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Published May 10, 2012, 11:30 PM

5 Things Friday: 5 ways to save money at gas pump this summer

FARGO – Gas prices are almost 30 cents cheaper per gallon than last year at this time, according to AAA. But at an average of $3.60 per gallon in the Fargo area, they’re still high enough.

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

FARGO – Gas prices are almost 30 cents cheaper per gallon than last year at this time, according to AAA. But at an average of $3.60 per gallon in the Fargo area, they’re still high enough.

Gas prices are 10 cents cheaper than last month, but 30 cents higher than the price at the pump six months ago.

With families looking to hit the road for weekend trips to the lakes or summer vacations, paying for gas can take a big chunk out of the family budget.

While carpooling is a great way to cut down on transportation costs, it’s not always an option.

If you can’t carpool, there are still ways to get the most out of what you’re paying at the pump.

Here are some tips from Max Bohbot, president of Beezid.com, a penny auction website.

Keep it slow and steady

Avoid braking hard or accelerating unnecessarily quickly. You waste gas by accelerating just to brake a few seconds later. You also save by driving slower on the interstate. Every five miles an hour you drive over 60 miles per hour costs 25 cents more at the pump, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Comparison shop

Calculate how much a trip will cost in gas by using AAA’s gas calculator and then compare it to bus, train and air fares. Sometimes driving might not be the cheapest option.

Plan ahead

Sometimes paying for gas with cash instead of charging it to a card will save you a few cents per gallon, Bohbot said. So find out if the gas stations you frequent do this. You might even be able to buy gas cards at a discount on websites. Grocery stores like CashWise also offer discounts on gas after you buy groceries at the store.

Under pressure

Check that your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You can increase fuel-efficiency of your vehicle by 33 percent by maintaining well-inflated tires, according to the Department of Energy.

The one-minute rule

If you’re going to idle your car for more than a minute, it’s worth turning off the engine. If it’s going to be under a minute, just leave the car running.

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