May 11, 2005 — -- With oil prices hitting record highs recently, consumers are feeling the pinch at the gas pumps.
Drivers can take a number of steps to try to limit fuel consumption, such as keeping their cars properly tuned and taking shorter routes, but at some point, every driver has to fill the tank.
The "Savings Mom," Stephanie Nelson, appeared on "Good Morning America" with some ideas for saving money on gas by using discount cards and coupons and being a savvy shopper.
Consider nontraditional fuel centers at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Their gas prices are usually lower than the market average. Here are some money-saving ideas to use at these places:
Gas rebate credit cards are lucrative now, but read the fine print. You can research cards on www.cardweb.com.
• Are there spending limits for the high gas rebate? For example (in the case of one gas rebate card), once annual card spending reaches $3,000 per year, then the gas rebate goes down from 5 percent to 1 percent. The trick: Only put your gas spending on this card to maintain the high gas rebate.
• Is there a limited time period for the high rebate and/or low interest rate?
• Is the high gas rebate available at all fuel centers or only selected stations?
• If you expect to carry a balance on the card, is the interest rate competitive with other options?
Simple changes can yield big savings. Here's a real-life example based on the Savings Mom's husband:
Total annual savings:
For more money-saving tips from the "Savings Mom," Stephanie Nelson, visit www.thecouponmom.com.