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Apr 04

How NOT to Save Money on Gas – Try THIS Instead

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Gas stations sometimes offer deals of a few cents or so.  People line up forty or more cars deep to save a few pennies per liter (or gallon).  But is it really worth lining up to save this much or often much less on gas?

Saving Money on Gas

I own a 2001 Mazda Protege (a BEST BUY used car).  My gas tank hold around 57 liters.  At current prices, it costs me around $70.00 or so to fill my tank if it was completely empty.  I never let my tank go empty, but $70.00 bucks or so sounds about right for me to get a full tank.

I see people lining up like maniacs every time a gas station offer a few cents off per liter.  I see them texting and talking on their phones all the while while sitting in a line up that is probably more boring than sitting in a traffic jam on a freeway.  Texting and browsing costs money.  This reduces your net savings.  So too, does idling for at least half an hour or so.  All of these obvious costs aside, how much do you actually save?  My thought is that most of the time, lining up actually COSTS you money, unless you own a pick-up truck or a Hummer (in most cases).

Let’s look at the savings with my compact car.  Let’s say I am saving 5 cents per liter.  In total this would save me 57 x .05, or  a whopping and stupendous, $2.85!   Idling your car costs as much as 3.5 liters per hour.  As such, my half an hour line up would cost me 3.5 x 1.40 per liter / 2, or $2.45, in idling costs ALONE.  Net out my few extra texts and checking the latest value of my stocks, and I am undoubtedly in a money-losing scenario.  Add to this the fact that I could have been working or playing or doing anything else, except for waiting in line, and the math just doesn’t add up.  Lining up to save a few pennies per liter just doesn’t make sense.

How can you actually save money, then?  Here is a classic tip that has been around for decades; but your gas from Monday through till Thursday morning.  NEVER buy gas from Thursday evening until Sunday evening (unless, of course, your automobile is about to run out of gas on the highway on a Saturday).

It never ceases to amaze me how people will line up in droves to but gas at a few pennies cheaper.  Your savings are really more psychological than real in most cases.  Buy your gas on the right days and shop around.  Here is an easy way to check the cheapest gas prices in your area.  In most cases, don’t sit around waiting to waste money by ‘saving’ a few cents.

Check out even MORE money saving ideas HERE!

Thanks for dropping by.  Please remember to share this post, comment, and check back very soon for a new froogal idea.

froogalist

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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