A barrel of crude oil is now the highest it has been all year, and continued unrest and uncertainty in Iraq has it poised to go even higher. While the unrest hasn’t had an effect on Iraq’s oil production in the south thus far (attacks from insurgents in the north had already shut off experts from the northern oil fields), the higher prices continue to be driven by the fear Iraq’s oil exports in the south could take a hit later this year during peak world oil demand.
What does all this mean for those of us living in the US? Get ready to see a spike begin this week at gas stations and last as long as the unrest in Iraq keeps oil traders nervous. Record high gas prices have already hit England and parts of Canada in the last 24 hours, and while we may not hit record prices in the US, they are likely to be a lot more per gallon next week than they are this week. You can look for them to start heading toward $4 a gallon (the current average price for gas in the US is $3.66) as we approach July 4.
For many, that means going into gas saving mode to try and take some of the sting out of the higher prices. By far the best way to reduce the amount spent on gas is to use your car less. This isn’t always possible, but the less you can drive, the more you’ll save on gas. Below are five tips than can possibly help you reduce the amount you drive, and thus the amount you spend on gas:
- Use alternative methods to get where you’re going if the distance isn’t too far away such as walking or biking.
- Plan and combine trips so that you only go out once a day to get all your shopping and errands done, rather than several trips throughout the day.
- Plan weekend activities closer to home rather than to places which require a long drive.
- Consider carpooling, public transportation or ride sharing as an alternative to driving yourself to work each day.
- Plan a summer staycation. Instead of taking a summer trip out of town, explore all the areas near you which you’ve wanted to see, but never have found the time to do so.If reducing the amount you drive isn’t possible, head to the least expensive gas station in your area and fill up. It’s almost guaranteed that the price will be a lot higher next week than it is today.