Eight on Your Side shows how to save money on gas - WFLA News Channel 8

Eight on Your Side shows how to save money on gas

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It can be painful to pull up to the gas pump these days as gasoline prices continue to rise.  According to AAA, regular gasoline was selling for an average of $3.34 a gallon in the Bay area last month.  That same gallon of gas will cost you $3.80 today. But there are ways to save on fuel.

Gregg Laskoski, a petroleum analyst at www.gasbuddy.com says "you don't have to drive around looking for the lowest prices or wondering is this a good place to go."  He says there are apps that will help you find the lowest prices in your neighborhood.  Laskoski adds: "just in today's prices on tampagasprices.com you'll see the disparity between the lowest and the highest price station in this market is 70 cents a gallon. That's a huge spread."  Which is why it pays to shop around.

Eight on Your Side found out there are also better days of the week to buy gas.  Buying earlier in the week will typically save you money because prices rise later in the week in anticipation of weekend travel.  How you drive also matters.  Accelerating slowly, stopping gradually and using your cruise control will all conserve gas.

Laskoski says: "every couple of weeks you should check the tire pressure with a tire gauge."
For every pound of pressure your tires are under-inflated, you can be losing 2% of your fuel economy.  "To put it in dollars and cents, if you think you're getting 20 miles to the gallon from your car and your down two pounds of pressure, you're only going to be getting 18 miles per gallon."  It also conserves fuel if you lighten your load by getting the junk out of your trunk.

Using rewards cards is another way to push down what you pay at the pump. Laskoski says: "they can knock down that price twenty to twenty-five cents a gallon, maybe fifty cents a gallon at certain times."  The Shell-Winn Dixie partnership is one of the most well known programs in the Bay area.
Laskoski says: "when people buy their groceries at Winn Dixie, they swipe their card, the Winn Dixie reward card.  It's going to reduce the price per gallon that they pay at a Shell gas station and the savings can be significant."

Certain gas station chains also offer their own credit cards as a way to save.  But be warned they often come with higher interest rates so are probably only worth while if you are someone who pays off your balance in full every month.  On the flip side, many gas stations also offer you a discount if you don't use a credit card and pay in cash instead.

Wholesale clubs like Sam's Club, Costco and B. J.'s typically also have lower gas prices because they're not making their profit only on gas sales.  But remember to factor in the cost of being a member at those clubs when comparing those prices.


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