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Gas Prices Will Continue To Rise: 10 Ways You Can Offset Rising Gasoline Expenses
Pumping Gasoline Gets More Painful Every Trip!
Middle East Turmoil Has Gas Rising Sharply!
Recent turmoil and revolution in Northern Africa and the Middle East have fueled a surge in oil and gas prices. Tunisia was the first country to go into revolt against their own government, but the perceived success of their uprising has encouraged the populations of other countries to stage rallies of protest, for leadership changes at the top of their tyrannical governments. Egypt captured the spotlight next, when violent rallies and protests met with initial resistance. However it would only be weeks later that long reigning dictator, Hosni Mubarak would officially be deposed. Now Libya is dominating the airwaves, with the flamboyant and erratic tyrant Muammar Gaddafi waging war against his own people, as he clings to power. It doesn't end with Libya though. Other Middle Eastern countries are experiencing increased tensions between their general populace and the dictatorial regimes that lord over them. Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, and even Saudi Arabia have seen large rallies and protests in recent weeks, with some leading to violent clashes between government security forces and protestors. The immediate result for Americans and others around the world has been higher prices at the pump. The average price per gallon for gasoline is now back above $3 in the U.S. Allot of states and other countries have it even worse, paying $4, $5, and even higher prices for a gallon of gas. Prices are likely to stay high or go higher with all of this tension in oil hot spots. Even if things cool down energy costs are still likely to stay high and over time, gradually move higher. The truth be told, prices were already moving steadily higher, even without all of the worldwide turmoil. An aggressive Federal Reserve, a somewhat improving economy, and increased demand from China and other emerging markets have been driving higher oil and gas prices. These factors will continue to keep gasoline prices at elevated levels. Of course it always helps for consumers to put things into perspective. Hubber Barbergirl82 recently made an excellent point when she noted that paying an average of $1.59 for a 16 oz. bottle of soda, means that consumers effectively pay almost $13 a gallon. Of course you can always quit drinking soda, but your car still needs gasoline to get you to work.
High Gas Prices At The Pump Are Painful, But There Are Ways To Save!
Despite that painful reality there are ways to offset the high costs associated with rising gas prices.
1. Ditch The Car For A Bike - Many people have to cover long distances that require a car to get to work, get groceries, or pay bills. Still there are many who drive when it is unnecessary. If you are close enough that you can ride a bike to work, you may want to seriously consider it. The same goes for other common trips. Not only will you save lots of money, but it's a great way to get in shape too.
2. Choose Entertainment And Leisure Activities That Don't Require Driving - Many popular things that people do for fun, require driving and consuming gasoline. Going to the movies, shopping at the mall, and attending sporting events are all examples. Try to make different entertainment choices. For example biking or taking a walk around the neighborhood don't use up any gas. For more sedentary types, video games or books can be less expensive anyway, compared to other types of entertainment that require going out and using burning the gas in your car's tank. Maybe you are the social type that likes to drive to lots of parties. Consider throwing your own party and have people drive to your house.
3. Eat At Home, Instead Of Eating Out - Eating at home is usually healthier and cheaper than eating out anyway. Now that gas has gotten higher, the money you can save, by driving less, can really start to add up!
4. Buy Groceries In Bulk - Buying food, household items, and other consumer products in bulk is already more economical due to the quantity discounts that are often available. There is also another financial advantage that is often overlooked. You won't drive as much because you will be making less trips back and forth to the store. High gas prices means this strategy saves you even more money!
5. Shop Online Instead Of At Physical Retail Stores - Online offers many deals not available at physical stores. Plus you get to avoid crowds and make your purchases from the convenience of your own home. Better yet though, a conscious effort to do more shopping online will cut back on your gasoline expenses.
6. Get A Gas Station Membership Card That Pays Cash Back - Many gas stations offer membership based credit cards that pay cash back when you buy gas at their locations. Around 5% cash back is the most I have seen offered. There are usually rules that apply and in order to actually save you would need to pay it off immediately to avoid interest. Not much but it would offer something to offset rising gas prices, especially if implemented with some of the other methods mentioned.
7. Take Advantage Of Gas Coupon Offers - Gas stations often try to secure business by running coupon promotions. Gas coupons can often be found in local newspapers or by signing up for e-mail offers. This is another option that would be good to combine with an overall gas saving strategy.
8. Car Pool - When gas prices were high last time ($4 a gallon national average) car pooling and car pooling clubs started to become popular. It may be time to think about the benefits of this gas saving option again. You do some digging about local car pooling clubs around your area or maybe find a friend or co-worker who would be interested in forming some kind of car pooling plan. Also watch bulletin boards and intranet at work. This method can save you lots of money on gas expenses over the long term and you will put less miles on your car every week.
9. Pay Attention To Were The Cheapest Stations In Town Are - A lot of the time there is that one station in town that always is a step ahead of the competition allowing them to sell their gasoline at a discount to competitors. This is something to think about when trying to save money on gas. For example if you're going to get a gas saving card like I mention in #6, why not do it at the station that's the cheapest already.
10. Live Closer To Work - Rising gas prices make many wish that they lived much closer to work. If you are looking to move, this is an important factor to consider. Even when gas prices are low, just think about how much gas we use over years and years going back and forth to work every day. High gasoline prices make this point hit home even harder. Not everyone can make it happen, but if at all possible, living closer to work equals lots of savings over time.
High Gas Prices Can Be Challenged!
We don't control what happens in the Middle East and most of us have jobs that we must continue to show up at every day. This doesn't mean that we don't have any choice at all about what we spend on gas every month. We do have control of our own behavior and this can enable us to make decisions that cut our gas consumption and expenditures. Though high gas prices are challenging, I hope readers find something beneficial in my list that will pave the way for lower gas expenses.
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