16:53 | 07/03/2021 Print
|Gas Prices climb: Why and Best Ways to Save|
Several factors are causing this increase – such as the weather, the approaching summer season, and the price per barrel of crude oil.
Total domestic gas stocks decreased nationwide as demand increased over the past week, data from the EIA shows.
“If these trends continue alongside higher crude prices, drivers can expect incremental price increases — of at least nickel — at their local gas stations in March,” the AAA said in a statement.
Mike Moncla, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, says it all comes down to supply and demand.
The push backs vary, and most of them are the same year after year. However, the recent winter weather impacted the price of gasoline even further.
Because of the winter freeze’s impact on Texas and surrounding areas, the EIA says U.S. refineries were working at 83 percent capacity. After the freeze, that dropped to 56 percent -- which impacts the supply.
Additionally, the price you pay at the pump is directly impacted by crude oil price before it gets refined. The price per barrel has been on an upward trend too.
Finally, gasoline blends for the summertime cost more to produce and demand is higher due to traveling. That’s why, with the exception of 2020, gas prices typically rise between January and May.
As spring travel season approaches, AAA anticipates gas prices will continue to rise as demand grows.
The price of gas is one of the most expensive factors in driving a vehicle. Unfortunately, projections suggest that the price of gas will continue to rise in the future. This is why so many people are interested in saving as whenever they can
Some ways you can save money when pumping gas include using websites or apps like GasBuddy. They track the prices of gasoline in your area and can help you determine where to pump gas. Additionally, several gas stations offer rewards programs that can earn you points by fueling there.
Someone using a gas price app and was amazed to find that the cost of fuel in my area varied by 70 cents a gallon. By purchasing the cheapest gas, they could save $8.40 each fill-up and as much as $220 a year.
And Addition, with some simple planning, a household with two cars could easily save the cost of a car payment each year.
Natural disasters and severe weather can eventually bring higher gas prices to your area. For example, the deep freeze in Texas forced the shutdown of Gulf Coast and some Midwest refineries and drove up gas prices by 13 cents in one week. You can easily check prices in your area on AAA, which also predicts oil price increases.
Shopping around on a gas app will quickly show you the cheapest gas in your area or along your intended route. “People think that the difference between $2.00 and $2.21 is not that much,” says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “But if they are buying 20 gallons every week, the savings adds up fast.” In cities, prices can vary by as much as a dollar a gallon, he says, making the savings even greater.
While GasBuddy is perhaps the best-known gas app, there are others available. And you can filter the results to show the price of different fuel grades and which stations offer diesel.
Most gas stations advertise a cash price that is cheaper than the credit card price. This might mean bringing paper money — remember that stuff? — and paying the clerk inside. But at some stations, using a debit instead of a credit card will also get you the cash discount.
If you opt for a debit card, make sure you’re getting the discount before you start pumping since not all stations allow this. And keep in mind that debit card transactions are less secure than using a credit card since thieves could intercept your PIN code and empty your coffers.
Many such programs abound, but drilling down — pun intended — to the savings is difficult. Here’s a quick look at the important factors to consider when choosing the best card for saving money on gas:
Remember, if you are using a credit card, pay off the entire balance or the interest will wipe out any gas price savings.
|BP gas station in Leland (Photo: WWAY)|
The first and most effective tip for saving gas is simply to drive slower. Of course, this is also potentially the most difficult tip to actually put into practice. It can be very challenging to force yourself to drive 5 or 10 miles an hour slower than you usually do.
However, you will certainly notice the savings at the pumps. If you continue to drive more slowly and smoothly for a while, it'll become like second nature and you won't have to think twice to save a great deal of money on gas.
Another quick yet effective way you can increase fuel economy for your vehicle is to make sure that your tires are inflated. You might think that your tire pressure warning light will definitely come on if your tires are deflated. However, the warning light probably will not come on if your tires are only slightly deflated.
Even if your tires are only a little deflated, this can still make your vehicle's fuel economy numbers drop significantly. When you're filling your tires, it is better to put in as much air as is allowed the manufacturer's specifications.
Tires with more air in them are generally more fuel-efficient.
Another important way to save on gas is to avoid heavy traffic as much as possible. If you can do an errand at any time, try to avoid doing it during rush hour. Driving in traffic is very bad for your vehicle's fuel economy as the engine has to run down and rev up over and over again. This process uses up a lot of fuel. This is why the city fuel economy ratings for various vehicles are always lower than the highway fuel economy ratings for those vehicles. Driving with fewer stops and starts, even if you are driving on the highway and not on city streets, can help you save a significant amount on fuel.
If you get regular maintenance, especially on your vehicle's engine, you will notice that you also get good fuel economy. This is because a well-tuned and well-maintained engine will run more efficiently. This means that it will be able to put out the same power on less fuel.
This just one of many reasons that you should stick to the manufacturer's service plan for your vehicle. If you do so, your vehicle will be more efficient, smoother, more powerful, and cleaner.
See If Your Vehicle Has An Eco Mode
Many vehicles these days come with an eco mode. This mode may be named something different in your car, but you likely are aware of such driving modes. These driving modes are designed specifically to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions by running the engine on slightly less fuel.
If you switch from the normal driving mode to the eco driving mode, you can save up to 10% on gas or perhaps more (depending on your vehicle). If you have a hybrid vehicle, running your vehicle in electric-only mode when possible will also allow you to save even more on fuel.
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