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Gas prices are on the rise, just as many families are planning to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend.
According to AAA, the average price per gallon has jumped more than 50 cents compared to this time last year — and that extra cash adds up. The average American household is expected to spend nearly $2,500 this year on gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Looking for ways to save at the pump? TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen has some tips.
The app Gasbuddy is already known for tracking cheap gas stations, but it recently introduced a free discount card. You can sign up for it on the Gasbuddy app, link your bank account, and then you'll get your free card in the mail.
You'll save 5 cents a gallon and the card works at almost every gas station in the country, except for Exxon and Mobil.
Are you a member of Costco or BJ's? Many wholesale stores have gas stations attached to them, which offer huge discounts on gas for members.
In the Chicago area, we found a Costco with gas for $2.89 a gallon, while surrounding gas stations were at $3.18 or $3.19 a gallon.
Don't feel like getting a card or joining a club? You're in luck. The cheapest gas we found was through the Waze app. On the "Where To?" screen, click on the gas pump icon. That loads up the nearby gas stations and the prices. We found gas for $2.79 a gallon that way!
Adjust Your Driving
Looking for more ways to cut costs? You can also adjust your driving to get better gas mileage.
- Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
- Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.
- In summer, drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
- Avoid long warm-ups in the morning. They're unnecessary and waste fuel.
- Use air conditioning. Today's air conditioners create less drag on the engine than driving with the windows open.
- Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
- Keep the air filter clean. Clogged filters fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.
- Drive the speed limit.