Save Money on Gas with Rewards Cards, Gas Rebates, Working from Home, & More!

August 4, 2008

Saving money on gas can be as simple as using gas rewards credit cards and as complicated as moving to a new town.  The price of gas was heavy on my mind yesterday as I filled up the tank after a weekend trip.  I started thinking about the wide range of money saving techniques people use to save on gas, here are some tips I’ve seen in action.

Gas Rebates
Saving on gas with gas rebates is something I’ve talked about before but I have to keep mentioning it. As the price of gas goes up, so do the gas rebates that they’re offering.  Our grocery store was running a special today, take your grocery receipt to the store owned gas station and save 25 cents off each gallon of gas.

These are unadvertised specials but they always seem to happen on Sundays. The gas clerk confirmed this pattern and said this was one of the best deals they’ve ever offered on gas.  So keep an eye on your local grocery chain if any of them have attached gas stations, especially on the weekends.

There was one guy at the gas station who had 6 gas cans in the back of his truck that he filled up before topping off his tank.  At 25 cents discount per gallon he saved a good chunk of change by “pre-buying” his gas.  I struck up a conversation with him in line that leads to the next way to save money on gas.

Gas Credit Cards
The guy with 6 gas cans was actually going to use two different credit cards to pay for the gas he had purchased.  The last time he had tried this approach he’d bought so much gas that he triggered the maximum gas purchase on his credit card.  He came prepared this time with both a Chase Freedom card and an American Express Blue Cash card.

Hey if you’re going to buy that much gas, why not earn some cash back on it? Those are both cards I mentioned in my review of the best gas credit cards to save you money at the pump.  The complexity level of this one is pretty low, simply pay with the gas rewards card and earn cash back.

Fuel Efficient Transportation
While the first two tips were about saving money on the gas you purchase, the next few cover reducing the amount of gas you use.  Several people at my office have started riding the bus to work and that’s cut way back on the gas they use each week.

Another of my co-workers bought a Toyota Prius Hybrid several years back when they first came out.  Most people couldn’t believe he waited 6 months and then paid a premium price for the hybrid car at the time but now they eye the gas mileage enviously.  In fact, his talk of savings talked another guy on his team into buying a Prius Hybrid. Plus the new Prius owner is saving even more money because he started carpooling in addition to having a fuel efficient car.

Working from Home
The next tip is more complex and could involve changing jobs. While it’s not a four day work week a former co-worker of mine took another job that lets him work from home on Wednesdays.  It wasn’t the sole deciding factor in his move but it certainly played a role.  In an even bigger step, one of his buddies is actually switching jobs so that he can tele-commute full time. 

The amount of money they’re saving by cutting out one or all of the commute days each week is substantial. Of course your company may not have these policies in place so you might have to work with your boss to save money on gas.

Moving Closer
The most involved tip I’ve seen in action so far is the strategy of moving closer to your regular driving destination.  My parent’s neighbors were both commuting between two different cities every day.  When gas prices were low it wasn’t a problem but their fuel bill was getting so high they decided to pack up and move. 

One of the people on my team at work drives over a hundred miles round trip to work and back each day.  He spends over $600 a month in gas, which is one of the reasons he’s considering moving out of the boonies and closer into town.

Gas Saving Summary
As I mentioned, each of these approaches requires different levels of changes in your life.  Using gas credit cards  and getting gas rebates is pretty easy while moving everything you own is a much bigger deal.  The nice thing is, it’s a free country so the choice of whether we want to follow some of the gas saving techniques or none of them is up to us.  I’d recommend at least starting small & easy and working your way up to bigger gas saving changes.

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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Comments

3 Responses to Save Money on Gas with Rewards Cards, Gas Rebates, Working from Home, & More!

  • Raymond Caxton

    I have been reading your saving money on gas tips and I sure will be implementing them. Thanks for sharing.

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