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Driving Economically

Time of Day Matters When Buying Gas

Heading into the holiday season, everyone is looking for ways to cut corners and save some money in preparation of the overwhelming holiday expenses. The price of gas has dropped in the past few weeks, just in time for the holiday spending season. But the price of gas this year has already hurt the wallets of the consumer.

There are all kinds of sources of advice and information designed to help minimize the economical effects of the gas price hike.

It would be a great idea to take a look at what the news media and auto experts have to say about what will happen to gas prices in the near future. That will at least give us a warning if the gas prices begin to go up again.

Now that gas prices have dropped, we are all breathing a little easier, but that doesn't take away the sting of the past years gas costs. Consumers are saving big bucks at the pumps if we compare the cost now to the cost of a month or two ago. But do we have the money to spend as much as we usually do for holiday gifts and entertaining after having spent such a long time under the gas pump thumb?

There are still a few more ways to continue to save money at the gas pump, and not many people are aware of them. But they are listed below for you to learn, and hopefully it will help add a few more dollars to your holiday shopping budget.

There is a reason why, especially in the hot summer months that people are told to cut their grass in the evening or to fuel their cars in the morning. The explanation is simple. Gasoline is denser in cooler weather. To save the most money in terms of gas costs, fuel up in the early morning or evening when the sun isn't as strong.

As you well know, gas is priced by the gallon, not by the density. So by buying the gas in the cool part of the day, you are getting a higher density gasoline for the same price. Leaving the house a little earlier before work or stopping by the filling station on your way home from the grocery store are both good times to fuel up your car.

Another time of the day to consider making your gasoline purchases would be after 10 am. Most of the time, gas station attendants have had time to change the boards by then. A few cents may not seem like much, but in the long run they really add up. Hopefully they add up in your wallet instead of in the gas companies pockets. Keeping in mind that the time of day you buy your gas is important and will be financially beneficial in these times of high gas prices.

Some other ideas for saving at the pump aren't necessarily time of day related. Like with any purchase, shop around first. There are a variety of websites designed to provide up to the minute information about gas pricing in all areas of the country. Before you go out to fuel up, take a second to find the best deal.

Word of mouth is an excellent alternative too. Neighbors, coworkers, and family all have to buy gas too. Check with them to see if they have seen any good deals.

Your choice of gas octane matters as well. You may prefer to use the highest grade fuel possible, but to save money, consider using the lowest octane you can without your cares engine knocking. Check your owner's manual to see what octane your vehicle manufacturer recommends. One last money saving recommendation is to always use self-serve gas stations. Maybe you can slide if its a formal occasion like a wedding or funeral, but otherwise pump the gas yourself.

A little thought and planning can lessen the bite at the pumps a bit. Pay attention to the time of day, listen to family and friends, and take care of the pumping yourself. All of these tips can put you on top of the gas money saving game.

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