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Price jump at the pump? Here's how you can save on gas costs

Nationwide, gas prices have reached a record high as a result of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Here's how to save money during the surge.

MOLINE, Ill. — Nationwide, gas prices have reached a record high as a result of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The national average for the price of a gallon of gas reached a whopping $4.17 on Tuesday - almost ten cents more than Monday and 55 cents more than last week.

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the U.S. would ban Russian oil imports, toughening the blow to Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.

RELATED: The average US gas price is the highest since 2014. Here’s why.

The move came as oil prices have surged to $110 a barrel for the first time in a decade. That's nearly $20 more than the cost on March 1. According to AAA, an increase that large can cause a 40-to-50 cent jump at the pump.

Iowa's average price per gallon of regular gas was $3.81 on Tuesday, and on the other side of the Mississippi River in Illinois, it reached $4.42 - the 7th highest average in the nation, according to AAA.

Experts say there are ways to save money during this gas surge. Here are some tips from AAA Auto Club Group Spokesperson Molly Hart:

  • Drive shorter distances. 
  • Run all of your errands into one trip.
  • Make sure your car is in good condition, so it's not burning more gas than normal.
  • Pay in cash instead of a credit card if the station charges a card fee.
  • Join reward programs at stores for membership discounts on fuel.
  • Shop competitive pricing.

"The retailers who sell more fuel enjoy a better wholesale price," Hart said. "So if there are stations close to each other, they're most likely offering competitive pricing. If you're not in a metropolitan area or in a more rural area, there's not going to be that competitive pricing. So, you might be paying higher for that gasoline."

This AAA Consumer Pulse survey shows that drivers have also adjusted their driving habits, including driving less aggressively on the roads, combining trips and carpooling, in response to the rising gas prices.

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