How to save a few dollars on gas

Prices at the pump seem to be a constant concern these days. As the seasons change from cooler to warmer...

Prices at the pump seem to be a constant concern these days. As the seasons change from cooler to warmer months, many gas stations are also shifting from winter to summer blends. This usually translates to higher prices for you. Below are a few tips to help stretch your hard-earned dollar the next time you fill up.

Drive less

This may seem like a given to some of you, but still, it should be said. Though many of you may drive more fuel-efficient vehicles than in times past, none of us drive cars that run on happy thoughts. With that in mind, it's always best to consolidate as many trips as you can in order to minimize wasted fuel. Grocery shopping, doctors appointments and other miscellaneous errands should be knocked out all at once whenever possible.

Brake less

This may not be as obvious an advantage to some of you. That being said, it is important to know that the more you brake, the more gas you burn, even on short trips. How do you avoid doing that? Practice good driving habits. Don't follow other cars too closely and obey the speed limit.

Find a better route

Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. While this may be mathematically true, it is not always practically applicable. Regardless, finding a route that has few stop lights, fewer turns and is an overall straight shot, can save the average driver about 15 to 20 percent on fuel costs in a typical month.

Fill up in the evening

Why would you want to fill up when you're done driving for the day? There are a number of reasons for this. For one, you won't burn gas when you aren't driving! Another is that gas, like many other liquids, evaporates. The cooler the temperature, the less likely evaporation will waste your fuel. Filling up at night or in cooler hours helps to mitigate this process.

These tips will help you save a few dollars at the pump. If, however, you find yourself in need of more expert and detailed advice on fuel consumption, consult your local mechanic.

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