By Sarah Wright
1. Get a Bike
The easiest way to save money on gas? Use less of it! Biking is faster than walking, and is a great, budget-friendly way to travel long distances. Plus, it's good exercise if you bike long enough.
2. Keep Cash on Hand
Some gas stations keep costs down by charging less for gas paid for with cash. Keeping cash on hand when you fill up can prevent a situation where you have to pay more than you expected - either because the advertised price only applies to cash payments, or because the station adds a surcharge to credit and debit card transactions.
If you live with or near other students, see if you can get your schedules synced up in a way that facilitates carpooling. That way, you can have some friends to help you out with the gas bills.
4. Schedule Smart
You'll have to drive to campus more often if you spread your class schedule out over several days. If you can condense your schedule to a few days a week, you can save on gas by not driving to campus as often.
5. Save Driving for Absolute Necessity
The grocery store is a 10-minute walk down the street. Do you really need to drive there? You can save yourself some gas money by limiting car trips to something far more demanding than that. If the idea of walking is just too much for you to handle, get a bike.
6. Take Advantage of Public Transport Discounts
Most cities with public transportation offer a student discount for monthly passes and other types of tickets. Do your research and find out if this applies to you. If you're really lucky, your school student ID might serve as a free bus pass.
7. Get a Rewards Credit Card
This isn't the best solution, because they money's still going out the door, and having a credit card while you're on a tight budget is always a bit dangerous. But if you find yourself buying gas a lot, you might be able to get some of that money back with a rewards credit card.
8. Scout Out the Cheapest Stations
Pay attention to where the cheapest gas offers are while you drive around town. Don't just rely on your local station for a fill-up.
9. Walk More
Everything's within walking distance if you have the time. Get out and enjoy the world by making your feet your primary mode of transportation.
10. Get Rid of Your Car
If you attend college in a tiny town or a huge city, you probably don't need a car. In these situations, everything you need is probably either within walking/biking distance or easily accessible by public transport. Students in these settings don't absolutely need a car, and if you're struggling to pay for gas, it might just be smarter to sell your car or leave it at your parents' house. That way, you'll also save on insurance.
Frugal pre-college students can save money by using the power of the Internet to research schools.