At A Glance – Gas prices have skyrocketed to an all-time high. And they have done it in record time. We all need ways to save money on gas.
On Thursday morning, March 3rd, I drove out of my neighborhood, looked at the gas price, and went WHAT, HUH! The price had gone up 50 cents from the previous day!
I’m betting this has happened to you, too. As of the day I am writing this (March 11, 2022), the national average price for a gallon of gas is $4.33. That’s 27 cents higher than 4 days ago, 72 cents higher than 10 days ago, and a staggering 90 cents higher than a month ago.
Rising fuel costs not only hit us at the pump but will trickle down to everything we purchase. Any goods that have to be transported, like groceries, and any service at your home, like the electrician, will go up due to gas prices. If you still have to commute to work, it will hit you hard. Hello, carpool!
Combine this dramatic rise in fuel costs with the recent 7%+ inflation and your monthly expenses might be jaw-dropping!
There are several reasons for this sudden and significant rise in gasoline prices. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few:
- A spike in crude oil prices. Gas prices are directly tied to the price of a barrel of crude oil.
- Crude oil prices have fluctuated because of uncertainty in the global supply of oil due to the conflict in Ukraine. Prices exploded after Russia invaded the neighboring country. This created concern over the supply of oil from Russia which currently accounts for about 12% of the world’s supply.
- Concern over sanctions on Russia or that Russia would impose an embargo on the west has also created supply uncertainty.
- Production was reduced during the pandemic and has been slow to catch up to increased demand.
How To Save Money On Gas
Here are a few tips to help you get the most for your gasoline dollar.
At The Pump
- Use Apps To Find The Best Price – Apps like GasBuddy tell you the price at stations in your area. This is especially useful away from home.
- Check The Price At Costco Or Sam’s – If you have a Costco or Sam’s membership, check their gas price.
- Join A Fuel Rewards Program – Most gas stations and grocery store chains offer fuel points for savings at their branded gas stations. Also, check for additional fuel points with purchases of special items like gift cards.
- Use Cash – Some stations offer a lower price if you pay with cash.
- Use A Rewards Credit Card – IF you are a wise user of credit cards – pay in full, on time, every month – use a credit card that gives you cash back or discount points for gas purchases.
- Skip The Premium – Only use premium if it is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer. Otherwise, it provides no added benefit. (According to AAA)
As You Drive
- Use Cruise Control – driving at a constant speed increases fuel efficiency unless you are driving on very hilly roads.
- Don’t Idle – I know it’s tempting to let the car warm up if you live in a cold climate, or run the A/C so you can even touch the steering wheel in hot climates, but it wastes gas. Try not to do it.
- Remove Roof Racks – Ski racks, bike racks, car-top carriers or anything attached to the outside of your car creates drag and lowers fuel efficiency.
- Plan Your Errands – Plan ahead where you are going to drive the fewest miles. See if you can reduce errands to one a week.
- Carpool or Mass Transit – share rides or use mass transit whenever you can.
- Continue To Work From Home Whenever Possible
- Use Most Fuel Efficient Car – If you own more than one vehicle, use the one with the best gas mileage.
- Slow Down – Duh! Slower speeds and fewer jack-rabbit starts require less fuel.
- Park Your Car In The Shade Or Use A Windshield Screen – This will keep the inside of your car cooler and require less A/C to cool the car down. Anytime you can run your A/C less will be more efficient of fuel consumption.
- Remove Unnecessary Items From Your Car – It takes more gas to drive around more weight inside your car or trunk.
Maintain Your Car
- Maintain Proper Tire Pressure – Check the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door or your car’s manual for the recommended tire pressure and keep your tires inflated properly. Correct tire inflation increases fuel efficiency and reduces tire wear.
- Change Your Oil Regularly – Using the correct grade of oil and doing regular oil changes will increase your car’s fuel efficiency. Also, you might consider synthetic oil. It costs more, but will decrease friction and increase gas mileage.
- Have Your Vehicle Maintained At Regular Intervals – Regular service will improve your car’s efficiency and longevity.
Key Takeaway – Hopefully, the new record-high gas prices are temporary, but there are things we can do today to save every penny we can at the pump.
Assignment – Incorporate as many of these gas savings tips as you can today!
Coming Soon – Travel Rewards