Owning a car comes with a lot of necessary, yet boring expenses. No one loves handing over money for high gas prices or maintenance when they could do something fun, like shop, but maybe that’s just me.
When I only allow myself $50 for gas/paycheck and $100 allowance/paycheck, I have to stretch every dollar. It’s a fairly fun challenge and I’ve recently found two ways to save on car expenses.
1) Take advantage of grocery store promotions. I’m not sure when/how grocery stores and gas companies teamed up but a lot of grocery stores offer cents off gas/gallon when you purchase groceries. The rewards are kept track of on a free card that you scan every time you buy groceries. Then you take that card and swipe it through at the gas station and voila, instant money off gas!
My local grocery store offers this promotion and my parents weren’t taking advantage of it. I quickly signed myself up for a card, gave my parents the key-ring cards and instructed them to use it with every grocery purchase. About each month I get one fill-up of at least $.30 off/gallon as a result!
For example, on Saturday I got 12.5 gallons worth of gas. Originally it was $3.55 but I had $.45 off so each gallon cost me $3.10. It came down to a savings of $5.65, or 1.8 gallons! Now, I know that’s not a huge savings or anything drastic, but when I don’t drive very often and keep a strict budget, it’s a nice little deal.
I don’t take that $5.65 and put it towards debt directly but it does pay for more gas for me to go babysit, which in turn pays off debt much more efficiently.
I’ve seen many grocery stores offer similar promotions with affiliated gas stations so go check out these deals in your area. It’s totally free and everyone needs groceries so why not?!
2) When you need routine maintenance on your car, like an oil change, do a quick online search for coupons. My car was due for an oil change and I expected to pay $40, which is 40% of my bi-weekly allowance 😦 I happened to go online to check locations of auto body shops in the area when I found nearly every site had coupons!
I ended up going to Midas where they were offering a complete oil change for $19.99. A 50% savings sounds great to me!
How do you save money on car expenses?