Filling up the gas tank was never exactly anybody’s idea of a good time. But these days, it can feel downright miserable. Prices at the pump have been steadily climbing. Add that to rising inflation, stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs of living, and it feels like we just can’t catch a break.
But here are some foolproof ways to earn some extra gas money and save at the pump.
1. Use an App to Find the Cheapest Gas
You could spend an afternoon tracking down the cheapest gas station in your area. But who has that kind of time? Not to mention all the gas you’d waste in your search.
Why not let an app do the work for you? Apps like GasBuddy and Waze tell you the price of gasoline at the stations in your area, so you can find one on a route you plan to drive anyway. Plan ahead, so you’re not forced to shop on an empty tank.
The price of gas can also vary significantly across state lines, so if you’re planning a trip, check where prices are lower throughout your route. Avoid getting gas at stations just off a highway exit or in the middle of a major city — these stations tend to charge more than ones a little more out of the way.
2. Let This App Pay You up to $83 in Gas Money When You Win Solitaire Games
Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?
There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.
You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?
Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.
With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).
To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.
3. Use This Secret Debit Card
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?
Yep. When you sign up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores — plus they give you up to 50 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.
It’s perfect for earning extra cash for things that are already on your shopping list. You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?
This card used to have a huge waiting list, but now you can sign up for free.
Just enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
4. Add $225 in Gas Money to Your Wallet While Watching the News
It’s been a historic year in the news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves a constitutional scholar or a foreign policy expert.
That might not be the best news for your dinner conversations — but it’s great news for your wallet. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars. They’ll present you with short surveys to choose from every day, which you can fill out while you watch tonight’s broadcast.
You just have to answer honestly, and InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid while you watch the news.
5. Use Cash Instead of a Card
Some gas stations charge a lower price per gallon if you pay with cash rather than a credit card. It’s their way of avoiding card processing fees. While some stations will let you pay the cash price if you use a debit card, others won’t. Check with the gas station before you swipe your card, or simply use cash when it’s time to fill up.
6. Play Bingo on Your Phone for Gas Money — up to $83 Per Win
Do you play games on your phone just for fun? You should see if you can make money doing it, too.
A free iPhone app called Bingo Cash lets you play for real cash. Every win could pay you up to $83.
Bingo Cash is based on the classic Bingo format, where you’ll battle it out against other players at your same skill level. Everyone gets the same board and sees the same Bingo balls. The top three players in a game can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
And no, there’s no catch. There are no ads, either. You can play for free or pay to play in higher-stakes tournaments.
Download the free app and start playing your first game immediately. You could win money today!
7. Fill Up Early in the Week
According to a 2022 GasBuddy gas price analysis, gas prices tend to be the lowest on Mondays and Fridays — this is a change from just a few years ago. If you’re looking to buy cheap gas, avoid filling your tank on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays, when gas prices tend to be the most expensive.
8. Check Your Driving Habits
Small habits can add up to big differences in gas expenses. Here are a few to look out for:
Accelerate slowly: Generally, the faster you accelerate, the more gas you use. Be gentle on that pedal when getting up to highway speed. You’ll also get better mileage by coasting more, so look ahead for stops and turns. Reduce your idling time: Not only is sitting in your running car causing unneeded pollution, it’s also costing you gas money. Don’t start the car and leave it running while you look for the perfect playlist, and don’t sit in the driveway answering texts when you get home. Check your tire pressure: Underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage and cause you to lose about 3 cents per gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Check your gas cap: A bad seal or missing cap can allow gas to evaporate from your tank. This costs you money and pollutes the air. Lighten your car: The less your car weighs, the better gas mileage it gets. Remove any unnecessary things you’ve been lugging around. Carpool: It’s a classic for a reason. Organize a rotating carpool with neighbors, friends or co-workers whenever possible.
9. Cancel Your Car Insurance
When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.
If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.
And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.
It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.
So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.
The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is not a bank.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.