smart spending

Frugal $ense: Save on gas with fuel coupons

If you have a long commute to and from your job, gas can guzzle up a big chunk of your monthly budget. Just ask this month's Frugal $ense winner, Christopher Thomas, who faces a 160-mile roundtrip commute to work every day.

Fortunately for him (and you), he found a simple way to save a few bucks on gas. As they say, every little bit counts.

July's Frugal $ense winner: Christopher Thomas
Christopher ThomasChristopher Thomas won $100 for submitting the following tip:

Get a discount on gas
"Almost everyone has to purchase gas for their cars. And if you're like me, it's one of your biggest expenses each month. I went online and signed up for coupons from leading gas companies. Just the other day, I received a $1.50 off coupon for every $10 spent. This can really add up to some savings, depending on how much fuel you buy." -- Christopher Thomas, of Joplin, Mo.

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Bankrate.com: How did you think of this idea?

Christopher Thomas: I just started doing this. I recently took a job out of town, so I have to commute 160 miles a day. So I'm spending three hours a day in the car, an hour and a half each way. I was just looking for ways to save additional money on gas. Since gas companies offer coupons, I thought that I would give them a try. Gas was becoming my biggest expense, surpassing my mortgage.

Bankrate.com: How does this work?

Christopher Thomas: Murphy USA is the most well-known gas station around here. It's associated with Walmart. So you go on their website and set up a user profile. They e-mail you different things such as coupons and even discounts they may have on other items, such as soda. That's a nice reference point. I figured that if they did it, others would do it as well. So it kind of branched out from there.

Bankrate.com: What's the best coupon you've received so far?

Christopher Thomas: The $1.50 off for every $10 spent is by far the best I've seen. Most of them just save you a few bucks on single purchase. You can utilize those coupons for various amounts.

Bankrate.com: How often do you fill up?

Christopher Thomas: Twice a week.

Bankrate.com: What are some other things you do to save money or be frugal?

Christopher Thomas: I set up a car pool. So now I only have to drive to and from work once every two weeks. I organized that with some other people I work with.

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