How to Save Money on Gas: 8 Easy Tricks and Habits to Adopt

Sick of feeling robbed every time you need to fill up your tank? Here are some easy ways to save some money on gas.


Tina Chang
Updated 11 April 2022
How to Save Money on Gas: 8 Easy Tricks and Habits to Adopt
Sections on this page
  1. How to Save Money on Gas: Our Top Tips:
  2. Sign Up for Fuel Rewards Programs
  3. Buy Quality Gas
  4. Don't Drive Aggressively
  5. Take Gas-Efficient Routes
  6. Pay with Cash
  7. Buy Gas on Mondays or Tuesdays
  8. Shift to Neutral When You're Stopped

Although gas prices have started to slowly decline after reaching record highs this year, it can still be pretty expensive to fill up your tank, especially if your car or truck is a gas guzzler. But, it's not just about the gas station you go to. We give you some easy ways to save money on gas, from signing up for discount plans to adjusting your driving habits, so you don't have to fill up as often.

How to Save Money on Gas: Our Top Tips:

  1. Sign up for rewards programs
  2. Buy quality gas
  3. Don't drive aggressively
  4. Drive gas-efficient routes
  5. Pay with cash
  6. Buy gas on Mondays or Tuesdays
  7. Shift to neutral when you're stopped
  8. Use less air conditioning

Don't Drive Too Far Searching for Cheap Gas

Although gas may be cheaper across town, it's not always worth driving a few miles further to save a few cents off per gallon. Depending on your gas mileage and vehicle, you may be using more gas by going to another location to cut your cost, making the trip not worth it.

Sign Up for Fuel Rewards Programs

Some gas stations give you points whenever you fuel up with them. It's mostly the large companies that have these free programs, including:

  • Shell: Shell has a Fuel Rewards program that gives members 5 cents off gas per gallon. You can earn more rewards and discounts by using your linked card at participating outlets.
  • Exxon: The Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program works on a point system. For every 100 points you earn (by spending money at the pump, in the store, or at the car wash), you'll get $1 at the pump. You can earn points at both Exxon and Mobil.
  • Circle K: The Circle K Easy Rewards program earns you 10 points for every gallon and 20 points per dollar you spend in the store. You'll get $2 off at the pump once you have 2,000 points saved.
  • Speedway: Similar to the Circle K rewards, you earn 20 points for every dollar you spend in-store and 10 points for every gallon of fuel you buy at Speedway stores. You can then use your points to get a discount on gas, purchase gift cards, or even redeem them for cash.

This is a great way to keep your gas price down.

Use Cashback Credit Cards

You can also buy gas using cashback credit cards to earn money back whenever you fill-up. For example, some cards offer 2% cashback, so if you spend $50 filling up your automobile, you could get $1 back.

Buy Quality Gas

Not all gasoline is created equal. According to various sources, some top-tier stations have higher quality gas that is good for your engine and gas mileage. These include:

  • Shell
  • Mobil
  • Chevron
  • Costco
  • Sinclair

TOP TIER is the company that assesses the quality of gas and requires minimum standards for it to be named "TOP TIER." Additionally, each brand's pumps within the country need to meet these minimums to be called TOP TIER. So, for example, if one Shell gas station doesn't meet the minimum requirements, then Shell gas as a whole couldn't be named TOP TIER.

What Does TOP TIER Gas Mean?

TOP TIER gas meets the fuel performance standard put in place by auto manufacturers. It indicates higher performance fuel with a higher detergency standard. This gas will help your vehicle engine last longer and help you get better fuel economy.

Don't Drive Aggressively

Another way to save money on gas is to drive with patience. Instead of accelerating quickly and driving aggressively, driving calmly and steadily will reduce the amount of gas you use. Accelerate gently, drive at a constant speed, and use cruise control (if possible) to get the most mileage out of a tank of gas.

Usually, when you drive at low speeds, you're using less gas than when you go fast.

Take Gas-Efficient Routes

Map apps these days are pretty advanced and will show you the most fuel-efficient route to get to your destination. These routes are usually calculated by choosing paths that:

  • Are relatively flat (have fewer hills)
  • Avoid as much traffic as possible
  • Have constant speeds

How to turn on fuel-efficient routes in Google Maps.
Google Maps can show you the most fuel-efficient route for your trip.

For example, Google Maps may tell you to take the freeway instead of local streets even though the highway requires an extra 2 miles of driving. This is because local roads may require more stopping and starting because of the traffic lights, which will use more gas.

Pay with Cash

You've likely noticed that some gas stations will offer a discount if you pay cash. They usually list cash-only prices at the top. This is common in mom-and-pop stations as paying in cash means the gas station doesn't need to pay the credit card surcharge.

Some gas stations also offer a discount on gas when you purchase a car wash from them also. Usually, you can use the car wash code whenever you like (it doesn't need to be within the same trip). If your car is looking a little dirty, this is a great way to keep the gas price down.

Buy Gas on Mondays or Tuesdays

According to a lead petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, gas prices are usually the cheapest on Mondays and Tuesdays. Prices will then rise throughout the week, reaching their peak on Fridays and Saturdays.

Best day of the week to buy gas.
(Source: GasBuddy.com)

However, this is just a general rule of thumb—other factors can influence how gas prices change at each gas station throughout the week.

Shift to Neutral When You're Stopped

If you're stuck in traffic or waiting in line at a drive-through, put your car into neutral to give your engine a break. Even when you're at a stop, your vehicle uses gas when you're in drive. Be careful when you do this, though.

You don't want to step on the gas when the automobile is still in neutral, and you don't want to put the car into neutral if you're on a hill. You want to avoid coasting while on neutral or changing gears while the vehicle is moving, or you risk damaging your car and using more gas in the process.

Use Less Air Conditioning

The AC also uses gasoline. It runs using the alternator, which is powered by the engine, which uses gas. However, this isn't to say that you should avoid using the AC altogether. For example, turning off the AC and winding the windows down on the highway may actually use more gasoline than just using the AC with the windows up.

To use less AC, you can:

  • Park in the shade when possible
  • Open windows to cool your automobile down (unless driving on the freeway)
  • Get your AC maintained and checked regularly
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