99 great ways to save money on groceries, travel and more

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Car costs

Do: A gallon of gasoline in the United States averaged just over $3 in May 2021. A year later, it had risen to over $4.50.

15. Brake less, drive more. Think of driving this way: every time you brake, you waste gas you just used to reach your current speed. The longer you can coast or avoid the uphill and slowdown of congested traffic, the higher your gas mileage will be. Get into the habit of accelerating slowly, heading for red lights and stop signs, and trying to use the brake a little less. A side benefit: You’ll drive more safely, which could save you insurance dollars and possibly collision repairs.

16. Choose a different tire. New tires can actually reduce gas mileage because more rubber literally meets the road. If getting better gas mileage is important to you, consider buying what the industry calls low rolling resistance tires, which are made to reduce the friction of the tire against the road; some estimates suggest they can improve fuel economy by 4-11%. Be sure to check their snow and rain safety ratings, but they generally have a good reputation.

17. Sell your car privately. Due to today’s demand for used cars – especially older, high-mileage vehicles – a private sale is likely to yield more for your car than a dealer could pay under a deal. exchange. If you’re buying a new car, negotiate that price regardless of trade-in; only after the deal is done should you let them bid on your old car. This way you will know what the dealership is actually offering.

18. Yes, really, think of an EV. Most major automakers now offer electric vehicles, which means prices are falling while gas prices are rising. Increasingly, buying an electric vehicle is likely to make economic sense. Currently, if you’re driving 12,000 miles a year, you can probably expect to break even in about two to three years, compared to a similar gasoline-powered model. Public charging stations charge about double what it costs to charge at home, so you’ll save more if you drive mostly within car charging range. Apps are available to show you where to find free public charging stations.

19. Check gasoline prices over the phone. Several phone apps are available to give you the current cost of gas in the area where you are driving. For example, search for “gas” on the Waze app, type “Geico gas” in your browser for the same result, or check out the GasBuddy app.

20. Ignore that oil change sticker. Most oil change shops put a sticker on your windshield telling you to come back in 3,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual. Many newer cars use synthetic oil which needs to be changed much less frequently than older cars.

21. Skip oil additives, unless…Your engine oil already contains additives to extend engine life. So if your car is running well, aftermarket additives won’t make it last longer. An older car with high mileage may be the exception: ask your mechanic if the additives might reduce the distance the car travels.

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