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Gas prices have been creeping upward in recent weeks — and you can expect that trend to continue, at least into the near future.
AAA projects that prices will continue to tick up as the summer season winds down.
“As we get closer to Labor Day and demand and production rates grow, drivers will likely see some of the highest prices at the pump this year,” spokesperson Jeanette Casselano recently said.
Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, is looking to curb growth in oil production, AAA reports. Steps to that effect could lead to higher gas prices.
Many Americans already spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on gas annually. From July 2015 through June 2016, the average U.S. household spent $1,932 on gas, according to federal statistics released this spring.
So, even small savings can be a real boon for your budget.
With that in mind, we present five great ways to save money on gas every time you pull up to the pump.
1. Get discounted gift cards
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Some of us typically frequent the same gas station. Maybe it’s convenient, or perhaps we just like the coffee they serve. If you know exactly where you plan to fill up the tank the next few times, it’s probably worth investing in a discounted gift card for your favorite gas retailer.
2. Open a credit card account
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Again, this works best for people who always go to the same gas station. If you exhibit such loyalty, applying for the appropriate credit card can net you substantial savings on gas prices over the course of a year.
For example, for every $100 in certain types of purchases you make with the BP Visa, you can save from 5 cents to 25 cents per gallon.
To search for more credit card options, check out our Solutions Center.
3. Join a warehouse club
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Warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club all sell gas to members. It is often — though not always — among the lowest-priced gas in town. That’s why we include gas in our “18 Best Buys at Warehouse Stores.”
This option especially makes sense for shoppers who, like me, know they will visit their warehouse club at least once weekly.
4. Use a smartphone app
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Technology has been a benefit to frugal folks everywhere. Finding the best deal on clothing, restaurants and grocery items has never been easier. Your smartphone also can help you find the best deal on gas.
For example, GasBuddy.com can help you uncover the lowest price in your area. And such savings can be large. I have found that prices in the area near my Colorado home can differ by as much as 19 cents per gallon from one gas station to another.
Load the GasBuddy app to your phone, and you’ll have no problem pinpointing the best deal when you’re driving around. The AAA app also features nearby gas prices.
5. Take advantage of grocery fuel programs
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Some grocery stores reward their shoppers with fuel perks programs that can cut the cost of the next fill-up. Check with your favorite food seller.
For example, sign up at Kroger, and you earn 1 fuel point for every $1 you spend. Even better, you get twice the points when you buy gift cards, no-contract wireless phones or airtime cards. You can then use the points to net savings on gas at Kroger Fuel Centers and participating Shell stations.
Do you know of other ways to cut the price of gas? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.
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