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If you drive, you’ll know what an annoying drain that petrol is on your budget. When Luke’s in Uni, he is driving back and forth 4/5 times a week and spending around £60 on petrol. As you’ll know, we’re on a pretty tight budget while he’s in uni, so this is an annoying but unavoidable expense.
On the flipside, my commute to work 3 days a week, is actually a pretty short one, so I can usually get by on about £10 a week. But still, £70 a week in a budget that’s pretty tight is a lot of money. So what can we do to get those costs down and save money on fuel?
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Some people are so used to filling up their tank with a certain amount of money (e.g £20 each time) that they don’t realise whether they’re getting the best value for money or not – never observing the price per litre when driving onto a petrol forecourt.
The petrol prices between garages can vary significantly. You might not think that 10p a litre makes that much difference, but it all adds up over time!
Sign up to Petrolprices.com and register for alerts in your area. It’ll regularly update you on where the cheapest fuel is in your area.
If you download the app you’ll also be able to write reviews for petrol stations and rate them to earn points which can be exchanged for rewards.
If you live nearby to someone you work with, see if you can car share. I used to do this with a colleague in an old job and we would take it in turns to drive – my turn one week, theirs the next. Over the course of the year, this could save you a significant amount of money – not to mention less wear and tear and mileage on your car.
If you don’t have a colleague you could car share with, there are websites like Lift Share dedicated to this service which will help you locate someone that’s making a similar journey to you.
Simply sign up, register the details of your journey (location of travel from/to, times you depart etc) – other people will then be able to contact you if they’re making a similar journey to help share the costs.
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Wherever you fill up, make sure you’ll swiping your loyalty cards. Supermarket forecourts such as Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all have their own loyalty cards (Clubcard, Morrisons & More, Nectar) so make sure you’re getting your points if you’re filling up there.
Those points could help towards your Christmas food shop later in the year!
You can also collect clubcard points at Esso garages.
And Shell garages have their own customer reward scheme – Shell Drivers Club, where you can collect points to convert to money off fuel vouchers or other benefits.
We can all get a little impatient behind the wheel, but erratic driving is not good for your safety, the wear and tear on your car, or your pocket!
Ensure you’re in the highest gear possible to reduce your revs, slow down and speed up more smoothly and don’t break suddenly or too harshly at roundabouts and junctions.
Make sure your tyres are inflated correctly – under inflated tyres makes the car drive less economically.
Unnecessary use of the aircon will drain your fuel, and added unnecessary weight carted around in your boot also drains your fuel.
These things whilst only costing pennies, all adds up over time.
Do you have any other tips to save money on fuel? I’d love to hear them.
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!