With gas prices in the United States soaring, the time has never been better to use all resources available to save some money. Check out the following websites for tips and other information you can use to save on money on fuel as prices seem to be going up and up!
GasBuddy has been around a long time now, and it one of the best ways to find out what stations in your area are charging. Stations are updated by volunteers on a daily basis – I am constantly surprised with how often the station prices are updated.
Enter your zip code and they will display the closest stations and their latest prices. You can view these stations on a map or filter by grade of gas (on a side note, usually you can use Regular grade unless your owner’s manual specifically notes to use another grade!).
Another neat feature is their national gas price temperature map, by county.
GasBuddy depends on volunteers entering gas prices, so if you notice that the stations that are located on your commute, make sure to enter them! It is actually kind of fun to do this and to track which stations are higher than the rest on a constant basis. I make sort of a ‘game’ out of it and it actually helps with my memory skills.
FuelMeUp is an alternative to GasBuddy. They provide a similar service, so if you don’t find any stations in GasBuddy, you can try here. They also provide a list of gas stations and prices when you give them your location city and state, or zip code.
I prefer GasBuddy over FuelMeUp because the site seems to have a more active community and also FuelMeUp seems to be pushing other services on you, more than normal. In fact, they have a “Live People” girl talking on the bottom of the page trying to sell you things. Argh.
When I first got married, my wife used to make me write down, at every fuel stop, the location, price, number of gallons, and mileage of the car. She made me do this because her dad always did it, and he did it because from this information you can track what your car’s fuel economy is. Poor fuel economy can be an early indication of a problem in your car’s propulsion system – from a dirty air filter to more serious problems.
FuelFrog simplifies this process. After you get gas, you can keep your receipt and enter this information into the website once you get home. After you enter your information, it lets you know how your gas mileage is.
After you’ve entered at least twice, you’ll get a graph which shows your fuel economy over time:
If you have yet to buy a car and are looking for a newer model year (2000 and up) then the EPA publishes their fuel economy guide for many cars.
Although their website isn’t trendy or easy to use, it does contain a volume of information that is hard to find in one place elsewhere. In addition to fuel economy, it also lists Air Pollution Score and Greenhouse Gas Score.
For more information on a car, including the EPA estimate, Edmunds.com is a great resource.
Carpooling will roughly halve your commute fuel and maintenance costs. What you lose in the convenience of driving your own car, you’ll gain in savings, helping the environment, and who knows, maybe you’ll gain a friend.
There are several ways to go about this. On a national level, these two sites list people looking to carpool.
In addition to these sites, there are a number of local sites depending on where you live. Some states and metropolitan areas have their own websites dedicated to finding a carpool or rideshare. Contact your local authorities to ask about a location to do this.
Improving Your Fuel Economy
Finally there are a number of things you can do with your own car to try to improve your fuel economy. WikiHow has a lot of tips on this. Some of the best ones are:
- Drive conservatively. This means, accelerate and brake slower than you normally would.
- Try to stay in the ‘slow’ lane on the highway.
- Keep your tires inflated to recommended pressure. Allowing them to get too deflated will decrease your mileage.
- Instead of using air conditioning, roll down your windows. Air conditioning can put a lot of stress on the engine.
Using the above websites and tips can really save you a lot of gas (and therefore, a lot of money!) over time. It is pretty hard to follow some of these steps, so I have an article about a Hypermiler to inspire you. This guy can get 59MPG out of a Honda Accord by using some pretty dangerous tactics. It’s all within reach!