How Much Do You Spend on a Tank of Gas?

When gas prices are all over the news and there’s talk of $5 a gallon gas, cutting back is all the rage. SUVs and pickup trucks sport for sale signs, and there’s renewed interest in public transportation.

Then gas prices go down a little (but never as to low as they once were) and we get used to the higher prices. They become the new normal, and we move on.

However, with gas prices across the U.S. currently ranging from an average price of about $2.68 to $3.49, you can still spend a small fortune filling up your tank.

Lately I’ve been spending about $25 on a tank, which is up significantly from the $10 per tank I spent as a teen. I get gas about every 3 weeks, but that’s still $450ish a year on gas. My son’s V8 truck is another story though — he spends a small fortune on gas, even though he also drives very little. Two tanks a month for him can hit $100.

The thing is, gas is one area where we can save money pretty painlessly.

Keeping your car in good shape, your tires properly inflated, and buying gas during the coolest part of the day will all save you money without the need for significant changes. So can doing simple things like not taking off like a rocket from every stop light, or taking your foot off the gas if you’re approaching a red light.

If you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort, you can save more money on gas by running errands in a circular route as opposed to going back and forth, carpooling, and taking public transportation from time to time.

You can also turn saving money on gas into a game by getting into hypermiling. What is hypermiling, you ask? Basically it’s trying to maximize fuel economy. It doesn’t have to be crazy either — some of the things simple things I mentioned earlier are common methods to use — but it can get more involved and competitive too.

Of course, you could always replace your car with a more fuel-efficient vehicle when it’s worn out, or even start using an electric bike instead.

So what about you? How much do you spend on a tank of gas? Are you using any methods to save now that gas prices are no longer splashed all over the news?

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17 comments

  • I also spend about $23-$25. I don’t drive very much, so that’s my way of saving, lol. I have a 25 mile round-trip commute and do most of my errands on the way home once a week. :-)

    • Boy that sounds like a pretty long commute to me. But then again, my perspective has changed from long ago when I had a 40 mile one-way commute. Now anything over 2 miles is too far!

  • I was spending about $45 a week on gas before I killed my car. CA has higher gas prices than the rest of the nation. I decided not to replace my car and started using public transit (not an option for lots of folks throughout this country, I realize, particularly those in rural areas). My transit pass is $77 a month, and my employer pays for half of that. So, I went from $180 a month to $38.50. Of course, we can’t forget maintenance, insurance…blah blah.

    Car-free living is pretty awesome. :)

  • A full tank in our car costs about 70 from empty. Petrol’s $1.84 a litre right now.

    I would say our car is middling – not a guzzler but not super economical. BF does a fair bit of driving – luckily his commute doesn’t involve much traffic, it’s a fairly straight run down the motorway – and a tank only last a week or so.

    I spend about $20-25 a week on public transport.

  • I use my electric bikes for most trips so my cost for a tank of gas is zero. It does cost to charge the batteries but it’s only pennies per trip.

    I built my first electric bike in 2008 when gas prices went over $4. There was a huge waiting list for the electric bike kits that summer.

  • Hello!

    I spend $30-$35 a week on gas (yuck!). I used to get by on one tank a month, but then we purchased a home and my commute is now half an hour. Still not bad, but definitely adds to the bottom line.

  • I Spend about $35 every two weeks I only work about 4 or 5 miles from home so I don’t have to drive too much

  • I spend about $30 a month on gas. I live close to work and shopping so unless I go out of town a full tank lasts me the whole month.

  • You might be interested in a blog that I wrote a little while ago about topping my car up with used cooking oil. Please be advised this only works with Diesel vehicles.

    OK I am from the UK, but I can’t imagine there is any difference between here and there……………except the price tag £-$

    http://www.johnnydebt.co.uk/debt/filled-car-0-35-litre/