Gas prices are on the rise back to where they were before the pandemic hit. And while it has been nice to not have to pay as much for fuel, it can't last forever and it is good to know how you can save money when you can.

There are a lot of things you can do to improve gas mileage on your vehicle and some are easier than  others. Here are the five easiest.

1 - Get the Junk Out of Your Trunk

According to MoneyCrashers.com, one of the best, and certainly simple ways to get better mileage is take that junk in your trunk somewhere else to store it. It's amazing while backpacking how quickly ounces turn into pounds. Imagine the pounds of stuff in your trunk right now. I would bet I have two toddlers worth of stuff in my trunk right now. The more weight your car has to haul around, the more fuel it has to burn to make that happen. And that can add up over time.

2 - Take off the Empty Roof Rack

Consumer Reports did a story about ways to get better gas mileage. One thing they pointed out was empty roof racks, that could carry bicycles or skis or whatever, can decrease gas mileage by as much as 5 miles per gallon. If you use it, of course leave it. But if your roof rack is more decoration than useful tool, or you won't use it until spring, take it off.

3 - Drive At or Below the Speed Limit

Lots of people on the Interstate drive five over the speed limit. When the speed limit went to 80 mph a few years back, people were able to drive faster, and burned fuel faster. According to MoneyCrashers.com, the speed at which cars are most efficient varies but none of them were most efficient at more than 60 mph.

But in South Dakota commuting is a race so I doubt anyone will do that.

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