MINNEAPOLIS — With violence raging and suffering on full display as Russia unleashes it's military might on the people of Ukraine, it might feel selfish to complain about paying a few more bucks to fill the tank on the family SUV.
In truth, however, the skyrocketing price of oil (and therefor gasoline) is sending seismic waves across the world economy and impacting the budgets of working families. Finding the cheapest gas can impact the amount of groceries a consumer buys, whether they can pay the entire heating bill, or spread a bit of money around to help keep local businesses afloat.
As of Monday, March 14 the average price of a gallon was up to $3.95 across Minnesota, and the national average was $4.35. GasBuddy petroleum analyst Last Monday, Patrick De Haan said in his blog that the average gas price had jumped 46.5 cents from the week before.
"It has been absolutely staggering to watch the pace of increases," De Haan remarked during a Facebook Live.
So how can you save a few cents per gallon, which can add up to a few bucks in the checking account? The easiest and fastest way is by using an app that monitors fuel prices across Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro.
Fuel rewards programs are another way to save. Most big gas station chains (Speedway, BP) offer cash or points if you sign up for a rewards program, and you can maximize your savings by then paying for your fuel with a credit card that offers a percentage back on what you spend.
Regional or local grocery stores like Hy-Vee have rewards programs that offer gas discounts that increase with the amount of money you spend on groceries and supplies.
And while this sounds simple (and obvious), reduce the amount of miles you drive. Work remote when you can to eliminate the commute, maximize the efficiency of trips and stops when you run errands.
Finally, make sure your trusty steed is running at peak efficiency, and think about your driving behaviors.
- Keep speeds down
- Make sure tires are at recommended pressure
- Be gentle on take-offs and stops
- Keep the windows up to reduce wind drag and increase aerodynamics
- Don't wait until almost empty to fill - desperation reduces your ability to price shop
"The simple things are starting to make a profound impact on how many miles you'll get out of that tank of gasoline," said De Haan.
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