With the price of gas at its highest level since spring, you're
probably feeling pain at the pump. The national average is $3.83 a
gallon -- up nearly 28 cents from this time a year ago, according
to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. So filling the tank
of a 15-gallon car could set you back close to $60.
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The recent run-up in gas prices can be attributed to several
things, says Jim Patterson, associate editor of the
. Crude oil prices rose substantially over the summer largely
because the markets were nervous about the possibility of a
conflict between Iran and Israel over Iran's nuclear program. Also,
gas consumption jumped a bit around Labor Day due to the usual
burst of late-summer vacations. At the same time, Hurricane Isaac
forced some Gulf Coast oil refineries to shut down for a week or
so, temporarily reducing gasoline supplies, Patterson says.
"Those factors have largely run their course now," he says and
predicts that the national average price for regular unleaded
should drift down to about $3.75 in a few weeks (see
). "Not exactly cheap," he says, "but it's a little relief."
If you're looking for more relief (and who isn't?), here is our
best advice to keep gas costs under control.
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.
Learn more strategies in
10 tips to Lower Gas Costs
Never (fill up) on a Sunday.
Or a Friday or Saturday, for that matter. Gas prices typically rise
over the weekend; most station owners post the new prices Thursday
mornings by 10 a.m. Get more tips in
6 Things to Know About Saving on Gas
Don't keep your engine running
when you're stuck in traffic or, say, waiting in a car line to pick
up your kids . A common falsehood is that continually stopping and
starting your car's engine uses additional gasoline. This just
isn't true. When you're not going anywhere, turn your car off. Most
fuel-injected cars manufactured today don't waste gas when do you
this. So the next time you're waiting for a friend outside a
convenience store, cut off that engine. It's better for the
environment, too. Learn more about what you shouldn't do in
6 Gas-Saving Myths That Don't Work
Leave the car in the garage and bike instead.
If you have a bicycle, you can save a lot by peddling -- rather
than driving -- where you need to go. And you might save time, too.
Half of the working population in the U.S. commutes five miles or
less to work, with bike trips of three to five miles taking less
time or the same amount of time as commuting by car. To learn more
about how a family of six saved thousands of dollars when they
switched to bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, see
Cut Commuting Costs by Biking to Work
. And use our calculator to see
you can save bicycling to work
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