3 Tips on How to Save Money on Gas
A Prescription for Pain at the Pump
This article is only going to focus on how to save on gas at the pump. There are many articles already published on how to save gas while driving. For instance, keep a proper tire pressure for less fuel consumption. Also, keep your engine tuned to burn fuel more efficiently. And there are many, many other ways to improve your mpg (miles per gallon), so take note of those ideas that may be beneficial to your mpg, and apply them.
This article, “How to Save on Gas at the Pump,” presents three money saving tips to help you cut your transportation costs. Let’s talk about actually saving money and not running up a huge credit card bill. How? Buy your gasoline where you will pay less per gallon. Where?Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gas-pump-Indiana-USA.jpg
Join a wholesale club, like Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Club, since their gasoline is typically lower in cost than regular gas stations. Find one near where you live or work so you will not have to go out of your way to fill-up.
You want to know - how can I save on gas, if I must pay a fee to join a warehouse store. So, let’s talk numbers. For comparison purposes, when we talk about filling up a gas tank, let’s use 15 gallons. (Smaller cars generally have smaller gas tanks, while larger vehicles usually have larger gas tanks.)
Costco and Sam’s Clubs are located all over the U. S., so when traveling, you can still take advantage of their lower prices. BJ’s are not located everywhere, only on the Eastern Coast of the United States.
With a Costco Wholesale Club membership, you cannot only purchase goods in the store, but you can also purchase gasoline from their stations. Dues at Costco are $55.00 per year. Along with this membership, you can get an American Express Card free. Their price per gallon of gas (regular), recently, was $3.68. One nearby station’s price was $3.83, while the station nearest my home was $4.09. Subtracting $3.68 from $3.83 makes a difference of $0.15. Suppose you fill-up once a week: buying 15 gallons, at a savings of $0.15 a gallon, will equal to $2.25 savings per week. Divide the $2.25 into $55.00, and you get 24.4. So, in 24.4 weeks, your joining fees are completely paid. The rest of the year, you will enjoy keeping that $2.25 for other needs, or place it in a saving account.
Hey, but that’s not all. Remember that free American Express Card? Charge your petrol on this card, and receive 3% back on up to $3,000 in gasoline purchases annually. Use this card anywhere American Express is accepted, and get 2% back on restaurants, 2% back on travel, and 1% back on Costco purchases as well as other purchases. Always read the terms and conditions to make sure this credit card will work for you. Personally, I look forward to my reward check each February.
There is an annual fee of $40.00 to join a Sam’s Club. Their gas price per gallon on the same day was the same as Costco, $3.68. So, buying 15 gallons would again work out to a $0.15 savings per gallon, or $2.25 per weekly fill-up. Divide the $2.25 into the $40.00 you paid to join Sam’s Club, and in 17.8 weeks, your annual fee will have been paid with your savings on gasoline. Use your card to shop in the store, and increase your savings.
Sam’s Club accepts Discover Card and some other cards at their gas pumps. If you have a Discover Card, you can take advantage of their rewards when they offer their 5% reward on gasoline purchases. They sometimes offer this reward twice a year, but there is a cap. So, again, check out their terms and conditions, so you will know how it will benefit you.
Sam’s Club also has a Discover Card they offer, which rewards you with a 1% return on purchases.
You can join a BJ’s Club for $50.00. Using your member card, you can purchase merchandise in the store, and use it at their gasoline pumps. Mostly, when I visit my BJ’s, I find that their gas price runs a couple cents higher than Costco and Sam’s Club. On this date, their gas was $3.70. Using the $3.83 price per gallon of gas, as stated above, the savings per gallon would be $0.13. Multiply $0.13 times 15 gallons, and that equals a savings on a fill-up of $1.95 per week. Divide the $1.95 into the $50.00 annual fee, and in 25.6 weeks, your yearly fee is paid. The rest of the year, you can save this money, while enjoying the benefits of shopping in BJ’s and saving even more money.
BJ’s also has a credit card, VISA. Use their card, and you will get 2% back on purchases made there, including gas, and1% on purchases made outside of BJ’s. They will issue a check to you when you have accumulated $30.00; you can use this check on other purchases at BJ’s.
Grocery Store Fuel Programs
We have two large chain grocery stores in my area that offer fuel programs. These programs are easy to use, and they can help you to save on gas. Typically, these programs reward you with $0.10 off on a gallon of gas after you have spent $100.00 in their store. Or, $0.20 off on gas after spending $200.00 in their store, and the amounts go up accordingly. These discounts are usually only applicable to purchasing up to 20 gallons of fuel. Also, some items you purchase in the store are not eligible for earning points, and these points must be used by a certain time.
Check with your local chain grocery store to see if they have a fuel program - maybe it will save you some money at the pump.
Negotiate With a Cash PriceCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Twenty_dollar_bills.JPG
Not everyone lives near a large warehouse store or has a chain grocery store nearby. My how to save on gas suggestion for you, is to try to negotiate with your local gas station, to sell you gasoline with a small discount, if you pay in cash. Why would they do that, you ask. Well, if you drive up to purchase gas, and pay for it using a credit card, then they will have to pay the credit card company a fee for the transaction. So, suggest to your local friendly gas station owner that you will pay him in cash, and then the two of you split the fee he would normally pay to the credit card company. Pay him in cash, and you will both be winners.
Keep track of how much gasoline you buy over a two-week period. Make note of gasoline prices at Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, your local gas station, and check out chain grocery store fuel programs. Take all these numbers, and figure out if and how one of these ideas will help you. I hope these tips on how to save on gas at the pump will help you to save money, and relieve your pain at the pump.