MENU

12 Ways to Save on Cars and Gas (Frugal Friday)

Most of us find ourselves needing transportation from time to time. Here are 12 ways to save on cars and gas.

I had such fun Thursday afternoon waiting for the the digits to line up perfectly on my odometer. I get excited that my car is really old and sports a lot of miles on it. 111,111 miles. Woohoo!

Yes, I’m a geek like that.

(Excuse the dust on my dashboard. Apparently, I don’t geek out over detailing.)

It’s also one way that we’ve saved money over the years. It’s been four and a half years since we mailed in our last car payment. At a minimum of $350/month, that’s a savings of $18,900. Yeah, I’m a numbers geek.

But, you knew that already.

$18,900!  If you have a car that’s paid off and you pay yourself a car payment for the next four years, you’ll have enough to pay cash for a nice, used car in just a short time. And avoid a boatload of interest!

Today, I’m sharing 12 ways to save on cars and gas.

1. Drive your car until you have to replace it. Use what you have. You can wear it well, like Jen. ‘Nuf said.

2. Pay cash for a replacement vehicle. Read why car debt can make it hard to sell your car.

3. Buy used cars.

4. Replace your tires, etc. to improve your gas mileage.

5. Replace the captain’s chairs with a bench seat to accommodate the new baby. It really worked for us.

6. Use public transportation.

7. Plan a staycation and save on gas costs.

8. Lump your errands together to save mileage and gas.

9. Do regular maintenance on your car to extend its life.

10. Use grocery store points to get gas discounts. We use Ralph’s points at Shell to save money on gas.

11. Buy Costco gas. Costco regularly has the best price in our neighborhood.

12. Use Gas Buddy to find the lowest prices where you live.

Today’s Frugal Friday!

Time to swap ideas and inspiration for saving money.

How do YOU save money?

Please remember to follow the Frugal Friday Guidelines or be deleted.

  1. Post a money saving idea and explain how it is helpful in your post.
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but you must explain how it saves people money.
  4. Please include a link back to Life as MOM.



Would you rather subscribe by RSS?
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. Great tips! We haven’t had a car payment in years and it is a GREAT feeling – granted our “newest” car has 125K on it, and our oldest is 17 years old, but we have that extra $350 a month for other things!

    I’m wrapping up my month on staying healthy while traveling with a post on packing food – ideas of what to pack and why you should pack it: http://behealthybehappywellness.com/blog/2012/06/frugal-friday-

  2. We don’t have a Costco near us but we do have a Sam’s Club in a a few neighboring towns and they too have cheaper gas so when I know I have to go through a town with one, I try my best to fill up there. Also we have gas stations in town that give you 5 cents off per gallon if you pay cash! got to love that!

  3. I also save money by getting my gas at Sam’s, which is definitely cheaper than other stations, but Sam’s is a little out of my way. I live just enough out of my city’s “shopping areas” that the stations near my house are a good 7-10 cents cheaper, so I try to fill up near my house if possible. But if I’m out and about, I definitely go to Sam’s. Worth the membership cost right there.

    Unfortunately for me, my car is “premium gas only”…says so in the book and on the inside of the gas tank door. So I really watch the prices to make sure I’m getting the best deal, since premium gas prices are always a lot more than the regular gas. Some time in the future when it’s time for a different car for me, you can be sure I will be getting a “regular gas” car!!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      The design of the car totally makes a difference, doesn’t it?! We’ve been researching commuter cars for my husband. While the price of the vehicle might be low, we’re finding out that repair costs can vary significantly between models.

  4. Car costs are the bane of my existence. Although we can’t go car-free…my school is so far away from any type of public transport whatsoever.

  5. Find an honest mechanic. That has saved us hundreds of dollars. There have been times that he has given our car back without charging anything. His verdict: “It’s just getting older.” When he does fix parts, he will show us the parts he fixed.

    If you don’t have a trusty mechanic yet, you can go to Auto Zone, and they will do a FREE diagnostic test on your car. I guess I need to write a post about this. ;) We have gone to Auto Zone(it was after our mechanic’s shop was closed), and it was very helpful. When we took the car to our mechanic, we were able to give him the print out from Auto Zone detailing what was wrong.

    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/inourstores/services.jsp

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Great point! We have a good one. We thought the transmission went out on mine and were prepared to pay $2K to replace it. Turns out it was a $45 part. They could easily have lied to us, but they didn’t. A good mechanic is worth his weight in gold.

  6. victoria says:

    Jessica, I keep forgetting to ask if your hubby has any relatives in New England? I’m also a Fisher, from NH.

  7. Woohoo for that car o’ yours!

  8. My hubby takes public transit to work the majority of the time. His company pays for part of the cost so our work related transportation costs are $50 a month.

    We have one car, and aim to drive less than 7,500 miles a year to save an additional $100 on insurance costs.

  9. I love that you linked to my “Hunk O Junk” van because I have a draft in my in box – “I don’t care what you think – part two.)

    I just took the pictures and everything. Our guys have driven this beast for ANOTHER 1 1/2 years AFTER that picture and you just wouldn’t believe how bad it looks. The front bumper piece came off. They hit OUR mail box (yes, in our drive way) and shattered a side window so they had to replace it out of their money and did so by finding a window at a salvage yard that never really closed well and even got rear ended by a sweet lady that we were able to say, “Have a great day. We aren’t going to call the police on this one.” Yes, we just “donated” it THIS VERY WEEK, so some sentimental life lessons from this one. ;)

  10. We just recently had to replace our VERY used van. We bought the van used quite a few years ago for very inexpensive, because we only had a certain amount to spend. We didn’t know if it would last us very long, but we wanted to squeeze 1 year out, that would have made our investment worth it and given us a chance to save up for another used van. 6 years later, the van reached 315,000 miles and needed more repairs than was it was worth. I was so sad to not have it anymore. Everyone would say “don’t you want something newer” and I would say if I wanted a car payment I would have something newer, but I have no need to spend over 300$ a month on that. It’s the best advice anyone can get, buy used and pay cash. It saves on insurance as well.

  11. LOL – I would geek over the numbers, too! My front bumper has a hole in it from where I ran over a stick and it bit me back. I’m not spending money to replace the bumper for something cosmetic. I’ll wait until someone hits me.

    When I decide I’ve had enough of the dust inside, I pay my oldest to vacuum the car out for me. Sometimes I pay ds8 to wipe things down.

    Car debt can make it really hard to sell a car if you change your mind. My dh insisted on buying a new Saturn Astra 6 months before GM failed. Even though we put a down payment on the car, because of the depreciation on the car, we would have lost money on it. My dh hates the car, and I feel bad for him, though we’ve stuck out paying off the loan. We’re just about done – woohoo!

  12. This may be a silly question, but I’m having a hard time visualizing. How did you get in and out of the car when you had the two bench seats?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Because of the wheel wells in the back seat, the farthest back seat is actually fairly short. We installed a “back” seat in the middle, replacing the captain’s chairs. There was room for children and thinner adults to get back there. My husband is not slight, but he could wrangle his way back to latch car seats, etc.

  13. Love the tips! We keep a close eye on how well our car is running, and I think that helps save on gas. We’re also driving a car and motorcycle both bought off craigslist. Lovin’ the debt-freeness of it all.
    Thanks for hosting! I posted #42 and #43 – Saving money when you don’t live close to town (or to anything else), and Real Food Adventures – a new frugal ingredient I’ve been using that’s apparently a nutrient powerhouse.

  14. Charlene says:

    How funny. You are a woman after my own heart… or vice versa… I recently stopped along the road to take a picture of my odometer. It turned 200,000. Then we went to visit my family, so it’s almost to 206,000. We bought it used at 125,000 4 years ago. We wanted something with less mileage, but so far, so good. We’ll see how long it keeps going! I guess I’ll have to take a picture when it hits 222,222! :)

  15. We save money on car costs by walking or riding bikes a lot of the time. We are very fortunate to live in an area that we can walk to the grocery store, post office, and most of the other errands that I need to run. Hubby bikes to work every day, and our daughter’s preschool is a 5 minute walk away. We keep one car, since our families and one of our doctors live further away and the public transit in our area is pretty flaky, but I generally don’t have to fill it up more than every other week or so.

  16. We just purchased a new to us vehicle today–with cash! So excited!!! Some would question our decision to buy a 6 year old vehicle with 86,000 miles on it but we don’t care! Freedom,baby! Plus we’ve had it checked out by a reliable mechanic where it received a good bill of health.

    Husband says it was the quickest car purchase he’s ever made and the only budget change is adding insurance for a 2nd vehicle. Sweet…

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      That’s about what ours was when we bought it. 30K and 3 years later, it’s doing just fine.

  17. I shared my Make Your Own Fudge Pops recipe.

  18. Kristiana says:

    Every summer we drive to Colorado Springs, CO from Houston, TX to visit my family. Since our youngest of three kids is out of his bulky carseat now, we decided to make the drive in my husband’s Prius to save on gas money. It went even better than I expected. The five of us got along great and we spent $60 on gas to get to Colorado. We wouldn’t have gotten to Dallas on that much in my minivan!
    And BTW, God is good!

  19. I always buy my cars with cash and my husband never did before he met me. We have two old cars ’98 and ’04 but we are trying to see how much longer they last. We just had a major repair on the ’98 so we are hoping we can get at least one more year out of it before getting one new “family” car as my husband says to replace the truck which doesn’t fit our family!!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts

*