12 things you can do right now to save money on gasoline

Check your gas cap, tires and trunk. Plus, how you can earn free gas cards

As gas prices keep going up, we are all looking for ways to save money at the pump. You may be wasting the gas in your car without even knowing it. We found checking a few little things could add up to help save you money.

As gas prices keep going up, we are all looking for ways to save money at the pump. You may be wasting the gas in your car without even knowing it. We found checking a few little things could add up to help save you money.

1. Use gas price tracking apps

You can use apps like GasBuddy or Gas Guru to find the lowest gas prices near you. The Waze app also added a gas tracking feature.

Jack Gillis is the executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. Hands-down he says the best way to save money on gas right now is to shop around.

“It does pay to shop around. Even in your own neighborhood you can find 10-, 15-, 20-cent difference in a gallon of gas,” said Gillis.

But the next advice Gillis shares is to start with your own vehicle to save.

2. Check the gas cap and tires

“Fifteen to 20 percent of us have a loose gas cap and that can cause evaporation. You lose a tremendous amount of gas just through evaporation,” said Gillis. “If your tires are under inflated, you can dramatically increase your fuel efficiency by just keeping it at the proper inflation.”

Checking the tire pressure on your vehicle may help you get better gas mileage.

3. Lighten your load

You may not think about it, but carrying around stuff in your vehicle that you are not using, like sports chairs or cases of water really adds up. Gillis recommends emptying out your trunk of items you’re not using. He says for every 100 pounds you remove from your vehicle, you can save three to four cents per gallon in fuel efficiency.

4. Drive slower

To stretch your gas dollar the most, Gillis advises to change the way you drive.

“You can save up to 30 cents a gallon if you just slow down,” said Gillis. “For every five miles an hour you slow down, you can dramatically increase your fuel efficiency. So instead of driving 70 to 75, try 60 to 65 and you’ll see the savings immediately at the pump.”

5. Earn free gas

It may take some time, but you can earn free gas gift cards by taking surveys. Apps like Swagbucks, Survey Spotter and Survey Junkie offer rewards for each survey you take. This can be time-consuming, but in the end, you are offered your choice of payment options.

6. Fill up at grocery stores or wholesale clubs

Grocery stores like Kroger and H‑E‑B and wholesale club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club offer discounted gas. For the wholesale stores, you’ll need to buy a membership and for the stores you’ll need to enroll in the discount program. Using Walmart+ or the Walmart app will save you five cents a gallon at Sam’s Club.

Buying gas from membership clubs may save you money in the long run. (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

Oil experts say Costco can sell gas for a lower price, in part, because the company buys its gas directly from a gas terminal. This means it doesn’t have to pay for gas delivery by a third party and the savings are passed along to the consumer.

7. Join gas station reward programs

Most gas stations have reward programs that you can join for free. Members can save money on each gallon of gas. For example: Shell fuel rewards, Exxon Mobil, Sunoco

8. Cash back credit cards

Certain credit cards may have deals on gas purchases. For example, you can get three percent cash back at Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. You can compare credit cards at Bankrate. Keep in mind, credit cards may not be a great deal if you don’t pay off the balance each month.

9. Pay cash

You could skip the credit cards and consider paying the old-fashioned way: cash. Depending where you are shopping, you might be able to save five to 10 cents a gallon when you pay cash. Some stores may also give this discount if you use your debit card, but you’ll have to check around.

10. Consider changing the gas you use

The less expensive regular gas, mid-grade, or premium. Which one should you choose and what’s the difference? Is pumping premium truly benefiting your car? After talking with automotive experts and AAA Texas, Traffic expert Anavid Reyes found spending extra money at the pump may not help you out on the road. Check out her full report on gas types - right here.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

11. Fill up early in the week

Some experts say you might be able to save money if you time your fill-ups for the right time. GasBuddy says the cheapest day to gas up is on Monday and Sunday. The most expensive days are Thursday and Friday.

12. Open the window at the right times

It might sound silly, but the AARP says you might be able to save money by paying attention to your car windows.

Here’s what they recommend: Keep your windows closed when driving over 55 miles per hour on the highway. Open windows can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. In stop-and-go traffic, save gas by opening the windows and turning off the air conditioning. Let us know if you try this one.

RELATED: This is how KPRC 2 viewers say gas prices are affecting their lives

About the Authors:

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.