Chris’ note: Gas prices are at record highs. And there’s no end in sight…
So today, we’re sharing 11 tips from Palm Beach Research Group analyst Grant Wasylik. They’ll help you save money on your fuel-ups – wherever gas prices go.
This month, the U.S. national average for a gallon of gas hit an all-time high of $5.
In places like Mono County, California, prices were as high as $7.23 for a gallon of regular.
My 80-year-old neighbor was fuming about these prices. He told me he remembers buying gas for around a quarter a gallon in the 1960s.
He wasn’t too far off. Sixty years ago, the average price of gasoline nationwide was 32 cents.
Adjusting for inflation, that 1962 price is equivalent to $3.06 in 2022. So instead of a 1,462% increase since then, it’s technically less than a 50% rise.
Still, I can’t blame him for being upset.
With inflation at a 40-year high… home prices out of reach for many Americans… skyrocketing food prices… and the war in Ukraine… paying more to fill the gas tank is taking a toll on many Americans.
And unfortunately, cutting fuel prices isn’t as easy as some folks in the mainstream media want us to believe.
Analysts say there are only two surefire ways to reduce gas prices long term – drilling for more oil or reducing our dependency on it.
Those two ideas tend to fall on opposite sides of the political spectrum. So it’s unlikely we’ll see any meaningful moves in either direction soon.
Luckily, there are steps you can take now that don’t require action from the federal government.
Conventional investments like ExxonMobil (XOM), the United States Gasoline Fund (UGA), or the United States Oil Fund (USO) are good ways to play rising prices in the short term. But they’re not what I’m talking about today.
Instead, I’ll give you something much more valuable – advice that will help you save on gas in the long term, no matter where prices go from here.
Gasoline is a necessity. Even in today’s remote work environment, we still need our cars to pick up groceries or run other errands.
Rising gas prices hit even harder for people on fixed incomes, like my neighbor. And like most of us, he wants actual solutions… not a political blame game or speculative market plays.
So if you’re willing to be open-minded and disciplined, here are 11 tips for saving gas money:
Fill up early in the week. A GasBuddy study reports Monday is the best day of the week to buy gas. Since things vary across states, you can view GasBuddy’s Best and Worst Days to Buy Gas, by State.
Download a free gas-price app. GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and Gas Prices by MapQuest are all top-rated apps. They make it easy to find the cheapest fuel in your area.
Pay in cash. Some gas stations offer lower prices if you pay cash. They usually advertise it on their price boards. The difference can be 10 cents or more per gallon.
Use a credit card with max gas rewards. See NerdWallet’s Best Gas Credit Cards of July 2022. Make sure to pay off the charges each month to avoid paying interest.
Buy discounted gas gift cards online. Sites like Gift Card Granny, CardCash, and Gift Card Place offer these.
Sign up for a gas station reward program. Most gas stations (ExxonMobil, Shell, Speedway, etc.) have them.
Take advantage of warehouse clubs. BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club price gas cheaper as an extra membership incentive.
Keep your car in good shape. Maintain a clean air filter… keep tires properly inflated and aligned… stay on top of oil changes… and use the recommended oil grade. Stick to a regular maintenance schedule.
Drive sensibly. Speeding hurts fuel economy. So do jackrabbit starts and stops. Use cruise control when possible.
Use a GPS. A navigation app like Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps will suggest the most efficient route to a destination.
Consider alternative transportation, if you can. Ride a bike. Or use public transportation.
These tips will save you a few cents here and there. And every little bit counts. Over time, they’ll add up.
Even better, these tips can help you save at the pump whether prices are up or down.
Analyst, Palm Beach Daily