Tips to cut costs at the gas pump


LOS ANGELES - "Fuel economy is pretty much always on my mind."

Jeremy Soule fills up his tank just once every six weeks but that doesn't mean he likes it, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

"I feel it in my pocket, immediately when I pull in. It's something I hate to do," says Soule.

Soaring gas prices tightening family budgets

He calls himself a hyper-miler -- saving money by driving a Prius, driving it slowly, and never accelerating too quickly.

"I don't live my life in an action movie," he says. "There's very few events that I've missed in my life by like two seconds."

Most of us live life in a slightly faster lane -- but we still want to ease our pain at the pump.

"Some people are almost in tears. It's really hard on them," says Nick Aprahamian, manager of Norm's 76 Station.

And some are asking why pay a premium for premium gas?

But even if your car recommends premium, experts say most modern car engines now automatically adjust for lower octane gas and it won't wreck your engine. If your car takes regular -- they say don't even think about upgrading.

"People actually put premium fuel in their cars, thinking it's going to help their car or be good for their car, and it's a complete waste of money," said Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor at

Tires can be gas guzzlers. You can increase your fuel economy by nearly 4 percent, or four cents on every dollar, you buy -- simply by keeping them properly inflated.

And don't idle for more than 30 seconds. Turning the car off and on will actually save more gas. But by far the biggest fuel-saver experts say is to tone down the road rage. Fast lane-changing and sharp breaking driving burns gas -- calm driving can improve your mileage by 33 percent.

And empty out the trunk. The less weight in your car the less gas you're going to burn. But there's no need to sweat. Studies show having your windows down or the AC on does not affect your fuel economy.

Jeremy may ditch his car altogether and just ride his bike. That way he won't have to be so hyper about his mileage.

  • Ben Tracy
    Ben Tracy On Twitter»

    Ben Tracy is a CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent based in Washington, D.C.