With gas prices changing practically every day, it feels like we need to find more creative ways to stretch our dollar. 

I’m a self-proclaimed bargain-hunter and used to run all around town chasing deals. Well, scoring them was great but that also meant spending more money at the gas pump. 

Then I got wise:

1) The first thing I did was to plan my route. (Or, as my husband calls it, the plan of attack.) Before leaving the house, we’d talk about which stores we were going to visit, and the best order in which to do it. 

We also made sure we had enough time to hit all the stores on our list. Our car fuel mileage got better once we weren’t rushing.

2) I put my smartphone to work by downloading the free app Gas Buddy – available for iPhone and Android phones – to find the best nearby gas prices. (Two other pricing apps are FuelFinder and iGasUp, though both cost a small amount.) 

Knowing prices beforehand saved us from going gas station to gas station guessing who would have the best deal.

3) I signed up for rewards. Does your grocery store have a gas reward program? Chain stores like Kroger offer a discount of 10 cents a gallon when you spend at least $100 in groceries while using their loyalty card program. This means double-duty savings. 

Likewise, if you live near a Walmart with a Murphy USA gas station, you can save money with their program. Until August 30th, use a rechargeable Walmart giftcard, MoneyCard or credit card at the gas pump and it will save you 10 cents a gallon.

4) Lastly, check online grocers and compare prices. We’ve been lucky enough to find things like coffee pods on sale at Amazon.com. Then we don’t need to leave the house, shipping is free and they are the ones paying for gas.

Yoly Mason writes about frugality and savings tips and tricks in her popular Atlanta-based Spanish-language blog Cuponeando.net.

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