Advice For Coping With High Gas Prices

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — The rising gas prices are hard to miss. Drivers are now paying well over $3 per gallon and experts say prices could rise as high as $4 per gallon by summer.

“It’s scary, it’s scary,” said Tracey Tucker of St. Michael. She was in the area and filled up at the Maple Grove Costco.

The high prices have her thinking twice before grabbing her keys.

“Starting to shorten my trips or consolidate,” she said. “Wait ’til I need a bunch of stuff before I go far distances.”

A few pumps away, dental hygienist Angie Sipple describes how she’s driving less.

“I contract myself out and just go to a few different offices here and there,” she said. “So with all these crazy gas prices, I’m just trying not to commute as much and sticking around town a little bit more.”

Then there’s the decision of where to buy your gas. A gallon of unleaded was as high as $3.59 at some stations and as low as 3.39 at Costco and Sam’s Club.

Ben Johnson even takes it a step further. He checks to see which Costco is cheapest. He also uses his Costco Business American Express card, which gives him 4 percent back.

“I’m uptight,” said Johnson. “I admit it, but I figure every time I save money on gas, I get to buy myself a little something extra at Chipotle or some other place I like to eat.”

Jennifer Brownlee at AAA Minneapolis weighed in on the gas prices.

“We wouldn’t encourage people to drive all over town just to save five cents here or there,” she said. “But if gas is a little cheaper where you live or work, take advantage of that.”

You might be surprised to learn just how much you can save by maintaining your vehicle.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, getting your engine properly tuned up can save you $.14 per gallon. Properly inflating your tires can save $.10 per gallon. Using the right motor oil can save another three to five cents. Those figures are based on fuel prices of $3.38 per gallon.

Wilson Halley, a technician at the Bobby and Steve’s in Bryn Mawr, checked the tire of a car in his shop. It should have been inflated to 42 psi, but it was only 35 psi.

Halley can’t believe how many cars he sees with flat or low tires.

“Once it’s four below, people don’t want to get out and check the tire pressure,” said Halley. “Once they see the $3.50 per gallon, then they might have second thoughts.”

Paula Engelking, Producer
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