With gasoline prices at $3.84 per gallon, on average, and likely
to hit $4 by summer (see
), you're probably feeling the pain at the pump. However, there are
ways to keep gas costs under control. Chris Faulkner, CEO of
Texas-based Breitling Oil and Gas Co., offers these ten tips:
1. Download a gas app to find cheaper prices.
You can use your smart phone to comparison shop for the lowest gas
prices in your zip code with a free app such as GasBuddy. If you
don't have a smart phone, visit
before you leave home or the office to check gas prices online.
2. Don't buy gas near the highway.
People like convenience, but gas stations near the highway charge
10 cents to 15 cents a gallon more, Faulkner says. Drive a little
farther from the interchange to find a better deal (this is where
the GasBuddy app is handy). If you're traveling, gas up in a rural
town rather than a large city because prices will be lower.
3. Use a discount gift card.
Discount gift card sites, such as
, sell cards at less than face value for gas stations, such as BP
and Shell. They go quickly, though, so sign up for e-mail alerts to
be notified when they're in stock. Also look for discounted gift
cards for Walmart or grocery stores that have gas stations.
4. Keep car windows closed on the highway
because open windows add drag and reduce your car's gas mileage by
as much as 10%. In stop-and-go traffic, lower your windows to
reduce air-conditioning use, which will drain your gas tank.
5. Develop good driving habits.
You can improve a vehicle's gas mileage by up to 5% by avoiding
quick starts and stops. Gas mileage also decreases as you
accelerate beyond 55 mph.
6. Don't carry unnecessary items in your car.
Every 200 pounds to 250 pounds lowers your car's fuel efficiency by
1 mile per gallon.
7. Keep your tires properly inflated.
Faulkner says he tested this with his mother's car. She added 7% to
her gas mileage by keeping her tires properly inflated.
8. Fill 'er up with regular.
Most cars don't need the premium-grade gasoline, which cost 24
cents a gallon more, on average, than regular grade gas the week of
April 18, according to the Energy Information Administration.
9. Combine errands with other driving
you're going to do so you aren't making multiple trips and using
10. Don't overfill your tank.
If you top off, you're just wasting money on the gas that
inevitably sloshes out of the tank.
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