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aug 15 2012

Best Tips for Saving Money on Gas

Don't let gas prices keep you from hitting the road (Courtesy usadifranci/Flickr)

Packing the car for a road trip might seem like a silly idea, especially with gas prices averaging $3.69 per gallon (up 14 cents in the last two weeks). The good news is, there are easy ways to save big. The key is to approach it from two angles: how you drive, and how you pump.

Did you know that for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, you're paying an extra 26 cents per gallon for gas? If you have a 17–gallon tank, that's almost $4.50 a fill–up. Also, be efficient about your pit–stops. It might be tempting to pull over at every quirky roadside attraction, but several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

Those tips may lower the amount of actual fuel you need, but there are also ways to save on gas outright. GasBuddy's Heat Map will help you choose destinations with cheaper gas, while apps like iGasUp point you to stations with the lowest prices in real–time. Clubs like Costco and Sam's Club offer members gas for about 10 cents less on average, though the $50–$100 annual fee has to be considered. Most major grocery store chains have free programs that allow you to earn points towards gas just by picking up milk and other necessities.

If these tips inspire you to hit the road, but you need some inspiration, check out our new Ultimate Road Trips app.

MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL:

One-Tank Escapes from 8 Cities

8 Ways to Save Big on Summer Travel

5 Classic American Drives

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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