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Gas Costs Need Not Break Your Bank
After spending most of the summer above $3 per gallon throughout most of the United States, gasoline prices appear to be dropping a bit. That may or may not be temporary; the price of crude oil is affected by many factors, and all of them are volatile. This much is certain, however - gasoline at a dollar a gallon is gone forever. From now on, American consumers are going to have to adjust to spending a lot more money on gasoline than they are accustomed to spending.
Spending more dollars per gallon than one is used to does not mean that buying gas needs to drain your bank account. There are numerous ways to save money on gas. Some are obvious; others are less so. Each of them saves a little bit and has a cumulative affect of keeping your bank balance a bit healthier.
Aside from the obvious savings obtained by buying a fuel efficient car or driving the speed limit whenever possible, here are some other tips for saving money on gas:
Gasoline is denser at cooler temperatures. You might get a bit more for your money if you buy it in the morning, before the day's temperatures cause it to expand. This is particularly true if the gas at the station is stored above ground.
Walk whenever possible. Sure, this one is obvious, but it saves money and is good for you, too.
When traveling on a freeway, you might save a few pennies per gallon by avoiding the stations that are right at the end of the ramp. You will always pay more for convenience.
Use your cruise control. Cars get their best mileage at 50-55 miles per hour, so don't exceed the speed limit and keep your speed as steady as possible. Using your cruise control can help a lot.
Keep an eye on your tank when you are filling up. It's convenient to use the locking mechanism that keeps the pump going without your having to touch it, but the safety switch that shuts off the pump when your tank is full doesn't always work. When that happens, you will find yourself spilling $3 gas all over the parking lot, where it does you no good at all.
Each of these steps, in its own little way, will save you a bit of gas. The cumulative effect, especially when combined with good driving habits, can save a noticeable amount every month. Buying gas is something that no one likes to do, so every little bit of money you save is money you can spend on something you do like to buy.
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