The cost of gas is always fluctuating, which means you never know when you might see a price increase for your commute, your weekend road trips or your daily errands.
But even as gas prices surge this spring, there are plenty of easy ways to save money on gas. Here are some of the simplest tricks to help you spend less at the pump.
1. Consolidate your trips and errands.
Be purposeful when driving to errands. Is there a grocery store along your route to work? Can you run to the post office on the way to pick up your kids from school instead of making a separate trip?
Plan your errands in advance and avoid last-minute dashes to the store as much as possible. Over time, your efficiency will translate into savings on gas (and will add fewer miles to your odometer).
2. Use apps to find the best deals near you.
Smartphone apps like Gas Buddymake it easy to find the lowest prices at the pump. Many apps allow you to plug in your zip code or search for gas deals en route to your destination, which can help you avoid overpaying for gas. Some apps even let you earn cash backon gas in the form of gift cards or discounts on future purchases.
3. Take advantage of gas points and loyalty programs.
If you stick to certain gas chains, you can save money with loyalty programs. These free programs reward you each time you fill up, and you can join multiple programs if you like to switch around between different chains. When you sign up for a rewards account, take a look at the program details-you may be eligible for other perkslike rental car discounts and extra savings for military members.
Some grocery chains, including Kroger and other national and regional stores, also offer gas reward programs.
4. Consider walking, biking or public transit.
Driving might be inevitable when you're going long distances or facing frigid Wisconsin weather, but you may be surprised how easy it is to opt for other methods of transportation for day-to-day needs.
If you live in a city with public transit, look into the bus or train routes to map out convenient alternatives to driving. Consider walking to the store instead of driving, if you can, or try biking to work to enjoy a little exercise and fresh air on your commute.
5. Plan a staycation instead of a road trip.
You don't need to drive far to conquer cabin fever. Skip the road trip vacation this year and find fun in your own backyard. Book a reservation at a restaurant you've always wanted to try in your hometown, or take the kids to a museum they've never visited-with the money you save on gas, you'll be able to splurge a little on your staycation.