(CBSMiami) — With the summer driving season about to kick off, prices at the pump are poised to climb.
You may have noticed the slow and steady rise already. The Auto Club AAA predicted gas prices would jump 30 to 70 cents between February and Memorial Day, and keep going up after that.
Today’s Lauren’s List has some lesser-known hacks that could help you save on gas.
1. Pay with cash: We love the convenience of paying at the pump, but you may want to put away your plastic. Gas Buddy says using cash can save 10 to 15 cents a gallon at some stations because owners can charge less while avoiding credit card fees. If you must use plastic, make sure there’s a reward or loyalty program benefit.
2. Don’t top off: I know I’m guilty of this. I hear the “click” indicating pumping has stopped, but I squeeze the handle a couple more times, and lo and behold, more gas flows into my tank. But does it really? That little extra fuel could splash out or evaporate, along with your hard-earned money! About 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
3. 10 second rule: If you’re idling for more than 10 seconds, experts say it’s best to turn your car off. The U.S. Department of Energy says idling drains your tank by a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, whereas restarting only sips 10 seconds worth of gas.
4. Pump on Wednesdays: Schedule your gas run for the middle of the week. Automotive experts say prices tend to rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel. In fact, one study found refueling on Tuesday or Wednesday instead of the weekend saves 8 or 9 cents a gallon. Also, fill up as the sun goes up. Station owners tend to raise prices around 9 a-m, after checking in on the competition.
What do you do to save money on gas?
Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.
If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List” send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.