Plus, with Labor Day 2012 weekend upon us, gas retailers have likely hiked up prices just a bit to turn a profit, given how many people are expected to be on the roads.
However, you don’t have to spend more on gas, if you know how to be smart about driving and saving. Here are 7 tips to save fuel at the gas pump, on Labor Day weekend and throughout the year.
- Search for the best price. Gas prices can vary from one area of town to another. Visit Gas Price Watch to compare gas prices in your neighborhood. Many drivers don’t realize that all gas companies share the same refineries in order to comply with federal regulations, so it makes more sense to purchase the cheaper option rather than staying loyal to a particular brand. Also, if, like me, you live near another state, sometimes crossing state lines can save you $.10 or $.20 per gallon!
- Be smart at the pump. According to AAA, gas is gas. Don’t be fooled by the words “premium” or “superior” grades, as neither of these types offer you better mileage or more power. Check your car’s owner’s manual and if it does not require premium grade gas, then regular unleaded will do.
- Drive sensibly. Excessive speed and a lot of accelerating and breaking can waste gas. According to CNN Money, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent when driving at highway speeds and by 5 percent when cruising around town.
- Consolidate Trips. To cut down on driving, find a location where you can take care of grocery shopping, dry cleaning, banking and other daily errands all in one.
- Routinely maintain your vehicle. Get your vehicle checked out to make sure all systems are running smoothly, that spark plugs and sensors are replaced on time, and tire pressure is where it should be. If any of these things are not maintained, your vehicle will use more gas because it has to work harder.
- Look into alternatives. Research other methods of transportation, including carpooling, traveling by bus or bicycling. If you own more than one vehicle, drive the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
- Take advantage of retailers offer price discounts at the pump. Many stores offer promotions that let you save money on gas or get it for free. Tomorrow, I’ll do a rundown of where you can go and shop to save on gas.
If you’d like more tips, see my BabyCenter story on the Top 10 Ways to Save at the Pump.