Utilize Apps.
Let technology guide you to more significant savings at the pump.
7) Search for lower-price gas. Download apps that help you find the best gas prices. GasBuddy, AAA Gas Prices, and Google Maps provide you up-to-date prices for gas stations close to you.
8) Utilize cash back apps. Research cash back apps, such as GetUpside, iBotta, or GasBuddy, to add extra savings to your fuel purchases. Typically, you’ll earn points or rewards with these apps that can then be redeemed once you hit a specific dollar amount.

Connect with Stores.
Take advantage of discounts you may already qualify to receive.
9) Reap store rewards. Many large supermarket retailers offer reward programs to obtain discounted gas. When you shop at those retailers, you earn a certain number of points. Once you reach the specified threshold (usually $100, though it may vary), you get discounted gas at their partner stations. You are going to shop for groceries anyway, so why not get discounted gas at the same time?
10) Buy from a warehouse store. If you have a membership to a warehouse store, such as Costco, Sam’s Club, or B.J.’s, you’re in luck. Their gas prices are often significantly cheaper than non-warehouse locations. You’ll have to pay for the membership, but the annual cost could very well be offset between saving on bulk item purchases and gas.

BONUS TIP: Electric & Hybrid Vehicles
With the continuous production improvements and vehicle options, electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more commonplace. Not only do these cars lower or eliminate gas costs, but they may qualify for valuable tax credits (tax savings are constantly changing, and you should consult a tax advisor for possible savings).

We’re Here to Help!
Whether you’re looking to finance a more fuel-efficient vehicle or want to discover more ways to maximize your budget, we’re ready to help.
Please stop by the Credit Union  or call 410-687-5240 to learn how we can help you save and earn more!

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.