How To Save Money on Gas Now

Blame it on a demand-supply imbalance, unrest between Russia and Ukraine or a combination of both, but consumers are paying more at the gas pump. A lot more than a couple of years ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic kept Americans home and their vehicles idle.

Retail gas prices haven’t hit the all-time high of $4.11 per gallon for regular gas, set in July 2008, but prices are steadily moving higher. At last check, the average national price for a gallon of regular gas was hovering around $3.51. Meanwhile, premium gasoline is going for around $4.12 per gallon.

Prices may increase more if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate. Even if it doesn’t, fueling up tends to get pricier as we enter the warmer months and refineries switch to more expensive summer blends of fuel.

“Prices usually bottom out in January and February, but it looks like they bottomed out on January 16,” Robert Sinclair, a spokesperson for AAA Northeast says. “Prices have been going up consistently since then, and there’s no indication they are going anywhere but up.”

For many older adults, gas is a necessity, one that can’t be completely switched off like dining out or spending on entertainment. The good news: You can reduce the amount you spend getting your car from point A to point B. Here’s how.​

How to lower your gasoline expenditures ​​

When it comes to saving at the pump, the factor that has the biggest impact tends to be the hardest to change — your driving habits. “American consumers have more power than they realize,” says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “If you look at the pandemic, people stopped driving and prices plummeted.”

Driving less, running errands when you are commuting, and planning your outings to be more efficient can go a long way toward curbing your gas outlays. But it’s not just how many trips you make with your vehicle in a given day or week, it’s also how you drive your car. Racing to red lights, braking hard and speeding can use more fuel than taking it slow. Reducing the amount of time you warm up your car can also be an effective way to save money on gas.

Keeping your vehicle up to date on its maintenance schedule and ensuring your tire pressure is at the proper level can also save gas. According to Sinclair, you lose fuel economy when your tires are underinflated. And while you may think you are doing right by your vehicle by using premium, it’s often a waste of money. The majority of vehicles run on regular gasoline, says Sinclair. “Many people think they are giving their car a treat by giving it premium, but the vehicle neither understands nor appreciates it.”


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