How to Save Money on Gas as Fuel Prices Surge

These tips have nothing to do with driving around looking for a better deal.

Brace yourself for more pain at the pump with an estimated 41 million Americans hitting the road over Memorial Day weekend.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $2.96, up 60 cents from a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.

But in some metro areas, it's up to nearly $5.00 for regular.

It is the perfect time for tips to take the sting out of gas prices, says Robert Sinclair of AAA. 

"Driving around looking for cheap gas is not a way to save money," he said. 

He says to keep your tires properly inflated. The correct pressure is located on the door frame.

"In a driver survey a couple years ago, 82 percent told us that they don’t know how to put air in their tires. Learn how to do it and you will get better fuel economy," Sinclair said.  

Another tip is to lose all that junk in the trunk.

"All the extra stuff that we are carrying around in the backs of our vehicles creates extra weight and ruins your fuel economy," he added. 

Another tip is simply to slow down. Speeding on the highway can be like adding 18 cents to the price of a gallon of gas, Sinclair said.
What about air conditioning? Does it really make a big difference to your gas mileage?

Sinclair said that driving around with your windows down and A/C off will save money, but if you are driving on the highway, the air conditioner will help you save money due to aerodynamics. 

"You will get better fuel economy and the extra engine power will help run the A/C with no problem," he said. 

Sinclair also included an insider tip: Don't fill up when you see a gasoline tanker making a delivery at the gas station, as it can add sediment into the supply of fuel and lead to mechanical problems.

To keep from driving around looking for a good deal, Sinclair recommends using the AAA smartphone app, which will direct you to a nearby gas station with the lowest prices.