In 2022, gas prices have skyrocketed astronomically across the country. At the time of writing, gas prices are up to $6.29 on average in California and many other states. There has never been a better time to learn how to save on gas and transportation costs. If your transportation costs have been taking a major toll on your budget, keep reading to learn how to beat inflation at the pump.

Map Out The Best Routes 

Even if it’s somewhere you go every day, like work or school, mapping out the best route for your drive can help you save both gas and time. The usual route you take to get somewhere may not actually be the best route, and many different apps can give you the exact mileage and traffic you will face during your drive. Of course, driving shorter distances in less traffic will save you on gas, but it will also help you save time during your daily commute. 

Remove Extra Weight From Your Car

If you regularly carry lots of stuff in your car, remove anything that doesn’t actually need to be in there. When your vehicle is heavier, it quickly becomes less fuel-efficient. When you remove unnecessary objects and weight from your car, you actually save on gas and allow your car’s engine to get more miles per gallon. Similarly, you should also avoid hauling oversized items on the roof to make your car more aerodynamic.

Don’t Warm Up Your Car

This is a tough one, but whether the weather is super cold or scorching, don’t warm up or cool down your car before you get in it to save on gas. While getting into a vehicle that’s already temperature-controlled during extreme weather days is incredibly lovely, it will cost you at the pump. In addition, running your air conditioning or heating unnecessarily will cause excess fuel to burn in your car, forcing you to fill it up sooner. 

Find a Good Gas Credit Card

Pretty much everyone uses a credit card at the gas pump in 2022. However, many fewer people use a credit card that actually gives them gas rewards. There are many different types of cards that give you cash back at the pump, gas points to redeem for rewards or even discounts at specific gas stations. Do some research with the bank you use to determine if there’s a gas credit card that’s right for you. 

Use a Gas-Saving App or Membership

If you aren’t ready for the commitment that comes alongside a credit card, you might want to look into a gas-saving app or membership. Certain grocery store chains even have partnerships with gas stations to provide additional savings at the pump. If you don’t have a loyalty program at your local grocery store, you can also download an app connected to your favorite or most frequented gas station to earn points and money off your gallon price.

Be Loyal to One Brand

Similar to the last tip, being loyal to one particular brand of gas or gas station can be valuable in terms of rewards and discounts on your gas purchases. For example, if you have a 7/11 or Shell close to your house, you should enroll in their rewards program to rack up the most points. But of course, you need to remember to fill up at that station. It does no good if you are enrolled in a rewards program but never go to that station.

Use Rideshare Services 

Rideshare services are only becoming more common, and apps like Uber and Lyft take many precautions to ensure their riders stay safe. Depending on your commute, driving time, and gas costs in your area, rideshare can actually be less expensive than taking your own car and filling up on gas. This is particularly true when using shared-ride experiences like Uber Pool or others; your ride may only be a few dollars to get you where you need to go. 

Use Public Transportation

Using public transportation can also be way less expensive than taking your own car when gas prices are incredibly high. In many cities, public transit is highly advanced and can get you virtually anywhere you need to go alongside a quick walk. While public transportation might typically cost a few dollars for every one-way trip, many cities have packages or cards you can buy for a discounted price. This will allow you to use the transportation of your choice more (or even unlimited times), saving you a ton on gas and transportation costs. 

Use Navigation Apps to Check Gas Prices

Apps like Waze will allow you to check the prices of various gas stations to compare costs. The app searches specifically for gas stations in the area or further down your route before giving you the most recently reported price for each one. So rather than guessing if gas will be cheaper elsewhere, apps like Waze allow you to check long before you actually get there. 

Keep Windows Up on Highway

Similar to the tip about keeping heavy items off your car’s roof or out of the backseat, keeping your windows up on the highway saves you significantly on gas costs. When you drive with your windows down at high speeds, the air that gets in the windows makes your car less aerodynamic, slowing it down. This causes your vehicle to work harder, burn more fuel, and make you fill up your tank sooner than you would’ve had to otherwise. 

Use Cruise Control

Knowing when to use cruise control is critical to saving money on gas and improving fuel economy. Cruise control helps keep your car steady, allowing you to accelerate less and burn fuel more efficiently. When on the highway or long stretches of road, pay attention to when you should turn cruise control on and off to maximize fuel economy. 

Pick Up A Side Hustle 

Getting a “side hustle” is simply taking on an additional job— either an active or passive income stream— to bring in some extra cash. The extra income can contribute significantly to your monthly gas and transportation costs, even if the actual income stream is small. Some examples of profitable side hustles include flipping and selling items, delivering food or groceries, freelancing, dropshipping, and more. 

Branded Surveys Can Help Add an Extra Gallon or Two

Paid online surveys are an excellent opportunity to add a few extra gallons of gas to your tank every month. Of course, we’re a little partial, but we think Branded Surveys is pretty cool. With Branded, you can take paid surveys to make money and earn between $.50 and $2 each. 

Branded Surveys connects users with researchers, brands, and entities that need consumer data. All you do is offer your honest opinion. Taking paid online surveys is free, easy, and fun; you can do it anywhere. And you can easily earn enough to contribute a little extra money each month to your gas and transportation bill.