How everyday people fight high gas prices

Gas prices have been falling steadily since reaching all-time highs in early March – but that does not mean gas is cheap.

Prices have recently risen to faster pace was never recorded, and as of Monday, the average gallon of natural gas cost $ 4.09, which is $ 1.22 more expensive than a year ago. In all likelihood, gas will remain expensive throughout the spring and summer. Naturally, drivers are looking for creative ways to save.

Gas is one of the most common markets among Americans and prices are often on the mind because drivers see it posted at gas stations wherever they go.

While inflation Because many goods can sometimes be hidden from consumers, a rapid rise in gas prices will seldom go unnoticed. This includes politicians who have been cessation of gas taxes and in fact taking into account stimulus controls for high gas prices in some states. Everyday drivers also notice this, of course, and many take steps to deal with this new norm.

There are many classic strategies that will help you save money on gasincluding proper inflation of your tires, payment with best credit card for gas rewards and use of apps to find the cheapest gas prices nearby.

You can also save money by quitting the car altogether or simply committing to use it less often. Here are some of the ways in which people change their ways in the light of high gas prices:

More walking and cycling

In a recent Morning Tip survey, 44% of respondents said they walked instead of driving last month due to high gas prices. Another 18% said they jumped by bicycle as an alternative to riding.

Walking and cycling provide health, affordable alternatives to sitting in a car. They are also more enjoyable modes of transport now that spring has arrived.

Electric drive (scooters and cars)

Understandably, interest in electric cars and scooters, as well as battery-powered e-bikes, has grown as gas prices have risen.

Searches for “electric cars” on Google rose steadily last year and in 2022, before reaching an all-time high in March, when gas prices reached record highs. Buyers looking for electric vehicles on grew by 173% from late February to late March, the company said in a press release.

Overall, car sales were slow in early 2022 due to low inventory associated with ongoing supply chain problems, as well as extremely high prices for new and used vehicles similarly. But electric cars were very popular: Tesla sales were 42% increase from year to year in the first quarter of 2022 in the US and now represent 22% of the luxury vehicle market.

Hunting for e-bikes and scooters from brands such as Bird is also on the rise, as Wall Street Journal and others have reported.

Using public transport

While it is common for gas prices to fluctuate, public transport costs are much lower. In other words, tickets for buses, trains, subways and rail systems are an even simpler option these days.

Unsurprisingly, there are some indications that people have been resorting to public transportation more lately. Passengers on the Tri-Rail suburban train in South Florida peaked almost at the same time as gas prices peaked in early March, according to a local television station. WPTV mentionted. The Washington, DC subway and San Francisco BART public transportation systems have also seen “slight increases in passenger traffic since early March,” according to Buy.

In the same Morning Consult survey cited above, 15% of drivers said they used public transportation instead of a car last month because of gas prices.

Filling more often (but buying less gas)

Overall, demand for gas in the US has remained largely the same as gas prices have risen. The amount of money drivers spend on each visit to the pump has remained essentially the same. For drivers, this means that the average gas station filling pays for less miles on the road.

Citing an analysis by RBC Capital, Bloomberg reported late last month that the average American puts $ 27.50 worth of gasoline in his car per visit to a gas station, regardless of how much it costs. Of course, when gas prices are higher, customers end up leaving with less gas in the tank. As a result, drivers are reported to visit gas stations 22% more often, while gas prices are over $ 4 a gallon.

This may seem like a waste of time. But since then gas prices have fallen from mid-March, a few refills can save you money – assuming prices will be cheaper per day you return to add more fuel.

Making fewer shopping trips (but buying more)

Retailers are closely monitoring the movement of customers and there is a lot of research showing that people visit stores less often than when gas prices reached record highs in 2022.

During the week of March 7, when the national average reached $ 4.33 a gallon, U.S. stores recorded “the most severe decline in weekly retail foot traffic in the last twelve months, which was not directly related to COVID waves or holiday calendar changes “. analysis company were found.

Large grocery chains such as of Albertson, have noticed customers making fewer trips to the store as well. People do not necessarily spend less on groceries, but they are more likely to eat less and buy more on each trip.

Take advantage of the free gas offers

Some restaurants and businesses attract customers with the promise of free gas.

Bojangles, a fast food chain based mainly in the South, launched an offer in early April offering Gas gift cards $ 10 by buying a family meal.

Krispy Kreme follows an even more original approach: Every Wednesday until May 4, you can get a dozen donuts at the same price as the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline. (Just over $ 4 as of this writing.)

Random gas gifts have sprung up across the country, with churches, nonprofits, radio stations and local politicians launching short-term free gas deals in places like Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Chicago and Houston.

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Cancellation or change of road trips

New research shows that Americans are closely monitoring gas prices and are considering changing or canceling their travel plans if prices do not stabilize.

According to a March poll by AAA59% of drivers said they would change their driving habits if gasoline cost more than $ 4 a gallon.

That probably means less road trips this summer, according to Fitch Ratings. In a recent note, the credit rating agency said the money collected from toll roads tends to flatten with each rise in gas prices.

“High gas prices usually have the greatest impact on leisure traffic, as drivers tend to travel less or less,” the agency said.

More from Money:

How to save money on gas

Inflation jumps to its highest level since 1981 after huge gas price hikes

Stimulus controls for high gas prices: Yes, it can happen

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