Gas prices soar; here are ways to save money

Prices at the pump are setting records on Tuesday — and experts are expecting it to get worse before it gets better.

AAA Northeast's Robert Sinclair Jr. said the war in Ukraine is creating instability, which in turn is driving up the price of fuel.

"The national average at $4.17 per gallon — that's the all-time high, on Long Island at $4.35," Sinclair said.

He offered some tips to make your tank last longer.

"Accelerate gently, brake gently, lower your speed on the highway," he said.

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Other suggestions to make your vehicle more efficient include getting rid of unnecessary items you lug around that would drive your engine to work harder. And make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Experts said gas tends to be more expensive along highways and in affluent neighborhoods. Lower prices can oftentimes be found at big box stores, including Costco and BJ's where waiting in line is worth the discount.

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"I'm retired," said one woman. "I have to watch every penny."

Apps like GasBuddy help track fuel prices in real-time. And users who download the app GetUpside can receive up to 25 cents cash back per gallon.

"Gas stations are competitive — they want your money and want to keep their prices as low as they can," Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt said. 

Many people we spoke to have already changed their driving habits and plan to rely on mass transit if prices at the pump continue to go up.

Some other tips: credit cards also offer cash back or points on gas and some supermarkets, including Stop and Shop, have rewards programs for discounted gas as well.

Recap: Money-Saving Tips

  1. Be gentle: Accelerate gently, brake gently, lower your speed.
  2. Don't keep unnecessary items in your vehicle; excess weight burns more gas.
  3. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  4. If possible, avoid filling up along highways and in affluent neighborhoods, where gas prices tend to be higher.
  5. Check warehouse stores with gas pumps, such as Costco and BJ's; they often have lower prices.
  6. Use apps to your advantage; GasBuddy tracks gas prices in real-time and GetUpside helps you find deals — both offer cash back rewards.
  7. Buy gas with a credit card that offers either cash back or rewards points.
  8. Join a supermarket gas rewards program.