Saving money at the gas station is definitely a challenge. One that I have personally worked on for many years’. It takes a little creativity, sacrifice, and desire for this area of savings to be activated.
Gas has went up significantly in the past few months’ and this has caused a strain on many budget. In addition to the many other costs that have been rising lately, gas is one of the more necessary items. My husband and I joked last year when gas was at an all time low that we haven’t seen for a long time. Our joke was if we could find very large barrels to store gasoline in for use when gas does go up. Unfortunately, we did not find this to be a safe option.
So, instead of storing barrels of gasoline to save money, I have a few other ways that we have found.
Pay with Cash
Frugal home families do a lot of paying in cash for many expenses. The number one reason is cash creates boundaries. Staying within spending boundaries is where frugal savings is amplified.
A second reason to use cash is that it does not accumulate debt. Debt is an anchor for many, as a family we have no debt. No matter what, we pay in cash. Paying in cash lets you see how much is actually being spent. Which is a great big funnel for savings. I would get a loan and make payments on an expensive RV. Why? Purely psychological. My brain tells me the RV is affordable. Now, If I have to pay cash for the RV, my price just dropped. Saving money equals sacrifice. Sacrifice funnels into spending less.
Third reason for using cash is delayed gratification. Conquering delayed gratification is an excellent life skill. A building block to discipline. Waiting on something small to build into something big builds character. Saving for an RV, big vacation or really new car means letting go of weekly fast food restaurants. Taking money that would be spent on a membership and adding it to a savings account. Small offerings building to a great reward. Cash teaches us how to accomplish this trait.
Fuel Rewards and Apps
There are many apps and reward options available for savings on gas. A few that I have researched and found helpful are:
Utilizing any one of these apps or reward programs will result in a gas savings. In addition to trying one, mix them up and try all of them. Some of the reward apps or programs offer savings inside of the gas station on food, snacks, drinks and other items purchased.
Frugal Home Errand Days
Setting up a designated errand day all streamline driving destinations. Eliminating random stops or having a plan will save on gas. Step one is too designate an errand day. Get groceries, pick up prescriptions, grab online pickup orders, laundry or anything on that errand day.
Setting up an errand day will give driving a purpose. At the end of an errand day the sense of accomplishment will be overwhelming. Before I set up an errand day we went through so much gas and time. Once I started keeping a journal of my daily driving I saw many unnecessary daily trips. Now, I am not saying don’t take the kids to the park, maybe once a week instead of every day.
A little bit of planning goes a long way. Prior to my designated errand day, we grocery shopped on the fly. Inevitably, this created havoc on my weekend. At the end of a busy Saturday grocery shopping would sometimes be moved to another day. Now, that does happen sometimes still, but less since I have a designated. Online ordering and pickup service has also been a help. Moms with children do not always enjoy shopping with them.
Frugal Home Gas Budget
Random fill ups in the car are just like going to the grocery store everyday. I have a gas budget of $50.00 per week in one car. Just like cash when it starts to get low, we drive less. Use the same principal when setting a gas budget. Treat gas like cash.
Finally, setting up a gas budget is a map for how much gas is being used in the home budget. Sometimes a long drive to work is more expensive when everything is totaled. Using the budget as a map can be an eye opener to excessiveness.
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