Showing you how to save money in your everyday life.
I am the geek behind sites like Penny Hacker, Global Geek News and Fanboy Fashion. I have a love for all things geeky from video games and science fiction to science and gadgets. I also have a passion for saving money wherever possible!
Saving money on video games is a challenge for many gamers, as the cost of new releases can add up quickly. But there are several ways to keep your gaming budget in check while still enjoying your favorite titles. Here are 10 ways to save money on video games:
Wait for sales: One of the best ways to save money on video games is to wait for sales. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Steam often have sales on popular games, sometimes offering discounts of up to 50% off.
Subscribe to newsletters: Sign up for newsletters from your favorite retailers or gaming websites to stay informed about the latest sales and promotions. You may also receive exclusive offers and discounts.
Buy pre-owned games: Buying pre-owned games can save you a significant amount of money compared to buying new. Many retailers and online marketplaces offer pre-owned games at a lower price, and you can also trade in your old games for credit towards new ones.
Look for free games: Many free-to-play games are available online, and some of them are just as good as paid games. Try playing free games before you buy to save money and find new games to enjoy.
Use promo codes: Promo codes and coupons can help you save money on video games, so be sure to look for them before making a purchase.
Buy older games: Older games are often cheaper than newer releases, and they can still be just as much fun to play. Check out classic games or ones that have been out for a while to save money and try something new.
Rent games: If you’re not sure if you want to buy a game, consider renting it first. Many video game rental services offer games for a low monthly fee, so you can try before you buy.
Buy digital games: Digital games can be cheaper than physical copies, and they take up less space in your home. Plus, you can download them instantly and start playing right away.
Buy games in bulk: Many retailers offer discounts when you buy multiple games at once. Consider buying a bundle or a collection to save money on multiple games at once.
Use game-sharing services: Game-sharing services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold allow you to share games with friends and family, so you can try new games without having to buy them.
By following these tips, you can save money on video games while still enjoying your favorite titles. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a hardcore player, these strategies can help you keep your gaming budget in check.
When it comes to buying a refrigerator, there are a few things you can do to save money without sacrificing quality or features. Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:
Measure your space: Before you start shopping, measure the space where you plan to put your new refrigerator. Make sure you take into account any obstacles, like doorways or tight corners, that might make it difficult to move the refrigerator into your home. This will help you narrow down your options to models that will fit in your space.
Compare prices: Refrigerators come in a wide range of prices, so it’s important to compare prices from different retailers to find the best deal. Be sure to check online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, as well as local appliance stores. You can also use price comparison websites like PriceGrabber or Shopzilla to find the best deals.
Look for sales and discounts: Many retailers offer sales and discounts on refrigerators throughout the year, so be on the lookout for these deals. You can also sign up for email alerts from your favorite retailers to be notified of upcoming sales.
Consider energy efficiency: Energy efficient appliances can save you money on your energy bills in the long run, so consider choosing a refrigerator with an Energy Star rating. These models are designed to use less energy than standard refrigerators, which can add up to significant savings over time.
Think about features: When shopping for a refrigerator, consider what features are most important to you. For example, if you have a large family, you may want to look for a refrigerator with a larger capacity or one that has a water dispenser or ice maker. But if you don’t need those features, you can save money by choosing a more basic model.
Buy used or refurbished: If you’re on a tight budget, consider buying a used or refurbished refrigerator. These models have been previously owned, but have been inspected and repaired to ensure they’re in good working condition. You can often find great deals on used or refurbished refrigerators at retailers like Sears Outlet or Best Buy’s scratch-and-dent section.
By following these tips, you can find a great refrigerator that fits your budget and your needs. With a little bit of research and careful shopping, you can save money and get the refrigerator you’ve always wanted.
Its that time of year again when school starts back up and my morning commute time doubles due to the resulting increase of traffic. While that means more traffic headaches for me, for many others that can mean all sorts of things ranging from crippling debt to experiencing the freedom of being on their own for the first time.
In hopes of helping with that school related debt problem and in hopes of helping students maximize their first experience of living on their own, I have compiled a list of apps that will help them save money and make life easier on things ranging from text books to cell phone data plans. If you are a student looking to get the most out of what little money you have, these apps are certain to help you!
Make sure to share this with any students you may know because there is no reason they should be wasting their money either!
11 Money Saving Apps for Students.
TUN stands for The University Network. Just what is The University Network? With the help of Google Maps, TUN points students to the best discounts and deals near them. TUN pinpoints deals at places like restaurants, retail businesses, gyms and more. Perhaps the best part is that as you take advantage of these deals, you earn points for things like free fitness lessons, meals and even haircuts! TUN is available for both iOS and Android.
Titto is an app for iOS users that allows students to rent textbooks for just $19.99/mo. Why pay the outrageous cost of textbooks these days when you can just rent them at a fraction of the cost? When I was in college, it was not unusual for books to run between $100-200 and they would often rarely if ever be used over the two months the class took. If a textbook rental service like Titto existed when I was in school, I could have payed maybe $40 a book per quarter instead of $100+ and hope that at the end of the quarter, I could sell them back to the school’s store for pennies on the dollar. Seriously, especially for the expensive books that you will probably never touch again after the class is over, you should consider using a service like Titto instead of spending a fortune to own the books.
Chegg is somewhat similar to Titto except that not only can you rent textbooks, but you can also buy new and used textbooks and use the app to sell them when you are done using them. They also have many books available in a digital format which would be great for those looking to not have to carry around a bunch of heavy books from class to class. Also, unlike Titto, Chegg is available for both iOS and Android and while the textbooks aren’t free, the app is.
SavedPlus is a clever app to help you save money by taking a percentage of each purchase you make with a checking account and putting it into a savings account. You just need to define a goal such as what you are saving for (down payment on a car, rainy day fund, spring break, ect) and what percentage of your purchases to save and you can track your progress. The app is free on both iOS and Android.
Are you worried about accidentally using an ATM that is out of your banks network which will end up hitting you with several dollars worth of fees when you need to make a withdrawal? With ATM Hunter, there is no need to worry anymore! Mastercard’s ATM Hunter will take the address you put in or just use your phones GPS to show you nearby ATMs and which banks they are affiliated with so you know which ATMs you can use without getting charged a fee. The app is free for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
If you are a smartphone user (if you aren’t, why are you even reading this?), one of your costly monthly expenses (especially for students) is how much data you use every month. Carriers vary on how much data each plan includes (1GB, 5GB, unlimited, ect) but the one constant is that the more you use, the more you are going to be paying. By using Opera Max and Opera’s amazing data compression technology, you can save not only a lot of data on your web browsing but with your apps too! They advertise a savings of around 50% but in my personal experience with just their Opera Mini browser and the compression technology it uses, I tend to save closer to 80%. Between using Opera Mini and using wifi as much as possible (make sure to use a VPN if you use public hotspots like Starbucks), I find that not only can I get by fine on my $45 smartphone plan which includes 1GB of data but on average, I only use about 40% of that 1GB. That is with web browsing and using a lot of online apps like weather apps and games like The Sims Freeplay which depend on the internet connection. Opera Max is available for free on Android.
Unsplurge takes the idea of saving money toward a goal and makes it social. This free iOS app lets you set a savings goal and graphically shows you just how much you have saved. It also shows it to your friends and you can see their goals which may come in handy if you and your friends are all saving up for a big group expense like a vacation. The social feature is also a good motivator to save since your friends can see how much you are saving and motivate you to do better.
Mint is a fantastic way of tracking all of your finances including your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and more. It really is a bit of a one stop shop for all things money because not only does it monitor things like your bank accounts and credit cards, it categorizes your purchases to give you an idea of how much you are spending on different things. It also gives you suggestions on how to save money by doing things like changing credit cards to something more suited to your usage. There are a ton of other features I don’t have time to really talk about like bill reminders and low balance alerts so I will just say you definitely need to check it out. The service is free and there are apps available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Just a bit of a heads up, this service doesn’t work with all banks (last I checked it wouldn’t work with my credit union) but if you use the bigger national banks, you should be fine.
If you can be forgetful when it comes to paying your bills on time, this app is for you! BillMinder is for reminding you to pay your bills on time so you don’t get hit with late fees or a ding on your credit score. The app costs $1.99 but if it saves you from just one late fee or hit to your credit score, it has paid for itself. It is available on both iOS and Android.
For those that want to consume alcohol while away at college and want to do it as cheaply as possible, this app is going to come in very handy. DrinkOwl lets you know about different nearby drink specials by city or college campus and by whether you are looking for beer, wine or liquor. You can also see upcoming specials so you can plan your wild night out ahead of time. DrinkOwl is available for free on both iOS and Android.
If you ever find yourself picking up the tab for somebody who left their wallet back in the dorms or if you forgot yours, Venmo is a handy way of transferring money between friends to pay the person back who picked up the check. Just hook the app up to your bank account or debit card and let the person know what they owe you and they can use the app to pay you back. Venmo is free on both iOS and Android.
With temperatures in the mid 90s expected for this weekend, I can’t say it really feels like summer is over where I live but the increased traffic during the morning and evening commutes is always my indicator that the summer is pretty much over. While that can be a major bummer for some people (especially students), its not so bad for those of us who like to save money!
While back to school sales can save you a bundle on everything from laptops to furniture even if you aren’t going back to school, I found an end of summer sale that can score you some major savings on video games!
Below is the massive list of games and DLC that is part of the sale including the sale price and percentage off of the normal price so you get an idea of just how good of a deal you are getting. There are tons of great games that stand out to me that I would recommend picking up like Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection, Battlefield 4, The Batman Arkham games, Supreme Commander 2 and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum just to name a few.
Let me know in the comments below which games/DLC you pick up in this great sale!
Share this with any PC gamers you know! Also, if you are a Kindle owner like I am and want to make sure you never miss a PennyHacker post, please help support us and subscribe to PennyHacker on the Kindle and sign up for our newsletter with the form on the right!
I came across the news of some excellent PlayStation related sales this weekend that I thought I needed to share since there are some great bargains here and I plan on taking advantage of them myself!
First, for those interested in getting a PS4 (like me!), this weekend Amazon has not only the PlayStation 4 console for $399 (normal price) but it comes with a code to get inFAMOUS Second Son for free as well as 3 months of PlayStation Plus which also gets you a bunch of free games every month and amazing discounts on other games and content so to say this is a steal would be an understatement! Here is the product page if you are interested in picking up a new PS4 and some great games at a great price!
Speaking of great PlayStation games at great prices, Sony is also doing one of their flash sales this weekend which means there are a bunch of games for just $9.99, some of which regularly go for $50! There are a ton of great games in this sale ranging from Bioshock Infinite to the God of War collection so if you are worried they just reduced the price on garbage games, there is no need to fear! The entire list of games that are on sale can be found below with the listing of which system they are for (PS3 or PS Vita), the sale price of $9.99 and what the regular price is.
At the minimum, I plan on picking up the God of War Collection for the Vita (I already have it on the PS3 but it would be nice to have a copy I can play on the go) and XCOM: Enemy Unknown which I tried for the PC a while back and it seems like a pretty good game. If there are any games you suggest I pick up in this sale (I already have Bioshock Infinite for PC), let me know as I am always looking for good games to play!
Let me know which games you plan on getting or if you plan on taking advantage of this great PS4 console deal in the comments below! And don’t forget, these sales last for only this weekend so if you want to load up on games, you need to act soon!
Share this with any gamers and Sony PlayStation fans you know! Also, if you are a Kindle owner like I am and want to make sure you never miss a PennyHacker post, please help support us and subscribe to PennyHacker on the Kindle!
It has been far too long since I have written a post with a number of great ways for you to save money so I thought since I had some new ideas, now would be the perfect time to share them! Like some previous posts, these ideas for saving money all revolve around food. While these ideas can potentially save you thousands, if you want to save even more on what you eat, I suggest checking out the previous food related posts that I have done such as 16 Secrets to Saving Boatloads of Cash When Eating Fast Food and 18 Tips to Stop Wasting Money at the Grocery Store and Still Eat Well. Anyway, without further delay, here are 5 tricks I have come up with for saving money on food.
5 Clever tricks to save a wad of cash on food.
Take your lunch to work.
Eating the lunch they sell at work or going out to lunch every day can get expensive. Where I work, we usually pick up lunch from somewhere, typically a fast food joint or local restaurant. The cost of that per person usually ranges between $5-10 per meal. With some crafty grocery shopping, you could bring your lunch to work and probably only spend $2-3 a day. After a year of doing that, you could easily have an extra $500 or more sitting in your bank account just from taking your lunch to work. Also, bringing your lunch makes it a lot easier to eat healthy because lets face it, most fast food places you may pick up lunch from don’t really have much in the way of healthy options.
Drink regular coffee.
One of the nice things about not being a coffee drinker is that I don’t spend like $5 a day if not more at Starbucks or somewhere similar. However, I know that pretty much everybody else has an addiction to it so this particular one is for those people. If you want to save money and still get that caffeine to wake you up in the morning, try drinking just a plane cup of coffee. Whether you make it yourself or get it at the gas station, regular coffee (you can still get various flavors and creamers and stuff of course) is a lot cheaper than getting all of your fancy cappuccino drinks with the soy and the foam and all of the other things you can get thrown in there for a small charge. Doing this can easily cut what you spend on your morning pick-me-up in half and if you do that every day, by the end of the year you will probably have saved $700 if not perhaps more!
Eat out one less time each month.
One of the most expensive habits I have is that I eat out a LOT. Not only do I go out to lunch every day at work (luckily work covers that expense), but I typically bring home dinner or go out to eat 6 nights a week. Depending on where I eat, that can get quite expensive! While most of the places I eat are fairly cheap like Little Caesars with their $5 pizzas (I eat there twice a week), there are some places I like to eat on occasion that have been known to cost me up to $45 for a single meal! If you eat out a lot like I do and want to save a little money, just eat out one less time a month. Especially if you eliminate one of the more expensive nights out, this can save you quite a bit of money since you can still eat quite well at home for less than $10 and that includes desert!
Take extra condiments home.
Do you ever go to a fast food restaurant and they bring you more packets of ketchup, mustard, salt, ect than you need? Instead of leaving them on the table and hoping somebody else gets some use out of them, take them home and use them yourself! Why buy bottles of those things for home if you can get all you need from fast food places for free? I know people that go to places like Wendy’s where they have big things of plastic wear just sitting out that take a handfull of them home with them so they don’t have to buy plastic utensils themselves when they need them. You probably aren’t going to save a ton of money this way like you can with the previous tips ideas but a few dollars is still a few dollars!
Don’t shop for groceries after work.
In the previous post I mentioned earlier about 18 ways to save money at the grocery store, I mentioned not shopping while you are hungry but I recently found out this applies to when you are tired too. Apparently, when your body and brain is tired (like it tends to be after a hard day at work), it craves fatty and sugary foods similar to how when you brain is hungry, it craves carbs. So if you want to stay away from those cookies and crackers that are adding on the pounds and making your wallet a little smaller, don’t go grocery shopping on your way home from work or any other time you are tired. From my personal experience, I find it is best to go grocery shopping in the morning when I’m not really hungry (I always go after breakfast) and have lots of energy. Not only does it cut down on those impulse buys of Goldfish crackers, but there are usually a lot fewer people shopping at that time so it is easier to get in and out of there quickly.
Do you have any suggestions for how to save money on food that I haven’t covered here or in those two previous posts? Let me know in the comments below!
Share this with anybody you know who could be spending less on food!
If you are a big fan of The Sims like I am and don’t already have The Sims 2 and all of its expansion packs, I have an incredible deal for you!
Between now and the end of July, you can get The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection (The Sims 2 and all of its expansions) for FREE from EA. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal doesn’t it? So just how do you get it?
To score yourself a copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection, you have to have EA’s Origin software installed (their knockoff of Valve’s Steam software) which is free if you don’t already have it. Once you have Origin up and running, go to the menu option to redeem a product code and enter the code ‘I-LOVE-THE-SIMS’ and you are done! Now all you have to do is go to your my games tab and install it! Once it is associated with your account (which is what happens when you enter the code in), it is yours and will always be associated with this account.
While I am not sure if this ultimate collection includes the ‘stuff packs’, it does include all of the expansion packs which include University, Nightlife, Open for Business, Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, FreeTime, and Apartment Life. Normally I think each of those used to cost like $20-30 each so this is a heck of a deal!
I have The Sims 2 myself as well as the University expansion pack and I enjoyed playing them years ago but never felt like spending the money on any of the other expansion packs but now I don’t have to since I can get them all for free! The game may seem a little old at this point, especially with The Sims 4 coming out this fall but it is still a really fun game and you can’t beat the incredible price of FREE.
Are you a big fan of The Sims? Let us know in the comments below!
Are you looking to renew or perhaps get a PlayStation Plus subscription? If so, I have found the deal for you!
I don’t know how long it will last but right now, Best Buy has 1 Year PlayStation Plus membership cards on sale for just $39.99 which is 20% off of the normal $49.99. Even at full price, it is probably the best deal in console gaming when you get 2 free games every month for each of Sony’s major platforms (PS4, PS3 and the PS Vita), plus a ton of members only discounts on games, DLC and other content.
To be honest, I’m not sure if I really want to think about how much money I have spent on video games over the last 24 years. I’d say tens of thousands of dollars would not be an unreasonable guess but I really don’t have a clue. I own nearly every console and handheld made in the last 24 years not to mention more games for each of them than I can even think of! That’s not even counting my addiction to PC gaming which is where most of my gaming takes place these days. Not counting games that I have on CDs and various digital downloads, I have 141 games on Steam alone!
While I am quite proud of my collection of video games, there is something I am even more proud of, the fact that I am buying games than ever these days but paying less than I ever have!
How am I managing that when its not uncommon for games to cost $60 these days and that’s not even counting cool collectors editions that and easily push the price over $100?
Well, I am going to share with you all of the tips and tricks I have picked up over the years on how I save a lot of money on video games while having more fun than ever!
Check local circulars
When there is a game you have been waiting for that you must have the moment it comes out, you are usually going to end up paying full price but that isn’t always the case. The week of a game’s release, check out the circulars for all of the big box stores near you that are likely to carry it like Walmart, Best Buy, Target and others. I often find that the week a game goes on sale, there will be at least one store that has the game for $5 or even $10 cheaper than everywhere else. Sometimes rather than just knocking a few bucks off of the price, they will give you like a $10 gift card with the purchase of the game which is basically as good as cash and you can use that card for your next gaming purchase. Some retailers, even online like Amazon will offer discounts or gift cards like that when you pre-order a game so make sure to look for those deals too!
Steam is my personal favorite method of picking up a ton of pc games for very little money. Valve usually runs several major sales throughout the year like the Steam Summer Sale (during the summer) and the Steam Holiday Sale (end of December into early January) where you can pick of single games or entire collections of games from publishers or franchises for as much as 95% off! These aren’t just old titles either, these tend to be the big new titles that are often major game of the year contenders. While most games are discounted to some extent throughout the entire sale which usually lasts a couple of weeks, there are daily deals which tend to cut those discounts a lot lower and flash sales which happen every 8 hours which are often just as good so make sure to check back often when they have a sale going!
Of course you don’t have to wait for a major sale to pick up a good bargain on Steam because they also have daily deals, weekend deals, mid-week deals and others that are running all the time and they are a great way to pick up some fantastic games on the cheap! Also, they occasionally have weekends where you can play a game for free (usually the multiplayer part of the game) and then it is also on sale if you like it enough that you decide to buy it. If you are a pc gamer, Steam is like heaven!
The Humble Bundle
The popular Humble Bundle is another fantastic way to pick up a bunch of games for an incredibly cheap price. The Humble Bundle is unique in that it lets you name your own price, get some great games and help out various charities all at the same time. To give you an example, right now they are selling 4 Android games for whatever you want to pay for them. If you pay more than the average of what people are paying for them ($3.69 as of the time that I wrote this), you get an additional 2 games. Also, you get to decide how your money is split up between the developers, Humble Bundle and whatever charities they happen to be donating to at the time (for the sale as of the time of this writing that would be the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Child’s Play charity, both fantastic organizations). The games range from PC games to mobile games so there should be something for everybody at some point. So, if you are looking to score some cool games for cheap and want that warm and fuzzy feeling you get you when you help out great charities, then you should definitely check out Humble Bundle!
Reddit’s Game Deals Subreddit
One of the best ways to find out about great deals on video games is to check out Reddit’s Game Deals subreddit. The members there are usually on top of great sales all over the internet and in big box stores for great gaming deals that can range from free shipping to free games! I highly recommend checking out that subreddit at least once a day because you never know what kind of crazy deals those guys are going to post and I have picked up some fantastic games based on the sales they highlight and the recommendations of the people posting in the comments.
Xbox Gold and Playstation Plus deals
There are some people that balk at the idea of paying a subscription fee of $50 every year for things like Xbox Gold and PlayStation Plus but in the long run, they are more than worth in terms of what they will save you. Each premium subscriptions offers discounts for various titles (which changes all the time) that can be quite substantial. For example, as of the time of this writing, if you are an Xbox Live Gold member, you can get the digital download of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for $40 instead of the usual $60. I don’t pay as much attention to Xbox so I’m not sure how often their sales change, but with PlayStation, their sales change weekly. Often the sales will be available for non-premium members too but the discounts won’t be near as good. However, that is not the best part of getting one of these subscriptions (which you can occasionally find on sale for as low as $30 from various big box stores and online retailers), the best part is the free games! Both services let you download various free games every month which is where subscriptions to these services really show their value. For $50 a year, you can end up with probably around $1000 worth of free games!
I’m generally not one to recommend buying games on Ebay as I have had bad experiences with broken stuff and bad sellers in the past, however, if you are looking for deals on retro games, this is exactly the place to look! While I love shopping in used video game stores because you never know what old NES or SNES gem you my find in them, if they are a more sought after game, they tend to ask prices close to their original retail price which is crazy. You would be amazed at what kind of deals you can score on Ebay in comparison! For example, a few years ago, my local used game store had a copy of the original Final Fantasy on the NES which I really wanted because I loved the game as a kid and no longer have it. Well, they wanted $45 for it which I thought was a little crazy considering there was no box or maps or other paperwork with it. Had they had all of that and it had been in good condition, I would have definitely paid that but no way would I pay that for just the cartridge. So, I went home on and got on Ebay and found the game, with the box and paperwork (kind of falling apart and laminated so not mint but still ok) for just $20. So don’t be afraid to search Ebay as you can score some great deals on there too!
Speaking of old games, don’t be afraid of buying a used game to save a few bucks so long as the place you buy it from has some sort of return policy in case it doesn’t work. I can’t say I do much of this myself as I generally don’t trust how previous owners take care of things however you can save a few bucks off of retail if you don’t mind going used. Personally, I would recommend going used for cartridge games like NES, SNES, Genesis and handheld games because those tend to be stronger and can take abuse a whole lot better than disks (I’d give anything for consoles to go back to cartridges but that is a post for a different blog at a different time) so there is a little less risk involved in my opinion. Just keep in mind that somebody may have sold a game for reasons other than they just didn’t like it so be careful.
Wait until the price drops
Finally, another great way to save a few bucks is to just wait a while for the price of a game to drop. The prices of games always drop as time goes on, some more than others so depending on the type of game, it can really be worth it to wait. Perhaps the best example I can think of is sports games like Madden where they come out with a new version every year. Instead of buying it the day it comes out, buy it around the time of the following year’s release and instead of paying $60 for the game, you are likely to end up paying $20 or $30. You may be a year behind but other than fully updated rosters, you won’t be missing much as those games don’t tend to change much over the years which is why I only buy them like once every 4 or 5 years. However, there is one thing to beware of, especially with EA games like Madden in that they have the customer infuriating habit of killing off the multiplayer servers after just a year or two (I’ve been bit by this several times myself which is why I generally avoid games from EA whenever possible) so that is something to keep in mind if you decide to wait and buy a game when it gets cheaper.
If you have any other tips for saving money on video games, share them in the comments below so everybody else can take advantage of them! Also, make sure to sign up for our newsletter on the right too so you don’t miss tips like these in the future!
One of the biggest expenses we face these days is filling the gas tanks on our precious automobiles. Eventually, most of us may move to electric vehicles at some point once things like range, cost and the availability of charging stations allows them to become more practical for the average person, but until then, most of us are stuck giving a considerable percentage of our income to the big bad oil companies.
Over the past month or so, gas prices where I live have spiked at least $.50/gallon (I haven’t kept real good track but it did jump another 7 cents this morning alone) so I thought now would be the perfect time to share some tips on how you can save fuel and money! These tips should help at least take some of the sting out of the rising gas prices.
Here are 10 tips on how you can stop wasting gas and throwing money at oil companies.
Watch your speed!
High speeds are one of the quickest ways to use a lot of gas. Once you go above 55 or 60 mph (I’ve heard both cited), for every 5 mph faster you drive, you lose around 10% of your fuel efficiency because of the increased wind resistance. I’m not saying you should impede traffic and drive 60 mph on a 75 mph interstate but I wouldn’t recommend doing more than the speed limit. If you are worried about getting somewhere on time, just make sure to leave a little early and you will save yourself money on gas and speeding tickets.
Don’t idle if you don’t have to
Idling is one of the quickest ways to kill your fuel efficiency. If you know you are going to be sitting still for a considerable amount of time like when you are waiting in the drive thru at the bank or fast food joint, turn your engine off. You can save up to 19% on your fuel efficiency by turning your engine off when you know you wont be moving for at least a minute (my rule of thumb is 20 seconds). Your A/C or heater will likely stop working when you turn the engine off but you can always roll down your windows or put a jacket on for a little bit.
This is probably the biggest way you can save on fuel and one of the things I probably struggle with the most. If you floor it every time the light turns green (what I do on occasion) or slam on the breaks every time it turns red (I rarely do this), it can hurt your fuel efficiency by as much as 30%. Smooth, gradual starts and stops will save you big bucks and in most cases you still still get where you are going just as quick as you would have otherwise. I will admit that flooring it on green is a lot of fun but it is an expensive habit.
Know when to cruise.
Cruising and knowing when to cruise can net you a 10% savings on fuel. Using cruise control on the highway is a good way to keep yourself from accidentally accelerating and using that extra bit of gas that you don’t need to use. However, while this is good advice for flat highways, when you are driving in an area with a lot of hills or mountains, forget the cruise control and focus on accelerating uphill smoothly and letting off of the gas and coasting down the other side. Coasting is a great way to save on fuel so do it whenever possible!
Use higher gears
Cars are typically more fuel efficient in higher gears so once you get to the speed you need to go, pick the gear that runs at the lowest RPM and you will be saving yet more money!
Streamline your car
Anything extra on the outside of your car is going to kill your aerodynamics and in turn, your fuel efficiency. So, unless you are in the process of transporting that bike, luggage or canoe on top of or on the back of your vehicle, leave them at home until you are ready to use them. And take off your luggage and ski racks too because that will also make a difference.
Why should multiple people going to the same place at the same time driver different cars, each using a bunch of gas if its not necessary? Whenever possible, try to carpool with co-workers and friends to work, dinner or even random errands. If you get them to pitch in on gas, your running around will be cheaper for all of you and while the extra weight in your car will make it less fuel efficient, running one car instead of 4 is still cheaper overall and running one car instead of four will be much better on the environment.
Lighten your load
You should always try to drive your vehicle with as little stuff in it as possible. Generally speaking, for every extra 100 pounds of junk in your car, it will reduce your gas mileage by 2%. Not only is having an uncluttered car more fuel efficient, it is also a lot more presentable and less to stress out about when you have to give somebody else a ride. So don’t be like me and carry around various game consoles, telescopes, tons of clothes and other things in your car unless you have a pressing need for it.
Keep your windows closed and A/C off
Similar to the streamlining point, keeping your windows closed will make your car more aerodynamic and thus more fuel efficient. Opening the windows creates enough drag on your car that it can hurt your fuel efficiency by as much as 10% so if the temperature in your car is comfortable with it closed, keep them closed! This effect isn’t really noticeable until you hit around 45 mph so if you are just driving around town, you should be ok to roll your windows down and let everybody around you know just how good your taste in music is. Also, if you don’t need to be running your A/C or heater, leave it off! I’m sure it varies from vehicle to vehicle but Consumer Reports found that running the air conditioner in a Honda Accord going 65 mph killed the gas mileage by 3 mpg which is quite a drop!
Keep your tires inflated
Finally, keep your tires inflated to their recommended air pressure. When you are driving in the snow, it is a good idea to let a little (not a lot) bit of air pressure out of your tires because it will make them grip better so you are less likely to slide. However, when the road conditions are good, that extra contact with the road will only make you use up more gas so make sure to keep your tires properly inflated and you could see a 3% or more increase in your gas mileage.
Do you have any tips for how people can save even more on fuel? Share them in the comments below! Also, make sure to sign up for our newsletter on the right too so you don’t miss tips like these in the future!