The Time of Day You’re Filling Your Gas Tank Might Be Draining Your Wallet

With gas prices all over the board these days, you’re keen to find those recommended best practices and expert-driven fuel tips on how to save on gas and improve fuel economy. There are some pretty crazy nuggets of advice and myths out there, but it can be challenging to know what tips make sense and which suggestions are worth avoiding. What you need right now are some reliable and proven ideas to help stretch your gas dollar. You’re in luck with this read because we’ve compiled some of the best, most actionable ways to save at the pump.

Late night and early morning gas tank fuel-ups are best

A gas station being used to refill a car in Toulouse, France
A French gas station | Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

One of the best tips you can take to the bank involves when you fill up your tank. Buying gas late at night or during the wee hours of the morning is recommended. There is science behind the value here. Gas is cooler in temperature during those “off” times of day, making it denser. The result is getting a smidge more fuel in your gas tank than if you were filling up during busy hours or the warm day. 

Capital Cadillac also suggests you avoid the highway gas stations if you can. Typically, those fuel and service stations will run higher pricing than off-the-beaten-path locations. The experts also recommend downloading a gas app to help you find the best fuel prices wherever you are.

What is the cheapest time to actually buy gas in 2021?

Pocket Sense offers other tips about fueling up at the best times. Based on their findings and GasBuddy, Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to fill up if wait times at the pump matter to your schedule. So if you’re in a big hurry to fill up your gas tank, popping in between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM will get you in and out the quickest.

Alternatively, you can avoid certain times of the day, and days of the week, when fueling up is the most expensive. For example, weekends tend to be busier with travelers, and fuel prices reflect that. Rush hour times of day are also worth avoiding since the demand is increased.

How to pump gas for the best bang for your buck

When it comes to getting the best gas bang for your buck, there are other tips you should know. For starters, if you choose to select an autofill, don’t opt for the fastest setting. I can increase the amount of vapor that funnels into your tank. 

Elsewhere, if you prepay and expect the pump to stop once your dollar limit, you might still be able to get a few extra drips of gas in your tank with a pump of the handle. It’s probably worth giving the nozzle a good shake before removing it, too.

Another great way to turn a few pennies into serious fuel dollars saved is with gas station or credit card loyalty programs. Some families of stores, like Kroger and Walmart, have deals based on points earned with fueling up the tank. Points and rewards turn into discounted gas prices. Other stores like Publix sell $50 gas cards for $10 to participants at various times throughout the year. Make the most of any loyalty program you have available in your neighborhood. Additionally, those points and savings can add up fast if you commute.

Gas prices are pretty intense, depending on which part of the country you call home. So fuel efficiency tips and saving on gas-up trips are mission-critical to the household budget. Keep these fueling times and suggestions in mind to make the most of every gas dollar you spend!

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