Honestly, no matter how good or bad you are doing with your money, this unprecedented inflation in the US has impacted everyone. We all need some great tips on how to survive inflation!
The best we can do is get creative. When life throws crazy things at you, get creative about handling them, then you will weather the crazy situation better than those around you.
This post is going to be jam-packed and full of tips for inflation.
First, are some tips to save on gas since the prices keep rising and are higher than many of us have ever seen.
I was reminiscing with my kids after filling up, which I remember when I was in college, and would fill up before heading back to the dorms from a trip home. I knew the exact station to stop at because it was under a dollar. $0.99 a gallon! Is anyone else old enough to remember paying less than a dollar at the pump?
Reduce the Cost of Gas
- Use an app like Gas Buddy or Upside that helps you find the lowest-cost gas stations in your area or gives you cash back. Plan your trips to stop at one of the lower-cost stations regularly. I wouldn’t advise going significantly out of your way to stop at one of these, but if you plan and add it to your drive plan, it could help quite a bit.
Gas Buddy tells you where to find the cheapest cost gas around you. It can help significantly when you are on vacation or in an area you are not familiar with because simply opening the app can save you 10 cents a gallon or more if you just knew about the station around the corner.
Upside is an app that is newer to me. It is a cash-back app, which I love, and I use several others for shopping online. This one, however, offers cash back on gas purchases! It is the first one I have seen doing this. It shows you gas stations offering money back nearby. You can open it wherever you are. In my area, it seems only to have Circle K gas, so there may not be many options, but if it gives you cash back on the purchase, it is still worth checking out.
So, here’s what I am thinking: this app could help you get significant discounts on gas, especially if you are strategic about it. Circle K around me allows you to use Fry’s gas discounts (Kroger’s in other parts of the country). Then, you pay with your credit card with the best gas rewards, and you can triple dip this discount. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I will see how much I can save over the next month or two with this system. If anyone else tries, too, let me know how it goes. Click here to download the app, and you will get at least 25 cents back on every gallon of your first fill-up! I got 28 cents a gallon back for my first fill-up! If you start using it, you can invite friends and get more back for every friend who signs up.
- Join a fuel rewards program. If your local gas station has a rewards program. Join it, then learn the details of getting the best rewards. Be it a 5-cent reduction of price or points earned to give you free gas, or earning towards a reduced gas fill-up, know how to reach the most rewards so you can maximize them.
- Use a cash-back credit card to your advantage. If you have a credit card with cash-back that is higher for gas, I have seen some going up to 6% cash back lately, then use those as a gas card. Pay it off before you get any interest charged. Otherwise, it won’t save you any money. If you don’t have one and your credit is in a place where you can get a new card, shop for one with cash back on gas and groceries of 3-5%.
- Use Cash instead of credit. These days, many gas stations offset their credit card payment costs by lowering the cost for patrons who pay with cash. If your local stations are doing this, always plan to have some money on hand when filling up. Withdraw cash from a no-cost ATM each week and use it to fill up, keeping your cost of gas lower than those paying credit at the same pump.
Increase your Gas Mileage
Increasing your car’s mileage per gallon can also reduce your monthly gas cost and help you survive inflation.
- Reduce your idle time. Do you sit in the parking lot with your AC while making phone calls or checking your texts? Do you wait to pick up kids with the AC running? Try to find alternate options, like waiting inside the nearby buildings instead of running your car. This choice will reduce your monthly gas bill.
- Share rides when you can. Check with coworkers, even if you find a park and ride part-way to work. Explore public transportation options in your area. Check neighborhood families to see what activities they are taking their kids to this summer and carpool to the library, pool, or other places. It could be an excellent opportunity to build friendships too.
- Plan your routes for the week. Pick up dog food when you drop off a kid, and get gas at the cheapest location when you pass it for another errand. Get quick pickups on the way home from work instead of an extra trip on Saturday. Cut the mileage by planning.
- Check Your Tire Pressure. Underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage and cause you to lose about 3 cents per gallon, according to the US Department of Energy.
- Remove racks and lighten your car in other ways. If you aren’t using a rack regularly, remove it. The extra weight and wind resistance can reduce your car’s gas mileage. Don’t carry around things you don’t need. If the bats from baseball are still in your trunk, but you aren’t doing baseball anymore, remove them. Take out anything else that adds weight.
Even practicing some simple tips can help reduce your overall gas cost this month. Give them a try, and let me know your results.
Do travel prices make you wonder if you should go anywhere right now?
Use some of these tips to help with the cost of vacationing this year
- Rack up the travel points on your reward credit cards with the extra cost of gas and food.
- Explore somewhere closer to home to reduce miles driven and avoid airfare and rental cars. Choose a direction to go that also offers the lowest gas in the area.
- Choose to visit friends and family to reduce the cost of hotel stays. Offer a trade of home or visit them and then offer for them to stay with you later in the summer or year.
- Stay in a place with a kitchen or kitchenette and free breakfast. Reduce the high cost of eating out, even when away from home.
For more tips on saving money, take a look at these 8 different spending categories that you can cut costs. Every little bit helps these days. Let me know if you have some great tips that I missed.