What You Can Do to Manage Rising Fuel Prices
For the past few years, Americans have enjoyed lower gas prices, causing this cost to fall off of the radar for many. But during 2017, it is anticipated that fuel prices could reach a three-year high, and that means many lower income families are going to start to feel the pinch. While the cost of gas isn’t expected to rise anywhere near the highs of 2008, that doesn’t mean an upward trend can’t hurt anyone’s budget today. And, if prices continue to increase, they will eventually hit almost everyone.
To help you keep your fuel costs as low as possible, here are some tips you can begin using today.
Remove Excess Weight
Many people use their car to store a variety of items, some of which are necessary for every trip. While it is convenient to leave things in your vehicle, removing excess weight can actually improve your gas mileage. In fact, removing 100 lbs. from your car could mean improve your gas mileage by around 1 percent, especially if you spend most of your time in stop-and-go traffic.
While 1 percent doesn’t sound like much, this is a savings that you can enjoy as long as your car stays lighter. So, instead of leaving snow chains in your trunk year round or something similar, consider cleaning your car out regularly and only keep items you truly need with you.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Properly inflated tires can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency based on the reduced levels of friction created when the surfaces contact the road. Most people only think about their tire pressure when they visually appear to be low or when they get other services, like oil changes, where tire pressure checks are included. However, fluctuating temperatures can actually alter your tire pressure by two to three pounds per square inch.
Often, you can have your tire pressure checked for free at a variety of service locations, including tire and oil change facilities. So, the next time you pass by your preferred service center, consider swinging in and having them take a look.
Learn Your Local Gas Station Prices
The cost of fuel between one gas station and the next can be noticeably different. In some cases, certain locations will be regularly less expensive than others, though you might not notice this when you are simply driving around. Instead of heading straight to your regular place, download a gas app that helps you find lower cost fuel. After a while, you’ll likely see a pattern as to which stations offer the best prices, allowing you to get a good deal whenever the need arises.
While other advice, like driving less or getting a more fuel efficient vehicle, can also help, they may not be within reach of every family. The tips above can be implemented by almost anyone, giving low-income households options for lowering fuel costs even if they can’t cut down their time spent on the road or run out and buy a new car. Just remember, even little changes such as those listed can add up, so consider giving them a try.
Free Gas or Transportation Help?
In addition to practical tips on how to reduce fuel costs each month – you may also be eligible for free fuel or discounts. Learn more about accessing free gas or different types of transportation help.