Rising Gas Prices
Filling up the gas tank right now is a must, but I’m sure you’ve been feeling pain at the gas pump recently too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like prices will be coming down anytime soon—at least not as far as many of us would like.
Here is our take on some of the reasons why prices are rising, what you can expect to pay this summer, and a few tips for keeping costs as low as possible.
Why gas prices are rising
Higher gas prices can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic, but prices have been pushed even higher recently by the Russo-Ukrainian war, said Patrick De Haan[i], GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, to CBS.
In addition, the post-pandemic demand for gas, cuts to oil production, and U.S. sanctions on Russia (and their impact on the global market) are holding gasoline prices high above normal.
What you can expect to pay this summer for gas
Americans are already trimming the grocery budget; it now appears the gas budget is next in line. According to one Wall Street estimate, a typical family may need to find an additional $2,000 in the budget[ii] this year to pay for gasoline.
This summer, the average per-gallon price could reach $5. It already has in some areas of the country, such as in California, where drivers are already paying over $6 per gallon. That is to say, if you’re paying anything south of $5 per gallon, consider yourself a tad lucky, at least for this summer.
Four ways to save on gas
It’s not all bad news. There are a few decisions you can make that may help keep costs low. Here are four we think may help ease the pump pain:
- Look into joining a Costco warehouse: Costco offers discounts on fuel. The average discount is around $0.35 less per gallon than other gas stations. With a basic membership running around $60 per year, you can also shop to get discounts on basic everyday necessities, but joining for the gas savings alone might make sense. *These stations are only found at warehouse locations.
- Check out apps like Waze and GasBuddy. If you’re not a Waze user, you should be. Not only does it help you get from point A to point B quickly and safely, but it can also locate the cheapest fuel nearby. One unique feature with GasBuddy? You can search for gas based on fuel type. These apps can help you make the most out of any road trips you make this summer or help you when you are visiting a new city.
- Time your fill-ups. Experts also say the best days to fill up are Mondays and Tuesdays[iii]. That’s when gas is cheapest during the week. Also, consider “stacking” your daily outings, so you don’t backtrack all over town and use more fuel than you need to. Another idea? Carpool whenever you can or take public transit.
- Consider E15 gasoline: On April 12, President Biden announced an emergency waiver allowing year-round sales of E15 gasoline[iv], which contains a 15% ethanol blend. Its sale is typically prohibited from June to mid-September because of air quality concerns. According to the White House, E15 can save consumers around 10 cents per gallon on average, so the next time you’re at the pump, look for E15 and save.
Gas prices aside, we hope you and your family have a wonderful summer enjoying the people, places, and activities you love the most.
[i] Picchi, A.(2022, March 15). Cbsnews.com. 3 reasons why gas prices are so high – and when they may come down. [Online] Available at: Why are gas prices so high – and when might they come down? – CBS News
[ii] Picchi, A. (2022, March 7). Cbsnews.com. The hit to your pocketbook from higher gasoline prices: $2,000 a year. [Online] Available at: The hit to your pocketbook from higher gasoline prices: $2,000 a year – CBS News
[iii] Bomey, N. (2019, April 9). Usatoday.com. Why you should fill up on gas on Monday mornings (and never on Friday afternoons). [Online] Available at: Gas prices: Why Monday is best day to fill up and Friday is worst (usatoday.com)
[iv] Judd, D. & Vazquez, M. (2022, April 12).