MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to AAA, gas prices in Minnesota right now are $3.19 a gallon. That’s up 15 cents from a month ago and more than a dollar from last year. So what are ways to save on gas? Good Question.
First, car experts say car maintenance is important to have the better fuel economy. That includes checking for worn spark plugs, dirty air filters, sagging belts and transmission problems.
“You want to do everything to cause less friction,” says Scott Finn, operations leader for Bobbie & Steve’s Auto World in Bloomington.
Finn also points out the most important way to have better fuel economy is to be sure the tires are properly inflated. The pressure can usually be found on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb.
Unless your car requires premium fuel, Finn says it’s OK to use the cheaper regular blend.
Second, fuel rewards programs can often cut the cost of a gallon by five to 10 cents.
The travel website The Points Guy recently reviewed several apps and programs in a post titled, Here’s How I Save $1,000 per year on Gas Fill-ups.
“A thousand dollars might be a little high for the average consumer,” says Nick Ewen, senior editor with the Points Guy, “but I would say every month, I save between $10, $20, $30.”
He uses grocery store and gas station rewards programs, like Cub Rewards, Holiday Rewards, BPMe or Fuel Rewards at Shell. He also recommends credit cards with the offer savings on gas.
As for apps that offer cash-back or rewards, Ewen likes Get Upside, Trunow and Pay with Gas Buddy.
“In some cases, it’s having a linked credit card, sometimes it’s entering your phone number, other times you need to claim offers,” Ewen says. “Being a savvy customer is what’s going to save you money here.”
A third category of savings is driving behavior. According to the Department of Energy, avoiding aggressive driving helps save on fuel economy. Aggressive driving can lower highway gas mileage by 15% to 30% and city mileage by 10% to 40%. Every 5 mph above 50 is similar to paying an extra 22 cents per gallon.
Also recommended: Limiting heavy items (an extra 100 pounds can add .03 cents/gallon), reducing drag by putting items in a the car rather than the roof rack, and limiting idling (which can use half a gallon of gas per hour).
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