One of the ways we recommend speeding up debt payoff and building wealth faster is to cut your expenses as much as possible. By using the Challenge Everything Budget, you can find ways to reduce or eliminate the money you spend on many everyday expenses.
For instance, you can call around to different insurance carriers to see if you can get a lower annual premium on car, life and homeowners insurance policies.
There are also ways you can save money on grocery purchases. By menu planning, avoiding the purchase of processed foods and shopping the sales you can cut your grocery budget significantly. Transportation costs is another budget area that you can reduce.
By combining trips you need to take with your car (i.e. stopping at the grocery store on the way home from work instead of making a separate trip), obeying speed limit laws, and keeping your car well maintained, you can save money on gas costs by using less. And if you put in a bit of time, you can even find ways to get free gas.
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How to Get Free Gas
Buying gas for your car is probably one of the expenses you thought you couldn’t do much about. Although there are some obvious ways to reduce gasoline costs, such as carpooling, sharing gas costs, and using those four cent off coupons you get at the grocery store, can you really find ways to get gas for free?
The truth is that there are ways you can get gas for free. Not all methods will work for all people, but if you can use even one of these ways to get gas for free you can cut down on transportation costs and use the savings to fast-track your debt payoff or other financial goals.
1. Get Gas Cards
Did you know that you can earn gas cards by watching videos, browsing the Internet, completing surveys, and shopping online?
For each activity you complete via Swagbucks, you earn points that can be used to purchase free gift cards – including gas cards. You can then use the gas cards you earn to get free gas instead of having to pay for it out of your own budget.
2. Consider Advertising on Your Car
At Free Gas Help, you can earn free gas cards in exchange for placing advertisements on your car. They offer a variety of advertisement venues, from door magnets to complete vehicle wraps.
You get to choose which types of ads you have on your car so that you don’t have to drive around with ads you’re uncomfortable with. As you drive around with the ads on your car, you’re earning free monthly gas cards for local gas stations.
For a full car wrap they’ll pay as much as $200 per month in free gas cards.
There are some requirements to use their service. For instance, you have to drive at least 1,000 miles each month in order to be eligible for their services. You also have to have a car that’s in good condition. They require that drivers in their program have good driving records and carry valid auto insurance as well.
If you meet these driving qualifications, contact Free Gas Help and find out if they might be a way you can get free gas money every month.
There are also other companies that will pay you to advertise on your car. Not all are legit, though, so be careful about choosing which companies you sign up with by being aware of potential scams.
For instance, a valid car advertising company will not ask you to pay money to sign up. Carvertise is one of the other valid companies that will pay you to carry ads around on your car.
3. Visit Free Gas USA
Free Gas USA was founded in 2008 at the height of the Great Recession. Its mission is to provide gasoline grant assistance to struggling families in the United States. This non-profit organization awards grants each month to pre-qualified candidates based on their level of income, need, circumstances, and the availability of grant funds.
Their website says that grants range in value from $50 up to $1,200.
Recipients are given coded gas cards that they can use at the pump to fill their gas tank so that they can afford to drive to work, get groceries, or buy gas for other necessary driving.
All you need to do to find out if you qualify is go to their website and fill out the downloadable grant application. There is a $5 application fee that is required of all application submissions, and you must be of legal age in your state in order to submit an application.
There’s also a limit of one application per household. For more information, simply click on the Free Gas USA link above to visit their website.
If you want to enter for a chance to win $50 in free gas check out 2000 Freebies.
4. Take Surveys
There are many companies out there such as Survey Junkie that will allow you to take surveys in order to earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards to a variety of retailers, including gas stations.
The great thing about earning free gas money by filling out surveys is that you can do it online from anywhere you choose when you’ve got free time.
Sitting at the dentist office waiting for your appointment? Use your smartphone to fill out a few surveys. Got a twenty minute break at work? Use it to answer surveys and earn some extra cash.
Make taking surveys a habit and soon enough you’ll have earned enough points for a free gift card from a gasoline retailer near you.
Not all survey companies are legit, though, so check out this post on three of our favorite survey companies before you sign up to take surveys in order to get free gas.
5. Use Credit Card Rewards to Get Free Gas
There are many credit cards out there that give reward points that you can redeem for cash, for credit to your card, or for gift cards. Keep track of the money you earn via rewards from using your credit cards.
Then, use the free rewards points to put gas in your car – i.e. FREE gas. You can do this by using your points to purchase gas station gift cards, or by simply transferring your rewards points to your credit card and then filling up your gas tank for the same dollar amount.
The key to success in using credit card rewards to get free gas is to make sure you never pay interest on your credit card purchases. In other words, make sure you are using the rewards card only for items you would buy anyway, and then pay the card off in full every single month.
If you’re not paying the card off in full each month, the rewards you earn are offset by interest you’ll have to pay for carrying a balance on the credit card.
6. Contact Charities in Your Area
Many times, local charitable organizations will help people in need by providing gas cards so that they have access to free gas for necessary driving, such as getting to job interviews, getting to work, going to appointments, or going for groceries.
In the Midwest, the Salvation Army provides transportation funds for those in need. In other states, there are non-profit organizations or churches that provide free gas cards for people who need to fill up their tanks but don’t have the cash.
If you’re in need of free gas, contact churches and other local charities in your area to find out if they supply free gas cards to those in need. You might also try contacting your local Health and Human Services Department as well, as they sometimes will give out gas cards to those in need.
7. Keep an Eye Out for Gas Card Offers at Retailers
Sometimes local and nationally known retailers have offers for products that come with a free gas card. For instance, CVS, the nationally known drug store retailers, will occasionally offer a free gas card with qualifying purchases.
Their ExtraCare Rewards card has been known to offer freebies such as $10 gas cards and other benefits that they give away when you purchase specific items.
Check CVS weekly ads and the ads of other local retailers in your area for deals on free gas cards with purchases.
8. Use Travel Rebates
If you travel regularly, you may be able to earn free gas cards by staying at the right hotel chains when you travel.
For example, Best Western let customers earn rewards points every time they stay at a qualifying Best Western hotel.
After you’ve accumulated a certain number of points by staying at their hotels, you can redeem those points for gas cards at Shell or Exxon gas stations.
The cool thing about rewards points through Best Western hotels? They never expire. So even if you’re not a frequent traveler, you can earn your points and save them up over time, and then redeem them for a free gas card.
Saving up your travel rewards by staying at Best Western hotels or other hotels that reward customers with gas cards could be a cool way to pay for gas for an upcoming vacation as well, enabling you to cut down on vacation costs if you plan in advance.
Other Ways to Spend Less on Gas
Along with using the ways above to get free gas, there are other things you can do to cut down on gasoline costs in your budget.
1. Drive Slow and Drive Steady
By staying in the right lane when on the highway and avoiding constant accelerations and braking, you’ll go through less gas.
Keeping distance between you and the car ahead of you will also help you to drive steady and avoid constant braking and acceleration.
Treat your car gently and drive steady and you’ll find you are filling up the tank less.
2. Keep Your Car Well Maintained
Your car will also go through less gas if it’s maintained well. Keep the tires inflated properly, change the oil and filters when necessary, and avoid having extra weight in your car (i.e. “stuff”) that doesn’t need to be there.
By doing these things your car will run more efficiently and use less gas.
3. Know Where the Cheapest Gas Is
Find out where the lowest gas prices are on your regular routes to and from where you go. In our area, Sam’s Club is consistently the cheapest – by a good seven to ten cents per gallon. Because of that we always plan to fill up the tank when we make a Sam’s Club run.
If you know which companies consistently charge the lowest gas prices or consistently give out discount coupons, you can plan your fill-ups for when you’re near those stations.
4. Take Other Forms of Transportation
When possible consider other forms of transportation for car trips when it’s more efficient. If you live in close proximity to work or to the grocery store, consider biking or walking there if it’s safe.
Or if it’s cheaper to take public transportation or to carpool with a co-worker instead of taking your own car to work, go that route. By minimizing the amount of time you use your car, you’ll spend less on gas.
5. Be Willing to Be a Little Bit Uncomfortable
Air conditioning units in cars function by using the gas from your tank. Open windows and sunroofs increase wind resistance, making your car less fuel efficient.
If you don’t live in an excessively warm state and can safely avoid using the air conditioning in your car and avoid keeping the windows open, you’ll use less gas.
6. Get a More Fuel Efficient Vehicle
If it makes economic sense you can sell your car for a different one that has better gas mileage. I only recommend doing so, however, if you don’t take on new car payments or more debt.
Instead of increasing your debt for the sake of better gas mileage, look for a quality used car that costs the same or less than the car you’re driving currently.
Spending less money on gas – and driving in a way that helps you use less gas – is good not just for your wallet, but for the environment as well. Take advantage of the tips listed here so you can increase your car’s efficiency and your bank account’s efficiency.
Have you gotten free gas before? If so, let me know about it in the comments below!