Here Are Some Money-Saving Tips As Florida Gas Prices Set Another Record High

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A spokesman for the American Automobile Association says gasoline prices have reached record-high levels in Florida and is offering some money-saving tips for consumers.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins says you can save on fuel by reducing your speed on the highway, leaving for work earlier when there is less congestion and shopping around as prices vary from one area to the next.

He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the average person is spending $25 more to fill up a tank compared with a year ago.

”It’s really tricky and extremely volatile with the fuel situation right now and things are changing by the week and the day. It is all about supply and demand globally and domestically and supply and demand is wreaking havoc on prices. A lot of consumers are making adjustments and car pooling.”

There are some calls for OPEC to increase production. And the President is taking some steps, including releasing a million barrels a day from the strategic petroleum reserve.

CBS4 stopped at some stations in Doral where regular is $4.49 a gallon and premium is $4.99 a gallon.

That’s where we found a beleagured, 78-year-old Frank Tauron filling up his car.

“This is out of this world,” he said. “It makes no sense. Until people stop arguing about this in Washington it doesn’t look like they are going to do anything. For me, I am retired. I can’t go anywhere because it’s $5 a gallon and nobody can afford this. I am not traveling. That’s what is happening because I still have to eat and pay electricity.”

Frank Duarte’s Nissan 350Z was a quarter full of gas but he still PAID $74.32 to fill up his tank with premium gasoline at the Chevron station on N.W. 87th Ave. and 25th St. in Doral.

Duarte said, “This is outrageous. There have to be some controls. I think a lot of people have prices overpriced. It is really bad, especially for people working on the roads and their prices. You have to go to work and so I have to pay this. But there has to be some regulations.”

Bill Weaver spoke to us as he was filling up the tank in his Jeep, saying “Well this is ridiculous. A lot of it is OPEC driving up prices. It is ridiculous. It is way too much. And there is nothing else I can do because I have to go to work and take the kids to school. But I think there has to be more pressure to bring these prices down.”

Here are some tips to save money:

1. There’s an app for that
You can download a mobile app — like GasBuddy, Gas Guru or AAA Mobile — that indicates the cheapest gas stations in your area. Buying the cheapest gas in town may save drivers up to 25 cents a gallon, according to GasBuddy. The apps are available for Android and iOS devices.

2. Buy groceries and gas
Dozens of wholesale and grocery store chains — including Safeway, Winn-Dixie and BJ’s — offer discounts on gas when you shop at their stores. At Safeway, customers get 10 cents per gallon off when they spend $100 on groceries. Kroger has a similar program saving 10 cents a gallon at Shell gas stations. Some of these perks require a membership to the store.

3. Take better care of your car
Keeping up with your car’s maintenance helps with fuel efficiency, reducing the number of trips to the pump. Make sure the tire pressure is correct. Get the oil changed and replace the air filter. Staying within the speed limit and avoiding aggressive driving also keeps gas in your tank longer.

4. Remember: Cash is king
For most vehicles, there isn’t a major difference between filling up with premium or regular unleaded gas, so opt for the cheapest grade. Many service stations also charge less if you pay with cash (or a debit card). If you don’t have cash, fill up at gas stations that give you the same cash price for using your card.

5. Avoid driving
Take public transportation. Ride your bike. Carpool to work with someone who has an electric vehicle. The less you drive your own car, the less you have to fill up the tank.

(CBS MoneyWatch contributed to this report).