Save More Money on Gas by Avoiding These 3 Mistakes

The subject of gas is boring. But it does get more interesting–and alarming–when you see your money dwindling away because of it. Wasted gas is wasted money, plain and simple. Call it ignorance, but you might not even be aware that you’re wasting your cash for gas in the first place. Here are some ways you’re already doing it:

1. You just gas up any time of the day

Gas prices posted

So you think you can just fuel up any day of the week? Of course you can. It's your right, and really--no one's stopping you. But you're actually wasting potential savings by not waiting on Mondays or Wednesdays to fill your car up.

Here's why: Many companies announce their price increase or decrease on all news stations and at the Department of Energy's site during weekends. And this gets implemented on Tuesday, at 12:00 AM or 6:00 AM the following week. If you're smart, you can actually use Mondays or Wednesdays to fill up on gas so you can waste less money.

It's plain common sense: If there's a price increase for next week, then simply gas up on Monday so you can avoid the price increase that will happen on Tuesday. And if there's a price rollback, then gas up on Wednesday to avail of the price decrease (which again happens on a Tuesday).

2. You like to gas up in commercialized areas

Gas station

This is not applicable if you don't have any options when it comes to gas stations. However, if you do have other options, then you've probably wasted a lot of money just by filling your car up.

Here's why: Distribution, retail dealer, and marketing costs are also included when it comes to pricing gasoline. Typically, gasoline is first shipped by pipelines to terminals, and then blended with other products like ethanol. After this, they're delivered to individual gas stations, and then priced accordingly.

Truth is, location is extremely important. If the gas station is located at a desirable, commercialized, or highly-trafficked area, owners would increase the price as part of their marketing strategy to get more profit.

Usually, commercialized areas also have high lease or rent payments, so guess where those extra costs trickle down? To everything else there, of course. This means that employee salary, benefits, and everything else go up as well. What's more, state or local fees, and the number and location of other competitors within the area, are all taken into consideration when raising (or lowering) their price.

So the lesson here is this: If you have access to gas stations that are less desirable and less-commercialized, then fuel up there. And if it has less cars coming in and out, then so much the better.

3. You practice bad driving skills

Speeding driver

This one is more obvious--but still careless, nevertheless. Why? Because most of us already know the best way to drive. Still we don't do many of them. And that's careless--even downright stupid.

If you don't know what we're talking about, then allow us to give you a refresher course on ways you can practice bad driving skills that waste gas and make you feel poorer by the minute:

1. You like to tailgate. 2. You like to idle your car for more than a minute, which also happens a lot in traffic (not your fault here). 3. You like to drive too fast or too slow. Worse is if you do both erratically. 4. You like to use gasoline with a lot of ethanol in them (pure gasoline stores more energy than those containing ethanol). 5. You have over-inflated or under-inflated tires. 6. You love to coast around. 7. You like to make sudden starts and stops. 8. You like driving heavy cars (sorry, huge SUV lovers), especially those with rooftop carriers. Studies show that these can actually add as much as 15 percent in your mileage. 9. Your car carries a lot of load, such as your entire home. Of course we're kidding here--but you get our point.

These are some ways you can waste money just by being careless and mindless in your driving. The good news is you also have the power to change them. You may not realize this, but saving only a few pesos in your gas consumption each day adds up a lot in the long run. All it takes is a little bit of awareness and willpower to do something about it.

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