The price of gas can add up fast, and gas prices can become a huge part of your spending. Although gas prices will always go up and down, there are things you can control to lower your fuel expenses. Let’s look at some tips.
1. Sign up for fuel savings apps:
- Memberships usually only save 3-10c per litre of fuel and they can lower your gas bill each time you fill up your tank.
- Examples of apps or memberships: AMA members save 3c/litre at Shell stations. Esso, Centex, Petro-Canada, and Husky also offer fuel savings for members.
2. Spend less time in the car:
- Keep a list of errands to-do and groceries to buy, for example, so that you can drive less to complete your errands.
- If you only have a short trip to make, walking will allow you to travel without using any gas!
3. Reduce how much gas you use:
- You can also use less gas by changing how you drive. The following habits actually help, and you might be surprised by how much longer your fuel lasts!
Here are some examples of fuel-efficient driving:
- Accelerating gently.
- Keeping a steady speed: Changing speed or starting and stopping uses more gas than driving at the same speed. Roads with a constant speed limit, less intersections, and less traffic jams often use less gas.
- Slowing down and stopping gently.
- Looking ahead of you for signs that you’ll need to stop. For example, the pedestrian “walk” timer often tells how many seconds until a green light turns yellow. Then you know that the light will soon turn red.
- Leaving more distance when following behind another car. If a car in front of you stops suddenly, do you ever have to break quickly to avoid hitting the car? With more distance between your car and the car in front of you, you may be able to brake more gently.
- Less idling. Unless you have a very old vehicle, 15-30 seconds is often sufficient to warm up your car before driving. In the winter, plugging in your car can help warm it up.
- Carrying fewer heavy items in your vehicle. A vehicle uses more gas when it has more mass in it. Less heavy items like bike racks and old tires may help your car to use less gas.
- Regular car maintenance. Car maintenance costs more money, but fresh filters and inflated tires help you use less gas.
4. Use any technology that you can
- GasBuddy shows gas prices in your area, so you can find the lowest prices.
- Also, be sure to report gas prices if you can, so that other users can know about low prices in your area!
- Waze gives advice on the quickest route, with consideration of any construction or accidents on your route.
- Your Google Maps app may have an eco-friendly routes feature, which suggests routes that use less gas. Like Waze, Google Maps recommends routes based on traffic levels, construction, and any accidents on the roads.
Saving money on commuting can allow you to save for an emergency fund. Join the Momentum Savings Challenge to boost your savings, with cash incentives for participating! Learn more here.
Contributed by Ruth-Anne Klassen