President Joe Biden is taking action to bring down gasoline prices, which were nearly 60% higher in October 2021 than they were the same month a year ago.
This week, he announced that the Energy Department would release 50 million barrels of oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase supply.
Last month, the national gas price average hit a seven-year high, according to AAA, and prices this week were on average $1.29 higher than they were this time ago. a year.
“The fact is, right now, energy prices at the pump and at home are too high,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said at a press briefing this week. week. “Low-income families already spend up to 30% of their monthly income on fuel, on energy. And so any price increase – for them, in particular – causes undue pressure, but it causes pressure for everyone.
But don’t expect that to change gas prices immediately, Biden warned.
In the meantime, you can reduce the amount you pay at the pump. Here’s how.
Know how to find cheaper gas stations
Apps like GasBuddy track local gas prices, which can indicate whether it’s best to fill up at the station near your home or near your workplace. And while warehouse clubs like Costco typically charge membership fees, many have their own gas stations that offer lower prices, which alone may justify the dues.
Change the way you drive to increase your fuel economy
Believe it or not, adjusting the way you accelerate, brake or use cruise control can have an impact on the amount of gasoline used during your trip.
To start, slow down. According to a study by car-buying website Edmunds, slowing from 75 to 65 mph increased fuel economy by up to 14%.
Adopt cruise control. Edmunds found that constant speed driving can save up to 14% compared to constant lane changes, acceleration and deceleration.
And idling consumes a significant amount of gas, even if you’re not moving. If you’re waiting outside school to pick up your kids, or if you’ve stopped at the end of your block to chat with a neighbor, turn off the engine. Edmunds found that avoiding excessive idling can reduce fuel consumption by up to 19%.
Use the right gas credit card
At the end of the day, you’re likely to pay more for gas this year than last, even if you’re careful about savings. If so, at least maximize the rewards you get from your purchases. the best gas credit cards typically net at least 3% back in rewards for your gas station purchases.
You can also give up the gas completely and consider an electric car. They can be expensive and can be a hassle if you consider how often you’ll need to charge it and where you can do it.
But they also have benefits — no oil changes needed, access to carpool lanes in some areas, and reduced environmental guilt. Then there is also the tax benefit. All-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased new in 2010 or later may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
And these days, not paying for gas might seem like the biggest perk of them all.