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Get more mileage out of your tank of gas

There is no hitting the brakes on gas prices. KENS 5 has simple ways to save.

Gas prices are accelerating higher. GasBuddy found 76 percent of Americans are overpaying for gas. Do not be one of them by using these tips:

#1: Pay less by paying cash.

“You start to see a five or 10 cent cash discount,” said Patrick De Haan, of GasBuddy.

# 2: Avoid buying gas in this part of the city, if you can:

“Downtown, the cost of doing business is higher from property taxes to land prices to the cost of labor,” De Haan said. “So generally, getting away from those city centers, you’ll see those prices drop.”

#3:  Eliminate idling.

“Your gas mileage is zero, right?” said Brian Martucci of Money Crashers, a personal finance website. “You’re not moving anywhere, so you’re not burning as much gas you would on the freeway, but you’re still burning. It probably makes sense to turn the car off as long as it’s safe to do so.”

#4:  Keep the windows up.

“When the weather’s nice, you might let the windows down and just kind of feel the breeze, but that’s actually exerting a drag on your vehicle,” Martucci said. “The air that’s coming in is sort of holding you back. If you can raise your windows up, you’re creating a more streamlined profile for your car.”

#5:  Drive the speed limit. 

“I know a lot of us drive over the speed limit on the highway,” De Haan said. “You know, that’s fine, but that also uses a lot more fuel. Slow down just a little bit.”

#6:  Dump the junk by cleaning out your car.

“Make sure you don’t have a whole lot of dead weight,” De Haan said. “If you have one of those roof racks on your car that you know you’re too lazy to take off, take it off because that’s robbing you of a lot of fuel efficiency.”

#7:  Find the most efficient route to your destination.

Use Google Maps to discover it. It might not be the quickest route: 

“It’s not the most direct route, but maybe it’s the lowest speed or the fewest stops,” Martucci said. “Every time you stop or start, you’re wasting gas. So If you can maintain a constant speed as much as possible, obviously being safe within the flow of traffic, that’s really helpful.”

#9:  Use cruise control to maintain that steady speed.

“Cruise control, I think, is better than people are at kind of maintaining that speed,” Martucci said. “You’ll notice if you’re on cruise control and pay attention to your car, I think it’ll really accelerate slowly and will slow you down slowly, using inertia to break even more than stepping on the brakes.”

#10: Take it easy when you hit the gas.

“You can also change your driving style a little bit,” Martucci said. “If you stop and start more gradually, that actually has a big impact. I know we want to get where we’re going as fast as possible, but taking that extra few seconds to accelerate out of a stoplight can be a huge difference.”

#11:  Modify your commute.

 Work from home, if possible, to save you the drive to work. Take public transportation, if available. Bike if your destination is close enough. Maybe even walk, if it is safe.

“If you live in a neighborhood that’s more walkable and it’s safe to go to the corner store, you know a 10 minute walk versus a two minute drive, why not go?” Martucci said.

#12: Take the first parking spot you see.

“That driving around is going to add to your fuel costs,” Martucci said.

#13:  Buy gas early in the week.

GasBuddy found Sunday is the cheapest day to buy gas in Texas. Thursday has the most expensive gas prices.

“We found out that in most states, the cheapest time of the week to fill up is early in the week,” De Haan said. “Most states it was most expensive to fill-up later in the week towards the weekend.”

#14: Use a gas price tracking app.

GasBuddy and AAA both offer free apps to find the best price on gas near you.

“You don’t need to drive around to find them,” De Haan said. “You can find them on the app.”

#15. Become a loyalty or rewards member for the gas stations you use the most.

"Nobody should be pulling into the station and just paying whatever the sign says," De Haan said. "There are so many ways that you can get rebates and discounts on those price."

All these small changes can add up to big savings and more mileage over time.

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