Smart Spending

Gas Prices Start Inching Up

It is looking more and more like we have seen just how low the gas prices are going to go. Gas prices have started rising again, which may limit just how far you travel this year. One thing that may make a difference, though, is if you learn how to save gas and make it go farther while you drive.

There are many things that can happen that will cause a gas price increase, but there are also several ways you can save money at the pump. Many online websites are now available which will show you the places with the best gas prices in your neighborhood. If you are willing to go to a different gas station to fill up, or at least to get a few gallons, you can save more money than your neighbors.

One such website, GasBuddy, shows you at a glance whether or not the average gas price in your state is going up or down, and it also tells you the cost. Then, by clicking on your state you can narrow down your search to your city or town by zip code and find the cheapest gas prices around.

When it comes to so-called “gas-saving devices” that you install on your car, the Federal Trade Commission warns against them. The agency states that they have tested more than 100 devices and have not found any of them to really help you save a significant amount of gas.

Another government website,, says that you can save as much as 33 percent of your gas costs if you avoid aggressive driving. This means that you should obey the posted speed limits, and avoid fast starts and braking quickly. Your car starts becoming less economical above 50 mph, and for every five mph you drive faster than that will cost you an additional $0.24 per gallon of gas.

You can also save on gas by avoiding letting your engine run in idle for long. In the summer months, this will consume more gas if you have the air conditioner running. Instead, turn the engine off when you are parked, and you will save about a half-gallon of fuel for every hour of idling.

Another great way to save money on gas is to use a gas credit card. These cards will often give you a discount, or a rebate of one to five percent of the cost. While some gas cards are for particular brands, other ones will let you save a certain percentage when you buy gas anywhere. The very important thing you need to know about saving money with gas cards is that you must pay off the balance every month, or the interest will eat up your savings – and then some.

Keeping your car tuned up is another important gas saver. Having a dirty air filter or an engine out of tune is going to cost you.

One more option that is mentioned by, is that if you have a vehicle that gets rather poor gas mileage now (20 mpg), you will be able to save money if you get one that gets better gas mileage. For instance, if you drive about 15,000 miles per year, and get one that gets around 30 mpg, you will be able to save more than $4,300 in gas costs over a five year period.