Gas Hits All-Time High

But you can fight soaring fuel prices at the pump

the closest station. Shop around to find the most competitive price in town. For a little help, visit www.gaspricewatch.com to compare prices in your area. You can find the best deal by zip code and street name, as well as check out prices by grade of gasoline.

Park your car. Take public transportation. Walk—it’ll save you money and help you shed a few undesirable pounds. Carpool. You and some of your colleagues can take turns driving each other to work. Talk to your supervisor about telecommuting one day a week.

Combine errands. Instead of making several trips to the cleaners, grocers, post office and the bank, do all of your errands at one time. Before you hop into you car, plan ahead. Keep a checklist if necessary.

Use the right gas grade level. Pull out your owner’s manual. It will tell you the most effective grade level for your car. The recommended gasoline for most vehicles is regular octane. In most cases, using a higher octane gas than what the manufacturer recommends is a waste of money. Also, using a different grade of motor oil can lower your gasoline mileage by 1% to 2%.

Stop Idling. Idling gets you zero miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.

Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. Consider buying a fuel-efficient vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or an alternative-fuel vehicle. It could save you a lot at the gas pump and not to mention help the environment. FuelEconomy.gov offers tips on buying a new fuel-efficient car or truck.

Beware of gas gouging. Gouging is distinct, by definition, from price fixing, which is the collusion of multiple gas stations to set prices. Gouging is the act of an individual gas station taking unfair advantage of a supply crisis. AAA offers the Daily Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport.com), which allows you to see both national and regional averages for gas prices. If the prices at your local gas station far exceed your region’s average, then that’s when you take note. Save your receipt and write down the prices of all the varieties of gasoline available at that station from regular to high grade. Then get in touch with your state Attorney General’s Office. Visit the National Association of Attorneys General’s Website (www.naag.org) to find your state official’s contact information.

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