Saving Money at the Pump

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

It seems like just about everyone across Colorado is feeling the pain at the pump, with the state average of $3.52 a gallon. With no sign that prices will be going down anytime soon, many here in the Grand Valley are doing just about anything they can to save money on gas.

In April of 2007, the average price of gas was $2.95 a gallon. Fast forward to April of 2008 and that number shot up to $3.57. That increase of 62 cents a gallon has Grand Valley residents honking mad.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Travis Byers.

"I'm a poor, starving college student," said Grand Junction resident Jen Barnes. "It's hard to pay for three-fify gas."

With the cheapest Grand Junction prices still sitting above $3.45 a gallon, drivers say they're taking extra steps to help save money.

Byers lives in Rifle, and with average gas prices there peaking at $3.74 a gallon, he says he makes the most of his trips to Grand Junction.

"Gas prices in Rifle are about twenty cents more than what we have here, so it saves us ten to fifteen bucks," said Byers. "Why not fill up here?"

For others, high gas prices mean creating a strict budget.

"I won't put more than twenty-five in my car and today it was twenty," said Barnes.

In some cases, it means finding ways to not drive at all.

"Hitch rides with friends, convince them to come pick me up," said Barnes. "Try to walk a lot, ride my bike."

But if those aren't viable options, travel experts say there are still several things you can do to cut back on the amount of gas you use and save money.

AAA says to use the lowest grade of gas your car can take.

Don't drive faster than 60 miles per hour. For every five miles per hour you drive over 60, you pay an additional 20 cents per gallong of gas.

Accelerating while driving uphill will make your gas mileage plummet.

Get rid of roof racks and junk sitting in your trunk. The extra weight reduces your fuel economy.

Finally keep up with car maintenance. A well functioning car will give you better mileage.

Grand Valley residents aren't the only ones having to get creative when it comes to saving money on gas. Companies like UPS and Fed Ex are taking steps to make sure their drivers take as many right turns as possible. They say cutting down on left turns save idling time in traffic.

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