24/7 MOMS

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Save Money at the Pump this Summer

Amy Hannold, 247Moms Frugal Living Editor

Whether you’re driving your routes through town or planning a vacation via car, there are tools and promotions which can save you money.

Fuel n’ Stay Packages: When planning a vacation, look for gas card promotions from hotels, online vacation planning sites and other travel related companies.  Be sure to thoroughly read the fine print and “do the math” to be sure that the promotion and its requirements will actually save you money.  Keep all paperwork and make copies if mailing a rebate form is necessary.

Grocery Stores and Product Manufacturers:  Check the grocery customer service desks, store aisles and online for possible gas card deals.  It may pay to buy a different brand or from an alternate store if you can score some gas discounts.  Calculate the savings offer against the worth of the change in your routine.   When possible, use coupons to sweeten the fuel deal.

Credit Card Rebates:  Several credit cards offer you a rebate percentage from gas purchases or the opportunity to redeem points for gas cards.  Compare the cards’ interest rates and other guidelines.   Be sure that you’re only accruing discounts, not debt.  Two websites to visit:  Cardhub.com, Bankrate.com and LowCards.com. 

Gas Comparison Websites:  Want to find the best price for gas in your town or your destination?  Go to:  Automotive.com, FuelMeUp.com, GasBuddy.com, GasPriceWatch.com, and MotorTrend.com.

Gas at Your Local Farm Co-Op:  Local and regional gas distributers may offer fuel for less when you are a card-carrying member of their farm supply co-op.  Here in our town, we can get the tank filled for a nickel less than the competitor.  They even have gas attendants who pump the gas and wash the windows!

Car Rental Considerations:  When your trip includes a car rental or you’re considering a vehicle change for the family, get some advice on which car will get you the best for your gas dollar.  Visit fueleconomy.gov/feg/topten.jsp. 

There’s an “App” for That:  Smartphones can help you compare fuel prices on the road.  Here are a few to consider:  GasBuddy, Poynt, GasBook (for iPhone), and AAA’s TripTik. 

Want to Get More MPG?  Your iPhone, iTouch or iPad can show you the way to smoother driving and other changes which will increase your fuel mileage.  Follow it’s “bells and whistles” and you’ll be on your way! 

Amy is the Coordinator for the North Whidbey Coupon Club and the Whidbey Island project “Coupons for Our Community”, both which help families eat better, for less.  You can connect to her good deal alerts by joining “Whidbey Coupon Club” on Facebook.  She also is a featured speaker and “Money Saving Mentor” to families, encouraging everyone to “Live a Fuller Life, at Half the Price!”



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