Have you seen the price of gas lately? It’s at a three-year high, and with the summer driving season, there are no signs the price of a gallon of gas will get cheaper. It’s something central Indiana drivers have noticed in the past few weeks.
"I think the gas is very high right now. It’s at $3.15 at most stations I've passed. Just a few weeks ago I could fill up my tank for $40, but now it’s closer to $60,” said Reggie Stewart.
If you search, you can find a gallon of gas cheaper than $3.15, but it’s getting more difficult. To avoid driving around looking, there are a variety of apps and websites that track gas prices like AAA’s.
Despite the prices, 42 million Americans are hitting the road this weekend. That’s 5% more than last year at this time. So to lessen the pain at the pump, AAA has several ideas from carpooling to combining your errands to one or two trips.
“You can also just simply slow down. Driving 55 mph or slower is going to help you a lot. You'd be surprised. For every five miles per hour you drive over 50 mph, it’s like paying an additional 19 cents per gallon,” says Greg Seiter, public affairs manager for AAA Hoosier.
To put the brakes on spending, a few simple tips can help you save money. Do your best to accelerate gradually. Stomping on the gas pedal will cut into your gas mileage quickly. Also, change your oil regularly and keep your tires inflated properly. Either one of those can save you as much as 10 cents per gallon.
For many, it’s not just about driving, but using gas for their business. FOX59’s spoke to several people who depend on decent gas prices to help with their livelihood.
“Gas prices are just too high. I have a side business of mowing lawns, and every time the price goes up, a little more comes out of my pocket,” said Tim Johnson.
A gas station owner who spoke with FOX59 said it’s not easy. People complain to him, and he understands, but he also notes he’s held off raising prices as long as possible.
"At first the Shell changed their prices upward to $3.15, then the BP changed to $3.15 and I'm like the last one. People are not happy. They tell me, what is going on as prices are at $3.15. Everybody is shocked for this,” said Bill Singh, Marathon gas station owner.
Most gas stations are basically passing on the prices because crude oil is getting much more expensive. Energy demand worldwide is also going up and tensions in the Middle East are getting worse.
Another good way to save money is to use a stations rewards card. A lot of them partner with grocery stores so the more groceries you buy, the more you will save. At times, that can save you upwards of 30 cents a gallon. In the last nine months, gas prices have gone up more than 30%. To save a little more money, don’t use your trunk as storage. That extra weight will only cost you extra money.
Finally, remember that more is not always better. It’s the same thing for buying more expensive gas blends. You can look at your owner’s manual and it will specify whether or not you need that higher octane gasoline. But if you don't need it, don't buy it. The difference between regular unleaded and premium is about 30 cents a gallon. Even the Federal Trade Commission notes higher octane won't make your car perform better, get you better mileage or make your car run cleaner if the car doesn't need it.