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With gas prices eclipsing $4 in the Carolinas, these 7 tips will help you save money

With gas prices in the Carolinas at or near record highs, every penny saved counts. These tips can help you stretch your savings and keep money in your pocket.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With gas prices through the roof, having a strategy to save money at the pump is essential. 

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in North Carolina is $4.127, while South Carolina drivers are paying a bit less at $4.026 per gallon. North Carolina's current average price set a new record Wednesday, passing the mark set in 2008.

Sure it takes a little extra work but with gas prices hitting record highs, a little effort could help keep money in your pocket.

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Here are seven ways to make your gas (and money) stretch a little farther:

1. Research prices before you fill-up

Gas prices can vary greatly from one gas station to the next. Utilize price tracking apps like GasBuddy or Gas Guru to find the cheapest spot near you.

2. Sign up for rewards cards

Just about every gas station has some sort of loyalty program that offers discounts on fuel. These programs allow customers to build up points or other savings for discounts at the pump, and some even offer savings for every stop.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

3. Use cash-back credit cards

There are cards that give you cashback or double points on fuel purchases. You might even have one of these cards now. Check each card and then activate the offers if applicable.

4. Pay in cash

Some gas stations offer a discount (usually around 10 cents or less) for customers who pay in cash. If you don't have a cash-back credit card, this is a good option to consider. 

5. Use wholesale clubs

Gas is typically cheaper at Costco and Sam’s Club gas stations so if you’re a member, take advantage of this perk. 

6. Download third-party apps

Get cashback when you use an app like GetUpside. The app shows you varying cash-back offers available at multiple gas stations. Just link your credit card, claim your offer and save.

7. Grocery store fuel savings programs

A number of grocery stores have programs that offer discounted gas based on how much money is spent on groceries. Harris Teeter’s Fuel Points program gives 1 point for every dollar spent on groceries and 50 points for every qualifying prescription filled at a Harris Teeter pharmacy. 

Once you reach 100 points, that takes 10 cents off per gallon at participating gas stations. 

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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