Want To Take That Road Trip Now? Here’s How You Can Save At The Pump

gas prices, money, road trips, car, money

We may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post.

When I think of summer, I think of vacation and road trips.  I also think of gas prices and how they skyrocket this time of year.

Check out my ways to get the biggest savings at the pump.

Gas station reward cards

There are so many gas stations now that offer rewards cards and fuel savings by just filling up your tank.  This is where it pays to be loyal to your gas station.

If you’re using multiple gas stations to fill up, then you may want to sign up for each of their reward programs or to simplify it, maybe you sign up for the two gas stations you visit most often.

At Shell stations, you can save 5% off with each fill by maintaining GOLD status on their reward card.  When you sign up for it, you instantly receive GOLD status.

To keep the GOLD status, you need to fill up six times within a three month qualification period (so two times a month).  To maximize your savings, you can stack rewards with dining and shopping.

Your local store’s fuel savings program (if it’s offered)

We have a local grocery store nearby us and a Costco bulk store within 20 minutes.  We consistently save purchasing fuel from Costco.  We’re already a member and there is no additional purchase required to cash in on the great prices at the pump.

You can earn cash cards at Costco on certain purchases within the store.  Those cash cards are redeemable on Costco fuel.

Our local grocery store offers fuel saving discounts when you purchase individual products throughout the store.  I’ve seen anywhere from a penny off a gallon all the way to 50 cents off a gallon depending on the item.

Credit cards

Now, I would not recommend a credit card if you aren’t certain you can pay them off every month.  Credit cards offer amazing benefits and those benefits can be free if you don’t rollover the balance month after month.

The Costco Anywhere credit card offers 4% on gas up to $7,000 annually at eligible gas stations.  My husband and I roughly spend $50 each biweekly on fuel.  That’s $200 a month and $2,400 a year.  The Costco credit card would save us $96 for the year.  There is no additional fee for the credit card if you are already a Costco member.

Bank of America’s Cash Rewards card offers 3% on fuel savings up to $2,500 annually.  There is also no annual fee with this credit card.

Use a gas savings app on your mobile device

Gas Buddy and Gas Guru are two mobile applications that will help you save right now.  I tried out both of them to see what I liked about each of them.

Gas Buddy can track motion detection under the Trips section of the app.  It shows you if you’re breaking too hard or accelerating to fast, or speeding.  You can use Price Prediction which tells you if you should stop for fuel today or wait it out.

You have the ability to report back to the app any price changes you see and you can see when the price was last updated.

Gas Buddy has a Pay with Gas Buddy savings program that earns you even more savings off fuel!  It’s FREE to sign up.  You link your checking account to your Gas Buddy account or mobile app.  Use the card that is linked to your checking account at the pump.

You can save 10 cents/gallon on your first fill up and 5 cents/gallon after that.  You can save even more by using their Shop Your Way program which gives you points toward purchases you make.

I think Gas Guru reads easier and I like that they color code and write out the best prices, even placing a star by the very best price.  You can narrow station search by adding a filter like “Cash Discount” or “Open 24 hours”.

Take a look at this map courtesy of GasBuddy.com to see how much you could be paying in each state you visit.

Keep a steady hand and foot

In other words, don’t speed and keep the wheel straight. You may have heard that driving right under the speed limit helps with gas consumption.  Keeping a steady hand on the wheel also helps.  I remember when I first started driving, I would drive down a straight road moving the wheel side to side with my hands gripped to the wheel at 10 and 2.  It made for a rough ride and this can also be rough on the wallet. Try using your cruise control for those long rides.

Gift cards

Purchase a discounted gift card.  I found a few websites offering discounts on gas gift cards. Check out Raise, CardCash, or GiftCardGranny. BP, Shell, Speedway, Conoco, are a some of the gas stations listed on these websites.

Get that junk out of the trunk

Maybe it’s not all junk.  I am always leaving a stroller in each of our cars because we don’t want to forget it when we do need it which is maybe a few times a month.  It’s simple.  When you’re not using it, take it out.  That goes for bike racks, sandbags, and car top carriers.

Get regular tune ups

Check your tire pressure regularly.  Also, get the recommended oil changes and tire rotations for your vehicle on a timely basis.

Be weary of gas stations situated off the highway

While they are more convenient, they may cost more to fill up.  That’s where your gas app will come in handy so you aren’t driving too far out of your way to find a better price.  Planning out your trip ahead of time and looking at the map above will clue you into prices by state.

Just another manic Monday

At the gas stations anyway.  Gas Buddy reported Monday as the least expensive day to fill up based on a study in 21 states.  The worst day is….Friday, at least in 19 states.

Is it best to fill up early in the day?

Some think it may be best because gas expands in the heat of the day.  That part is true.  Since gas is stored in underground tanks though, the temperature varies little in a 24 hour timeframe.  Gas prices do change between 10 am and 2 pm so it may be best to go early if prices are increasing later that day.

Now, don’t you feel better about taking that road trip?  Where are you headed to? How do you save on gas?  I want to know.  Please continue to follow me here for more weekly tips on saving in a pinch.