Money Mondays: How to Cope with High Gas Prices

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Gas prices seemed to increase almost daily this past week.  The combination of tighter supplies by OPEC, lower U.S. inventory, high demand and the U.S. getting out of the Iran deal seems to have caused the highest gas prices since November 2014.  Texas has lower gas prices than many states, but even we’re seeing some drastic increases, causing a drain on the pocketbook.

A firm that tracks gasoline prices, GasBuddy has predicted gas prices will steadily increase over the summer.  Not only does this impact the transportation budget, high gas prices will also mean higher prices for other commodities especially food.

It would be worthwhile to consider what this would mean to your budget.  Our city is quite spread out, and it is not unusual for residents to commute more than 50 miles per day.

Tips to save gas

Map out the gas prices in your neighborhood

In my town, we know that closer you get to downtown, the higher the gas prices tend to be.  So it is best to plan ahead and gas up while you are in the suburbs or have a ways to go before heading downtown.  If you are a member of Costco or Sam’s, plan on buying gas when you shop there.

Get a gas price comparison app

I use GasBuddy, but there are others such as Gas Guru, Waze or Auto Club.

Plan summer trips closer to home

Higher gas prices mean higher airfares and higher costs for your road trip.  Consider planning a trip closer to home.

Fill your tank earlier in the week

I have noticed gas prices are higher the closer you get to the weekend, so I usually fill up the tank on Monday.  If I don’t need gas yet, I would do a final fill up by Thursday at the latest.

Keep up the maintenance on your car

Though you might be tempted to put off that oil change or tune-up, don’t do it.  Keep your tires properly inflated so you don’t waste gas.  A well-running car will save you money in the long run.

Carpool or take public transportation

Most offices have a carpool or vanpool list that employees can sign up for.   You can also take turns with other parents in the neighborhood for child school pick up days.

If your city has good public transportation, it might be time to consider trying it out.

Combine errands into one trip

I try to get all my errands – banking, grocery shopping, post office etc.  done all at once and map out the route ahead of time.

Long-term decisions

  • If you are in the market for a car, opt for a fuel-efficient car you instead of the gas guzzler.
  • If your lease is up for renewal, consider moving closer to school or work locations.
  • Can you negotiate with your employer to work from home a few days per week?


Being prepared doesn’t only include stocking up on supplies or learning skills.  It also involves paying attention to current trends and planning accordingly.   What will you cut back on to supplement the gasoline budget?


About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.



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  1. I take advantage of the gas discounts that the grocery store has. I use the discounts for the full 20 gallons that I can buy. I have extra gas cans to make sure I buy the full 20 gallons I have gotten 20 gallons of gas for $.18 several times. But that is few and far between. You can save a lot of gas by have good driving habits too. Easy on the gas pedal and no hard breaking goes along way in helping the fuel economy.

  2. Just filled my 3 empty 5 gal tanks..
    reserve fuel I prefer premium and at the day premium is only 0.35 more than regular unleaded.
    it hurt a little but it’s done and all my fuel is rotated for the next few months.

  3. I absolutely hate ethanol but it’s what I usually put in my car with 4oz
    marvel oil when I remember.
    All stored gas is NON ethanol with pri-g I’d rather take the hit on price than have crap gas in an emergency plus the chainsaws/generators work better on premium.

    To save, I regapped the spark plugs- they were all off/cleaned all contacts.
    I replaced the spark wires, it’s been several years since a change.
    Changed to synthetic blend engine oil, I do my own oil changes.
    Cleaned off the battery, dirt/acid on the terminals or shell can cause a parasitic drain
    that can cause all kinds of problems- past experience.
    I check the tire pressure about once a month.
    My car, 2001 saturn sl1 with over two hundred thousand miles.
    sadly I will need a new clutch soon but it averages 31mpg hiway.

    I do need a new air filter.

    1. Hi Horse, Over 200000 miles and still running well. Nice job maintaining your Saturn! Thanks for sharing your process.

  4. In July 2016, I had to replace my car due to it being totaled in a wreck. I bought a beautiful, top of the line Sonata hybrid at a ridiculously marked down price – the dealer was frantic to move it, as this was at a peak of cheap gas in the Northeast. Why? A customer of mine in the oil and gas business told me that gas was cheap then, but the insider projection was the price of a barrel would start to rise by early 2018, and keep going, Since this car is going to be my ride into the sunset retirement car, it all seemed to line up. Sometimes you just have to take the long view on things like that. Oh, yeah, I would of opted for a plug in hybrid, but at the time had no where to charge the vehicle (they were just about giving those away at the time!)

    1. Failed to mention that the dealer called me last week, begging to buy the car back! Ummm, NO!!!!!!

    2. Hi Sharon, Very forward thinking! That was a smart move on your part- that projection was right on the mark. When things line up like that you know you are on the right track. Thanks for the comment.

  5. My car is a 2009 Cobalt 5 speed manual with 245,000 + miles on it. I keep the tire pressure at 35 psi, rotate the tires ever 5,000 miles, run Mobil 1 oil. I keep a clean air filter and change the plugs ever 100,000 miles. I average 45 mpg highway and 33 mpg city. I drive 930 highway miles over the weekend ever two weeks. I was taught to drive by my father who was a long-haul semi diver. So I have some different driving habits then most. I like to run with the semi-trucks. I do not drive much over 65 mph because that seems to be the sweet spot for my car best fuel mileage on the highway.

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