Gas prices drop ahead of busy July 4 travel weekend

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

It’s pretty typical to see gas prices increase before a busy travel weekend like the Fourth of July, but with gas prices already higher than we’ve seen in years, prices are actually going down for the third week in a row.

After a drop for the second week in a row last week to $4.89, the American Automobile Association reports that the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by another four cents this week to $4.85. AAA says gas demand currently sits at 8.93 million barrels per day, which is lower than last year’s rate, while the total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 2.6 million barrels.

“These supply/demand dynamics and decreasing oil prices have pushed pump prices lower,” they wrote in a news release on June 30. “As these trends continue, drivers will likely continue to see relief at the pump.”

The largest weekly decrease is in Wisconsin, where the average gas prices are down 14 cents, followed by Indiana, Florida and Ohio at 13 cents. Arizona, Texas and Michigan all had 12 cent decreases this week, while South Carolina and Maryland saw an 11 cent decrease.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Even with the decline, gas prices are still quite high, and while you can’t do anything to change that, there are a few things you can do to help stretch your gas a bit further.

Everything from where you fill up to car maintenance and even making sure your trunk isn’t weighed down can all help you get more out of your gas tank.

Other things to keep in mind are making sure to accelerate and brake gently, maintain your desired speed by using cruise control, avoid rush hour and combine trips so you do all of your weekly errands at once.

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One chain of gas stations is even helping out by lowering their prices for the holiday weekend.

Sheetz, which operates more than 640 locations in the United States, has lowered the price of gas to $3.99 a gallon for unleaded fuel at its locations through July 4. If you have a Sheetz near you and can use E85 fuel, you’ll save even more with the price at $3.49 per gallon.

Are you hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend?

About the Author

Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a background in newspaper and broadcasting. She has a degree in journalism and psychology, enjoys writing, editing, animals, music and movies/TV. When she's not writing, you can usually find her on her yoga mat, whipping up a new vegetarian dish or at a wine tasting with friends. You can email her at kaitlingateswrites@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/KaitlinGatesWrites. Learn More.