Just when we thought gasoline prices were about to stabilize and possibly fall below $3 per gallon, prices are on the rise once again across the United States.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has reached $3.696, an increase of 30 cents in the past month. This concerns some economists who caution that the price per gallon may top $4 per gallon in the months ahead, pulling money out of the economy that could have otherwise been spent elsewhere and could have helped the country turn the economic corner.
In some areas, the price per gallon is already over the $4 mark. One place is the state of California, notorious for its higher-than-average consumer goods prices. The price per gallon in the Golden State has reached $4.08 per gallon and the price per gallon in Illinois is at $4.03. Hawaii is also above the $4 per gallon mark and many other states may soon join the elusive $4 dollar club.
Is This a Cause for Concern?:
Gasoline prices have risen and fallen before, so an increase is nothing new. Still, for the price to jump 30 cents in a single month is a little unusual, and it may prompt some consumers to look for ways to fight back against high gasoline prices. Here at Money Saving Parent headquarters, our price per gallon is close to $3.50 and we are already looking for ways to reduce this necessary but annoying drain on our finances.
What Can a Consumer Do?:
The best way to fight back against high gasoline price is, of course, to trade- in your gas-guzzler for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. This would solve the problem over the long haul, but since this solution is impractical for most families, here is a quick list of changes you can make, right now, that can push your fuel dollars a little further:
Car Pool- If you work a significant distance from home and know of someone who lives nearby who works in the same place, consider sharing the driving responsibility. This, alone, can cut gasoline usage and costs significantly because it will eliminate half of your commuting.
Combine Routine Trips into One- If you know tonight is the kids’ football practice and you know you need to make a quick stop at the grocery store, try to complete both tasks on the same trip. Don’t drive your kid to practice, return back home, then turn around and head back to the store. You will waste unnecessary fuel, not to mention your time.
Practice Fuel- Efficient Driving- Vehicles get much better gas mileage when they are driven in a consistent, non- aggressive manner. Avoid slamming the gas pedal, exceeding the speed limit, and otherwise driving as if you’re in a hurry when you are not.
Purchase Octane Booster- As long as you can find it cheap ($2.00 or so per bottle of treatment), octane booster/gasoline treatment can stretch your gas mileage by a few mpg’s. As long as the cost of the octane booster is low, it can prove economical in the end.
Walk or Ride a Bicycle- Whenever possible, consider walking or riding your bicycle to your selected designation. Not only will you burn no gasoline at all, you will also benefit from the physical exercise.
Gasoline prices are highly volatile and they may fall once again before the year is through. But with prices creeping close to the $4 mark once again, it is best to make a few simple changes to stretch your dollars a little further. Try any or all of the above suggestions starting today, and get your fuel consumption and costs under control.
Copyright 2012, Bryan Carey