Gas prices are on the rise again, and even though there is no actual correlation between supply, production, demand, and cost, the result is the same when it comes to your budget. Even a $0.10 increase per gallon can have an impact, and in the last few weeks the increase has been double that.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize your gas usage and costs.
Use Online Gas Price Monitors
There are several sites that allow people to enter gas prices they spot at stations around town. The difference between one station and another can be 10 cents or more. If you know where to get your gas for less, over time it can really add up. $1 a week may not seem like much, but invest that $50 each year and they do.
Shop for Food and Gas at the Same Chain
Many stores offer both gas and groceries at one location. In order to draw people to their gas station, they offer discounts for loyal grocery customers. In addition to the usual cents-off offers, they also run special promotions from time to time.
One of the local supermarkets offers $0.10 off their gas if you purchase $100 in groceries. The savings can be accumulated up to a certain amount – $0.40, and then used in one gas purchase. That is a significant savings if you make good use of it.
Another regular promotion involves credit for switching prescriptions to the supermarket pharmacy and another revolves around purchasing a certain amount of gift certificates. During the holidays they allow up to $1.00 discount per gallon.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get the most for your money when it comes to gas is to maintain your vehicle properly. Keep your tires inflated properly; low pressure causes an increase in friction, costing you several miles per gallon as you drive.
Change your oil and air filters on schedule to keep your engine running smoothly and effectively.
Decrease Trips, Weight, and Resistance
You already know that you should plan your trips so you don’t go back and forth over the same route. Carpooling is another wonderful way to save on gas. You can also improve gas mileage by taking unnecessary items out of your car. The less your car carries, the less gas it will use. By the same token, remove ski or bicycle racks or anything else that adds drag to the vehicle.
Finally, don’t sit in idle. If you are going to be sitting at a bank window, take-out window, or any other place for more than a couple minutes, turn off the engine. Yes, the engine does take a bit more fuel in start up than in idle, but the break-even point is fairly low.
Chances are that the current price of gas won’t last, and summer always brings a rise in prices at the pump. Start adapting your driving patterns and gas-buying behaviors now and by summer time you will be ready.
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