Gas prices are soaring. Here’s how to stretch your gallon and dollar.

It pays to shop around as prices vary as much as 70 cents a gallon

Gas prices are soaring. Here’s how to stretch your gallon and dollar

SAN ANTONIO – Gas prices continue to rev up, and drivers are feeling the drain in their wallets.

“Prices are going up, escalating -- a whole lot,” said Mytrais Beasley, who was filling her tank for a road trip.

The average price of gas Thursday afternoon in San Antonio was $3.33 a gallon, according to Gasbuddy.com.

“Oh my gosh, they’re crazy,” said Marilyn Rodriguez, who just pumped $40 into a car to get a little more than a half of a tank. “It’s crazy.”

In the past week, the average price of gas locally soared 20 cents a gallon. It’s the most drivers have paid for gasoline since the summer of 2014.

At some stations, prices were making noticeable leaps overnight. One station in Leon Valley suddenly raised the price by 26 cents a gallon.

Drivers are taking note and action.

Aaron Lopez is now driving his diesel car and parking his pickup.

“I’ve got an F-250, and I don’t want to fill that up,” he said. “With this, I get better gas mileage.”

That’s even though diesel was $3.99 gallon.

There are ways to make a tank of gas last a little longer. Experts say start with your car. Proper maintenance such as clean air filters and regular oil changes can optimize fuel economy.

Next, get out the tire gauge. Tires that do not have enough air pressure create drag and waste fuel.

When you buy gas, shop around. As the oil market is volatile, gas prices will fluctuate wildly. Thursday afternoon, there was a 70-cent a gallon difference between the highest and lowest prices.

Use a gas app such as GasBuddy, Waze, GasGuru or AAA to help you locate the lowest prices near you. Some stations offer cash discounts or loyalty programs.

Premium fuels are flirting with $4 a gallon. Automotive experts say unless your car requires premium grade fuel, go for the regular.

And how you drive matters. High speeds, sudden braking and jack-rabbit starts are gas guzzling habits.

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About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.