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Gasoline prices continue to rise, costing you money. At the risk of dating this article, previously unseen U.S. gas prices of over $3.00 are now common in some areas. I know those in Europe and elsewhere pay much more, but we can agree over the past year that many countries have recently seen huge spikes.
Rising gas prices affect all of us in some degree. Unless you walk, your cost of commuting to work increases. The prices of goods climb due to increased transportation costs. How can you decrease the impact on your pocketbook?
Luckily the Internet offers many different ways to help ease your burden. Note that many of these sites are geared towards the United States.
1. Search for Cheaper Gas Prices Online
Cheaper gasoline prices may be available but tough to find. Instead of driving from station to station checking for cheap prices or traveling 20 miles out of the way, try the following sites:
GasBuddy.com – http://www.gasbuddy.com/
GasPriceWatch.com – http://www.gaspricewatch.com/
Carefully read the times reported for the gasoline prices! The cost of gas can rise or fall sharply (though it tends to do more of the former) in the span of a few hours.
2. Use Mapping Services to Plan Your Trips More Wisely
It just makes sense that if you know where you’re going and don’t get lost, you’ll require less gas getting there. Browse these websites to help you plan your journey; some even display satellite maps to further assist your travels:
Google Maps – http://maps.google.com/
MapQuest – http://www.mapquest.com/
MSN Maps and Directories – http://maps.msn.com/
Windows Live Local – http://local.live.com/
Though very helpful, use the above sites as a guide as 100% accuracy is never guaranteed.
3. Find Nearby Stores
Don’t travel miles and miles out of the way and spend more money on gas to go somewhere when an equivalent store is just around the corner!
Google Maps – http://maps.google.com
For example, I can query “pizza 30338” to find several eating establishments in or nearby Dunwoody, GA.
InfoSpace – http://www.infospace.com/
Using InfoSpace’s “Near an address” feature on their front page, enter in your street address and type of business, and find close-by businesses never previously noticed while on the road. This beats driving elsewhere and spending more money on gas!
4. Stay Out of Traffic
Tired of idling? We all want to arrive at our destinations sooner, avoiding gas-guzzling traffic jams. These websites provide traffic information, provided you live in supported metro areas:
MSN Autos Traffic Reports – http://autos.msn.com/everyday/trafficreport.aspx
Traffic.com – http://www.traffic.com/
Yahoo Maps, Driving Directions, and Traffic – http://maps.yahoo.com/
Check your local department of transportation as it may display traffic information online. This can include cameras, incident information, and/or road closures. Perform a Google search similar to the following:
New York dot
5. Shop over the Internet with No Shipping Costs
When done properly, shopping online can save you money otherwise spent on gasoline. Many shops now offer free USA shipping (restrictions may apply) if you spend a certain amount of money, increasing your savings! Some online shopping sites with free shipping offers at the time this article was written (listed for informational purposes only) are:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Shoes.com – http://www.shoes.com/
Tower Records – http://www.towerrecords.com/
World of Watches – http://www.worldofwatches.com/
Zappos (shoes) – http://www.zappos.com/
MSN Shopping has a dedicated “Free Shipping Center” directory with even more businesses – http://shopping.msn.com/content/shp/?ctid=18
Though fuel prices rise, let the Internet help you cope. Compare gas prices online. Arrive at your destinations quicker and cheaper using on-line maps. Find nearby businesses with near-address searching, conserving gas. Shorten your commute time with online travel information. And, travel less often by taking advantage of online shopping with free shipping. Use these Internet techniques to stop spending your money on higher gas prices.
write by Raj Singh