I don’t know about you, but I was really looking forwards to getting in my car with my family to hit the road. After two full years of being in lockdown due to the pandemic, we were all excited to finally be able to travel again. Unfortunately, we may have to rethink these plans considering how high gas prices have gotten recently. However, there are a few thinks that you can do to beat rising gas prices.
You and your family may be in a similar situation. Or, you may just be cost conscious and are wondering how you can save money at the pump. Use these tips and you will be surprised at how much your savings can add up.
Why are gas prices rising in the first place?
It is good to understand some of the reasons behind the recent spike in gas prices. There are many factors at play here, and by no means am I an expert. But, if you have been paying attention to the news, you may have a good idea.
Here are some reasons why gas prices have been rising, and have just recently gotten so out of control. These are not necessarily good or bad things, but just some of the reasons for an increase at the pump.
- Cancelation of Keystone XL Pipeline creating heavier reliance on foreign oil
- Normal gas price fluctuations due to seasonality
- Current administration push for electric vehicles
- Changes to federal oil and gas leasing programs, including hiking fees on drilling companies
- Increased regulation against fracking
- Geopolitical instability in countries the US imports energy from (i.e. Russia/Ukraine conflict)
All of these factors are resulting in gas prices being the highest they have been in the last decade. The economic effects of this can be felt across the country. Operating a vehicle is becoming more expensive as consumers now have to worry about the price they pay for fuel. This is totally different from the state of gas prices just a couple years ago.
So, now that you have a little more background on why gas prices are rising, let’s look at some ways that you can beat rising gas prices.
Ways to Save and to Beat Rising Gas Prices
There are several different things that you can do to save money at the pump. These are especially handy right now and are surefire ways to beat rising gas prices. There are four main ways that you can save at the pump:
- Use rewards points
- Increase your vehicle’s fuel economy
- Drive less
- Upgrade your car
Here is some more information on all of these.
Use Rewards Points
Did you know that many grocery store chains offer some sort of fuel program? These can save you a ton of money and are a great way to beat rising gas prices. The best thing is that many of these gas loyalty programs are free to join. So many big name grocery stores offer these programs, so be sure to check if yours does.
These programs work by using points. For every dollar you spend, you will get a point or a fraction of a point. Points add up and you can use them to get discounts at gas stations. For instance, if you have 100 points, this can get you $0.10 off per gallon of gas! This can add up quick. Just be aware that these points usually expire at the end of the month and sometimes you have a limit on the amount you can use at once.
Some on the grocery stores offering programs like this include:
- Stop & Shop
- Harris Teeter
- Sam’s Club
Also, one of the many benefits of a credit card is that depending on the type you get, you may be eligible for a cash match when you fill up at a gas station. Here are some of the best gas credit cards:
- Chase Freedom Flex
- Citi Custom Cash Card
- Discover it Cash Back
There are a ton of rewards programs out there that can help you beat rising gas prices. Be sure to use them to your advantage to save you money at the pump.
Increase Your Car’s Fuel Economy
Another way to beat rising gas prices is by increasing the fuel economy of your car. There are a few things you can do to make sure your car is running as economically as possible. While these tricks won’t save you money at the pump, it will increase your car’s MPG effectively reducing your gas cost per mile.
Check Tire Pressure
Did you know that if your car’s tires are not inflated properly you could be losing precious miles per gallon? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every 1 psi missing from your car’s set of tires, you lose 0.1% of your gas mileage. In addition to this, if your tires aren’t inflated correctly you can decrease your tire’s life. Making sure you check your tire pressure regularly is a great way to increase your MPGs and beat rising gas prices.
Remove Excess Weight
If you are anything like me, you probably have a ton of random stuff in your car. All these items can really add up. For instance, I can probably take out 100lbs of random weight from my car. Some of these items include sports equipment like golf bags, random tools, and much more.
The EPA claims that for every 100 pounds that you take out of the vehicle, the fuel economy is increased by 1-2 percent.
By reducing the weight of your car (and the stuff inside) you can increase your fuel economy and this will help you beat rising gas prices.
Get a Tune Up
Did you know that regular oil changes improve your car’s gas mileage? According to Top Driver, fresh oil lubricates your engine internals better than dirty oil and increases your engine’s performance. This can help it run more efficiently and will use less gas.
This being said, be sure to change your oil at regular internals. Newer car’s don’t need oil changes are much, while older cars definitely need more attention. A good rule of thumb is to get your engine oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
Your car operates the most efficiently at around 55-65mph. If you can average this speed on trips then you will realize the best mpg and this will help you beat rising gas prices. One way to do this is to avoid driving at times when there is a lot of traffic on the road and a ton of congestion.
Try to do your errands at times where there is not a lot of traffic. This can be earlier in the morning, or later at night.
Use Cruise Control
Another way that you can beat rising gas prices by increasing the MPGs of your car is by using cruise control. Fluctuating between speeds on the highway can decrease your car’s fuel economy. By setting the cruise control to a constant speed, you can increase the MPGs of your car.
Next time you go for a long highway drive, be sure to set the cruise control. Some cars even have adaptive cruise control which is a really cool feature.
Another way that you can beat rising gas prices is by driving less. This one is kind of obvious, but there are some great ways you can do this.
First, try to run all your errands on one trip. Stop going out for one thing at a time. Instead, plan your trips to town accordingly. You also may want to see if you can do any online shopping that has free shipping. For instance, if you already have a prime membership with Amazon, see if they can deliver your items for free. Considering you are already paying for this prime perk, you will get your item shipped very fast for free, and don’t have to spend money driving your car.
Another way you can drive less is asking if you can work from home or work remotely. Many companies adopted a hyrbrid work schedule or a fully remote work environment over the pandemic. Companies are just starting to bring people back into the office, so it might be a good time to ask your boss or manager if you can stay remote a couple days a week.
The cost savings of not having to drive into the office every day of the week can really add up. The average commute one way in the US is right around 19 miles. Let’s round this up to 40 miles per day. The average MPG of a car on the road in 2022 was right around 25mpg. This means that you can save up to 40 miles per day not going into the office, which equates to around 1.5 gallons of gas per day you don’t commute to the office. If you work from home 3 days a week, this equals 4.5 gallons of gas. The current average price of a gallon of mid-octane gas is right around $4 as the time of writing. This means you can save on average of $20 per week just working from home. This really adds up.
Driving less by working from home or aggregating shopping trips is a great way to beat rising gas prices.
Upgrade Your Car
If you do a lot of driving and don’t have the most fuel efficient car, you may want to look for an upgrade. If you are looking for the best time to buy a car, now may not be it however. Due to supply constraints and manufacturing setbacks brought on by the pandemic, the supply of new and used cars are at an all time low. When demand is greater then supply, prices skyrocket. This is definitely a trend we have seen over the last year. Experts expect this trend to continue in the near term as well. So, if you do need a new car, try to wait as long as you can but you will have to balance out all of the expenses and figure out ways to reduce total ownership costs of a car.
That being said, upgrading your car to one that is more fuel efficient can be a great way to beat rising gas prices. Many auto manufacturers are switching to smaller displacement, forced induction cars. These offer smaller engines, with equivalent power and driving dynamics as larger, thirsty engines. An example is how car manufactures are downsizing from naturally aspirated V6 and V8 engines to smaller turbo charged and electrified four- and six-cylinder engines. The benefit of this is that fuel economy is increased.
You may want to stop relying on gas all together and look into purchasing a fully electric vehicle. Automakers offering electric cars include Tesla, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and many more. Not only will you not have to pay for gas, but you can take advantage of electric car tax credits!
Ways to Beat Rising Gas Prices – Summary
As you can see, there are a ton of ways that you can beat rising gas prices. Some of these tips are super easy! Make sure to take all the extra weight out of your car, have your tires inflated properly, and make sure your car is running at the peak of its performance. You can also beat rising gas prices on driving less by possibly working from home. Also, you can also look into upgrading your car to one that is more fuel efficient.
Rising gas prices are not fun. Especially considering we are just coming out of a two year pandemic where we have all been locked up and not able to travel. If you want to get out on the road to travel, or just need some tips to beat rising gas prices for your daily driving, I hope this article was helpful.