High Gas Prices Could Break Christmas Record — How You Can Pay Less at the Pump

Santa Claus at gas station. stock photo
gilaxia / iStock.com

Unless you find your own personal gasoline pump under the tree this year, you may end up paying higher gas prices this Christmas holiday than you ever have before. Even as gas prices continue to fall across the United States, there’s still a chance that prices could set a new holiday record this year.

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The national average price of gasoline has fallen 10 cents per gallon since Thanksgiving, according to GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform. That average is projected to keep dropping to $3.25 per gallon on Christmas Day, which is just a penny shy of the record Christmas high set in 2013.

Even with the recent decline in prices at the pump, they are still historically high. For the year, the average price is up 45% from 2020’s $2.25 per gallon. The good news is, GasBuddy expects prices to keep declining in 2022.

“We got a Christmas gift that few should complain about: falling gas prices at a time of year when millions of Americans are spending their hard earned dollars on gifts for their loved ones. The last thing they should have to worry about is expensive gasoline,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a press release.

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If you’re looking for ways to find cheaper fuel, here are some tips:

  • Keep an eye out for discounts. Some gas stations offer discounts for paying with cash or offer loyalty and rewards programs that can lower your bill at the pump. Apps from GasBuddy and other platforms can help you find the best deals along your route.
  • Hit the big retail chains. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, large retail chains like Costco and Walmart can use their greater purchasing power to offer lower gas prices than independently owned gas stations.
  • Don’t drive like a maniac. Driving at high speeds, braking suddenly and constantly having to slow down and speed up can all make you use more gas than necessary. Moderate your speed so you don’t have too many sudden starts and stops to get more mileage out of your gasoline.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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