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Five Ways to Save Money on Gas

Ann Marie Kurtz- Getty Images

I’m pretty sure my wallet silently cries every time I pull into a gas station.  I moved here a  month ago from the Central Pennsylvania area (Harrisburg/Lancaster) and gas prices here are almost FORTY cents higher than there. It seems like every gas station here offers a lower price if you pay cash.  I’m still trying to get used to that. I don’t like to carry cash for safety reasons so because I only have my card, I have to pay a couple cents more for gas and that doesn’t make me happy, but that’s another gripe for another day.

You probably know that having enough air in your tires is important, because it can improve your gas mileage by about 3%. But here are some more ways to save money on gas:

Buy Gas at Night or Early in the Morning: Gas stations store their gas underground, and it’s denser when the ground is cold. So you actually get slightly more gas for your money if you pump before the sun comes up.

Try to Hit the Pump Midweek: Gas prices tend to rise slightly on Thursday and then drop back down on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Don’t Get Gas Until You Need To: It’s heavy, so driving with a full tank burns more fuel. But don’t drive around on fumes either because it can screw up your fuel pump.

Don’t Use High-Octane Gas if You Don’t Need it:  It seems obvious, but apparently some people still think high-octane gas is good for their low-octane cars. So just to be clear, unless you’re driving a high-performance car, a motorcycle, a truck, or an SUV, the higher octane level won’t improve your car’s performance, and it’s a waste of money.

Don’t Drive Aggressively: According to the Department of Energy, 60 miles per hour is the most fuel-efficient speed on the highway for most cars. And according to a recent article on MSNBC, speeding can cost the equivalent of between 21 and 71 cents per gallon.

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