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Ways to Save Money on Gas This Summer

up close shot of three gasoline pistols at a gas pump

These days, everything seems so expensive. Prices have skyrocketed in the last several months and they keep rising, which is causing frustration and devastation to families all over the United States.

In a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was stated that the annual inflation rate went up to 9.1 percent in June, according to the most recent consumer price index report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. But why exactly is this happening? There has been a decrease in purchasing power of our nation’s currency because there is an increased demand for goods and services. This means that our currency cannot effectively purchase as much as it did in previous years.

Gas is one of the largest contributors to the increase in consumer prices across the country. It’s almost painful pulling up to gas stations, and thinking about how the cost will affect your household budget. In fact, average U.S. gas prices hit an all-time national high in early June when the average prices surpassed $5 per gallon. With these rising costs being a tremendous concern for everyone, we would like to share a few ways you can save money at the pump this summer.

Track Local Prices

You may be keeping a mental list of which gas stations in your neighborhood have the cheapest prices. But with the costs continuously fluctuating, this can become a bit of a headache. Luckily, there are easier ways to keep track of gas prices in your local area. You can use apps like Google Maps or GasBuddy to do just that, right from your phone. On Google Maps, all you have to do is go to the home screen of the app and hit the “Gas” icon under the search bar at the top of the page. Then you’ll be able to view all the gas stations in your area with their prices displayed above their locations.

GasBuddy is a service specifically designed to help users find the cheapest gas in their area. All you have to do is download the app and set your current location. Very similarly, you can view all the gas stations that are close by and see the corresponding prices. There’s a convenient filtering tool that allows you to select the distance you’re willing to drive to get gas, and what type of fuel you need. Additionally, there are a slew of features within the GasBuddy app that can help you save a bit of money. For instance, there is the Pay with GasBuddy feature which can save you up to as much as 40 cents a gallon when you use their prepaid gas card. When you sign up for Pay with GasBuddy, you’ll get this card that you’ll link to your checking account to draw funds each time your pay for gas. Another perk about this card is that it can be used at different gas stations across the U.S.

You may also want to consider the GasBack service which awards users gas credit when they shop or dine with participating vendors. GasBack is money you earn from these purchases that you can redeem at the pump. Who doesn’t love getting rewards?

Speaking of which, another tried and true method of saving money on fuel is with gas station reward programs!

Fuel Rewards, Memberships, & Money Back Programs

Just about every gas station has its own type of loyalty program that allows drivers to save a few cents per gallon every time they fuel up. Typically, all you have to do to get in on the savings is to register for an account, download the app, and voila: the savings begin. One of the most highly regarded programs out there is Exxon Mobil Rewards+.

Exxon’s program can award you as much as 8 cents in points per gallon on fuel purchases, and up to 5 cents in points per dollar spent on convenience store items and car washes. You can redeem your points on gas, car washes, and in-store items, with every 100 points equaling $1 off.

With all this talk of numbers, we can’t help but mention how tire pressure can impact your fuel economy.

Tire Pressure

Properly inflating your tires is already important, to begin with. Keeping the tires of your car well inflated can reduce excess wear on the treads which will prolong their lifespan your car. You’ll enjoy a smoother ride, and better traction and handling. But also, ensuring your tires are inflated to the correct PSI can boost gas mileage by 3%. You usually can find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or in your owner’s manual.

Mapping Your Routes

Google Maps has so many helpful tools within the app, we have to mention them again! One very useful way to preserve your fuel is to map out your trips. Let’s say you have a packed day ahead filled with various stops around town. Simply search for one of your destinations and hit the “Directions” icon. From there, you’ll want to tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner and hit “Add stop.” By doing so, you’ll have the ability to add as many stops as you need, as well as make sure you drive the best fuel-efficient route. It may sound silly, to take a different route while running your regular errands, but you may find a better route! You can arrange and rearrange your trip in whatever order you please to see what route would take the least amount of driving and time. Easy as that!

Have any questions or concerns about your finances? We’re here to help!

Contact our team here at Highlands Community Bank with any inquiries. We would love to speak with you. Call us today!

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