(BPT) - Whether it's shopping for groceries or clothes at the mall, we're always on the lookout for the best deal. Though it may be through more subtle means, you can apply the same money-saving principals toward other everyday expenses. The money you spend on gas is a perfect example.
By making a few adjustments like changing driving habits and shopping smart, you can make the most out of each gallon you pump into your tank. Here are five tips for getting real and consistent savings at the pump.
* Follow simple maintenance procedures. The most practical way to improve your fuel economy is making sure your tires are inflated properly. You can find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle on the placard inside of your door, or in your car's owner's manual. Using the recommended grade of motor oil can also increase your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
* Use rewards programs to your advantage. As an example the new ExxonMobil Smart Card, a credit card issued by Citibank, N.A., saves users 6 cents/gallon on Exxon- or Mobil-branded gasoline and diesel fuel when they use the card to purchase at least 45 gallons in a billing cycle. Savings apply from the first gallon up to 100 gallons each qualifying billing cycle, and are reflected as a monthly statement credit. While a few cents may not seem like a lot, the dollars add up quickly over the course of time when you consistently use rewards programs. The ExxonMobil Smart Card can save you up to $72 in one year. You can apply for the ExxonMobil Smart Card at www.exxonmobilcard.com.
* Reduce weight and drag. You might not notice your carrying rack affecting the quality of your ride, but racks and other add-ons to your vehicle cause a lot of drag, taking a big bite out of your fuel efficiency. It pays to take them off when you aren't using them. Removing extra weight, by cleaning out everything you don't need that's stashed in your trunk or car, can also help.
* Watch the way you drive. Most cars travel with highest fuel efficiency in the 50 mph range which begins to drop significantly the faster you go. Keeping your highway speed to the posted speed limit not only keeps you safer, but can greatly improve gas mileage. Aggressive starting and stopping also puts more stress on your engine, and uses more gasoline.
* Technology is your friend. Your mobile GPS unit can help you get where you need to go in the most efficient way possible.
Shopping smart at the pump may be easier than you thought. By putting a few of these simple fuel-saving tips into practice, you can get real and consistent savings.