KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Gas prices reach a record high, again, but you can still save money.

May 18, 2022, 6:19 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Gas prices across the country have never been higher. AAA reports gas is selling for above $4 a gallon in every state, which has not happened before.

This, along with a new study out on Wednesday finding that American households now spend what amounts to $5,000 a year on gas. That’s up from $2,800 just a year ago. Yet, there is good news: you can still save money at the pump.

Sloan Schrage discovered a little life hack after buying a vintage turntable off eBay. Rather than pay the seller directly, he went to the supermarket and purchased $150 worth of eBay gift cards. That earned him four times for every dollar spent on fuel points.

“600 points, that’s 60 cents off (per gallon.),” Schrage said. “I thought that’s a great way to save a few bucks on gas.”

Another way to save money is to watch which fuel grade you are pumping. Many folks think that they are doing their car a little favor by putting in a higher-octane gas – that it will run better.

That’s not true, according to the experts at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Weights and Measurements division who test the octane in Utah pumps. If your car does not require the premium, higher-cost gas, all you are doing is burning money.

When it comes to saving money using a store-branded credit card, Bankrate senior industry analyst, Ted Rossman, said there are better options.

“In my experience, gas station branded credit cards are not worth it,” he said.

Sure, such a card can save you money on every gallon of gas you pump, but it might not pay off as well as a regular credit card that gives back a percentage, Rossman explained. “The cards that I do like are the ones that give 5% or so cashback.”

Scientists who save studied our driving habits have found many ways those habits impact our fuel economy.

Just easing the pedal down from 80 miles-per-hour down to 70 will save you over 15% in fuel economy. You can save as much as 40% by setting your cruise control rather than flooring it to the point where you are tailgating the car ahead of you. Then you hit the brakes to slow down, only to find yourself right behind that car again. Hang back, use the cruise control for an even ride, and you will burn 10% to 40% less fuel compared to an aggressive driver. And flooring the pedal at the light when it turns green is a gas waster.

If you have a cargo box on your car’s roof, you should know that it can drop your fuel economy by as much as 25%, according to a U.S. Energy Department study. Also, no need to warm up your car for a prolonged time. In winter, most carmakers recommend driving off gently after only 30 seconds of warm-up instead of 10 or 15 minutes.

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Gephardt Busts Inflation: Gas prices reach a record high, again, but you can still save money.