I love having a car, but absolutely hate paying for maintenance.
My car gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want, without having to rely on the only two city buses that stop in my neighborhood each day.
It allows me to go on road trips and see more of this beautiful country, without paying high airfare costs.
But on top of insurance and emergency repairs, the car also regularly costs me money on maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.
Oil changes have been the bane of my car-ownership existence. At least every three months, I have to shell out at least $30.
Call me a miser, call me cheap -- but I knew there had to be a better way.
For a while, I hoarded Jiffy Lube coupons. Every once in a while, they’d save me a few dollars, bringing my after-tax total to $27.
My friend also tried to show me how to do my own oil change. We spent $23 on supplies, and then spent a half hour actually doing the job.
I was only half-heartedly paying attention. Changing my own oil would only save me $24 total on the four oil changes I’d need each year. The time involved wasn’t worth it to me.
Then, I saw an ad in a sidebar.
“Three oil changes for $24!” it boasted. Of course, I clicked.
When I came upon Planet Super Saver, I was skeptical. I searched for a location near me, and there was one two neighborhoods over.
Before buying an oil change package, I also called my participating, local mechanic. Turns out, it was no scam.
Not only did I get three oil changes for the advertised price of $24, but the redemption card they mailed out also included:
I’ve been buying this package for three years now.
While the entire card is valuable, I’ve only ever used it for oil changes, tire rotations, brakes and an unfortunately high repair bill that qualified me for the $50 credit.
Even underutilizing the card’s offers, I still save oodles of cash.
I haven’t paid more than $8.98 per oil change in more than three years. Here’s how you can do the same:
When you visit the site’s homepage, you’ll be prompted to sign up via a pop-up.
By signing up for the newsletter, you can monitor deals and strike when there’s a great one.
At first glance, the packages on the site aren’t very appealing. In my area, they show up as $79.95.
The real savings come in when you apply the deals from the newsletter.
Most of the time, the newsletter deal brings the offer down to $23.98, which they call $24 for three oil changes.
If you get a physical card, there’s also a $2.95 shipping fee, bringing your total to $26.93. It breaks down to $8.98 per oil change if you count all the other savings options on the card as free bonuses. You save 70%!
It gets even better, though.
Some deals I’ve applied have brought the cost of the package even lower. The lowest I’ve paid has been $19.99. With the $2.95 shipping fee, it brought my costs down to $7.65 per oil change.
I have a Seinfeld-slow mailman, so my card typically takes one to two weeks to arrive.
If you need an oil change immediately, ordering the card through the mail may not be your best bet. You may want to go for the digital option (which will also save you the $2.95 shipping fee).
Once the card arrives, just schedule an oil change with the designated mechanic, take your card in and let them know you have it.
You’ve already paid for the card online, so you walk out of the shop without dropping another penny.
Nowadays, I love my car a lot more -- I spend a third of what I used to on regular maintenance.
Your turn: How do you save on car maintenance? Ever paid less than $7.65 per oil change?
Brynne Conroy is a blogger and freelance writer who obsesses over every last penny she can save and earn. When she’s not busy finding killer deals, she’s hustling, raising toddlers and living large on a family budget.