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The average American household spends $164 a month — close to $2,000 a year — on vehicle fuel and motor oil, the government's most recent numbers tell us. That's a decent-sized chunk of family budgets, so it's no wonder we all tend to follow gasoline prices closely. Here are this week's typical gas prices where you are.

The prices you pay at the gas pump in South Carolina have decreased over the last week.

As of Saturday, October 26, the average price for a gallon of regular was $2.29, according to auto club AAA. That’s $0.01 less from a week earlier.

The current prices are lower than a month ago, when motorists in South Carolina were filling up at an average $2.32 per gallon. One year ago, the average price statewide was $2.49, AAA reports.

The latest average price of premium-grade gasoline across South Carolina was $2.90.

The average price of diesel across South Carolina was $2.79.

Is fuel costing you more or less than the typical American driver? The current national average price is $2.61 a gallon, down $0.04 from last week. The most expensive state to fill up is California. The least expensive state to fill up is Louisiana, where prices are $1.84 less per gallon than in California.

Fight high commuting costs

Shell station
Photo by Zakaria Zayane on Unsplash

If it feels like the cost of gasoline is leaving your wallet on "E," one reason could be the length of your daily commute. Across the U.S., the average trip to work takes a little over 26 minutes each way, according to Census data. That's almost an entire hour that we spend every day traveling to and from our jobs.

You can put some of your gas money back in your wallet by using a cash-back credit card that rewards you with extra cash back for gasoline purchases.

The experts at AAA say if you can reduce your weekly driving by 22 miles — maybe through carpooling, or working from home more often — you'll save a gallon of gas each week and cut your fuel budget.

Here are a few of the auto club’s other tips to spend less on gas:

  • Don't be a lead foot. Slowing down from 70 mph to 60 mph on your daily commute will trim your fuel usage each week by about 1.3 gallons.
  • Keep your tires inflated properly. Low pressure will reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Don't drive with a dirty filter. A clogged air filter will hurt your car's fuel economy.
  • Avoid using your trunk for storage. When your car is heavier, it burns more fuel.
  • Use the air conditioning when you're warm. Opening the windows will put more drag on the engine and cause you to use more fuel.

Once you lower your fuel costs, be sure to put those savings to good use. Stash the cash in a high-yield savings account and build up a nice reserve for emergencies — or for your dream life in retirement.