116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Filling a vehicle’s gas tank, as just about everyone has noticed, takes more money than a year ago, prompting some Iowans to cut back on their driving and find other ways to save money.
“Unfortunately, gas is something that you need to get back between work and home and the grocery store and home and other essential errands … so there’s not a lot you can do,” said Adam Wright, 44, of Cedar Rapids, a security guard at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
Wright said it costs $58 to fill up his Jeep’s gas tank.
He said he’s limiting his driving to his six-minute commute to work and that he only drives to Lindale and Westdale malls once or twice a week to take care of errands. His only long trips, he said, are for weddings or funerals.
“I was supposed to go out of town to Des Moines this weekend for a state political convention, and I canceled that due to the price of gas and other travel expenses,” Wright said.
Because of gas prices and other inflationary increases, Wright said he’s also cut back on buying concert tickets and books and eating at restaurants.
“I’ve been a little more intentional about what I’ve been buying since prices have gone up, and I have been trying, for example, to space things out from paycheck to paycheck with wants and needs,” he said.
“Sometimes we do need to, like our grandparents did during the Great Depression, make sacrifices and learn to do things with less.”
Some stores with gas stations, like Costco, Walmart and Hy-Vee, are offering deals and “rewards” to lower the cost of gasoline for their customers.
Costco in Coralville has some of the more affordable gas prices for its customers, with regular unleaded selling for $4.39 per gallon for regular unleaded on Sunday.
Bob Nelson, Costco’s senior vice president of finance and investor relations, said in a May 26 quarterly earnings call that rising gasoline prices positively impacted Costco’s sales.
“I think every member that signs up has a different reason, but sure, absolutely, particularly given the extreme value proposition in gas right now,” Nelson said.
Retiree Tom Emerick, 78, of Muscatine, was filling up his vehicle at a Casey’s General Store in Iowa City after he’d had lunch Sunday.
He said he was using his Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks to save almost a dollar per gallon.
Emerick said he also is mindful of how he drives — accelerating slowly and following the speed limit to get as many miles per gallon as possible.
“This hasn’t been hard for me but probably for drivers behind me, because I drove 55 mph. I got up to 46 mpg on my last tank,” Emerick said.
Gabe Kringlen, 30, of Iowa City, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employee, said gas is taking a bigger bite out of his paycheck than before but that it hasn’t forced him to change his daily routines.
“I know a lot of other people are hurting who are potentially less financially fortunate than I am,” Kringlen said. ”But, thankfully, it hasn’t changed my behaviors.“
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