In the Palm Beach area, the monthly cost of gas has spiked to an average of $219 as of February 2008, a gain of 20 percent relative to the average of $182 in the year-ago period. These gas-conserving, money-saving tips are from CCCS.
1. "Lighten your load - If you have a trunk full of stuff, you are getting fewer miles per gallon. Empty your trunk and save. Consider filling your tank just half way-each gallon of gas adds 8 pounds to your vehicle. You'll have to visit the pump more frequently, but you will get better gas mileage.
2. Keep cool - On hot days, set your air conditioner to recirculate after reaching the desired temperature. Park in a shady spot and use a sun-shade in your front window.
3. Don't speed - Driving the speed limit reduces gas consumption. Use your cruise control; avoid quick starts from traffic lights and stop signs.
4. Filling tips - Fill your tank at the coolest time of the day, usually first thing in the morning. Don't wait until your tank is empty-fill when you reach half a tank. Be patient-don't put the nozzle on full blast. A slower, steady flow will put less air and more gas in your tank.
5. Look for discounted gas or rebate options - Some retailers offer discounts on gas for shopping in their stores. Wal-Mart offers 3 cents off per gallon discount if you use a pre-paid Wal-Mart card. Other big box clubs, such as Costco, offer membership options that include a 2 percent rebate on all purchases, including gas. Grocery stores with gas pumps may offer other deals.
6. Pay cash for gas - If you don't know how much you are spending in gas, or if you are struggling to pay off gas purchases made on a credit card each month, use cash to pay for gas.
7. Maintain your vehicle - Perform routine maintenance on your car and keep the appropriate air pressure in your tires to get the best gas mileage."