Consumer Alert: Pain at the pump. Here’s how to save on gas

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Today’s consumer alert goes in-depth on gas prices, an issue that affects all of us directly or indirectly. If you have a car you’re feeling the pain directly. If you don’t have one, you feel it indirectly because if it costs more to transport goods, that cost is passed on to you.

Tuesday, we showed you that according to AAA, the average price of a gallon of unleaded in Rochester is $3.16. That’s up six pennies in a week. And those pennies are adding up. AAA predicts that we’ll be paying up to twenty cents more by the end of August. It’s pain at the pump that we’ve not seen in seven years. And the big question is why. Let’s go in-depth.

If you want to blame something for our pain at the pump, blame one ugly family fight. OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had a fallout last week. That family fight is between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These two are tight. Rarely do we see public squabbles. But they can’t agree on how much to open the spigots. And the fight got so ugly, they canceled a meeting scheduled for this week.

Here’s the problem. Oil production is not keeping pace with demand. We’re flying again. We’re hitting the road. And we’re buying goods and services. OPEC cut oil production during the pandemic. But now the world needs them pump out some product. But not only can they not agree, they’re not even talking. That family squabble is affecting the price of crude oil around the globe. And unfortunately, the price of oil and gas go hand in hand.

So what can we do about it? Here’s Deanna’s Do List:

  • Show no loyalty. You may have a loyalty card at a gas station, but it takes forever for you to build up enough points to get a discount. In the meantime, you may be able to get cheaper gas elsewhere.
  • Combine trips. Get those errands done in one trip rather than multiple runs.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated.
  • Use a gas app that tells you where the cheapest gas is in your area.

Here are five favorites:

Waze and GasBuddy are crowd-sourced. That means that people are reporting prices in real-time. I’ve found both really helpful. But I’ve read good things about the other three. All help you find the least expensive gas near you.