Gas Prices Just Hit a New High. Here's How to Save at the Pump

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  • Gas prices recently reached $4.59 per gallon on average.
  • Prices could rise even more as summer gets closer.
  • You might be able to save money at the pump by paying with cash.

Every little bit helps.

For several months now, Americans have been bemoaning the ever-rising cost of gas -- and understandably so. Consumers have been forced to pay more at the pump ever since the start of the Ukraine conflict. And recently, the cost of gas has soared even more.

On May 19, the average cost for a gallon of gas reached $4.59 on a national level, according to AAA. By comparison, at this time last year, the average gallon of gas cost $3.04.

Making matters worse is that we're heading toward the summer months, and that's when gas prices tend to be their most expensive across the board. Or, to put it another way, that $4.59 figure could easily climb in the coming weeks, putting drivers in an even tougher position.

If higher gas prices have been wreaking havoc on your budget, you're in good company. Here are some steps you can take to save money on gas at a time when it's gotten so ridiculously expensive.

1. Shop around

Unless you live in a very rural area, you probably have choices when it comes to filling up your car. Sites like GasBuddy make it easy to compare the cost of gas locally so you can choose your sources strategically.

That said, one thing you probably don't want to do is drive around from station to station in search of the cheapest gas. In doing so, you might spend more money on fuel than you save.

Similarly, there may be a gas station five miles away with a cheaper price than the station just down the road. But you'll need to do the math to see if using more gas makes sense given the potential savings involved.

2. Carpool as often as you can

Have kids who need to get to and from school? You're probably not the only one in your neighborhood in that boat. And so if you set up a carpool, you'll ultimately use less gas -- and spend less on it.

Similarly, if you're now working out of an office, it pays to see if it's possible to carpool with local colleagues. And don't just limit yourself to folks who work for your company. If your employer shares a building with other companies, see if you can post a notice in the lobby saying that you're looking for a carpool buddy from your neighborhood.

3. Pay in cash

Some gas stations charge the same price regardless of whether you fill up your car using cash versus a credit card. But there are stations that offer substantial discounts for paying in cash.

Granted, when you buy gas in cash, you miss out on credit card rewards. But often, the savings per gallon for cash fill-ups will be enough to justify losing out on those rewards.

Many people are having a hard time paying for gas given that inflation has made just about everything more expensive. If that's the situation you're in, use these tips to eke out a little savings on gas until prices creep down to more affordable levels.

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