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Gas prices are through the roof right now, so if you're looking to save money when filling up here in Minnesota, DON'T make this mistake.

When I was a kid it seemed like my dad would drive all over town so he could find the absolute cheapest gasoline price. (This was way before apps like GasBuddy tracked the price for you.) Even though the price might have only been a few cents cheaper at a gas station way on the other side of the city, he thought-- hey, at least I'm saving money. (Of course, that didn't include the gas we wasted driving all over just to save a few cents per gallon...)

But, according to AAA, there is another mistake some of us make while buying gasoline-- and it could be costing you some serious cash. So what's the most expensive mistake we make while filling up at the pump?

It's buying premium gas. And, yeah, it's way more expensive than regular unleaded (which, as we all know is expensive enough right now.) Gas Buddy says regular unleaded is selling for between $4.69 to $4.74 a gallon here in Rochester, while premium runs you anywhere from $5.34 all the way up to $5.44 a gallon.

But here's the thing. This NBC news story from KARE-11 says that even if your car's instruction manual (or note on your gas cap) says that premium gasoline is 'recommended' for your car, it actually doesn't really need it. Sure, there are some cars where premium gasoline is required, but those cars are in the minority, the story said.

In fact, 84% of cars don't need premium fuel, but people are still buying it anyway. And, the average driver could save around $600 a year if they switched from premium fuel to regular, the story said. So, yeah. Stick to the regular unleaded and you'll be saving yourself from making an expensive mistake at the pump.

Luckily, I've never been able to afford one of those expensive, fancy cars that require premium gasoline, so this hasn't been an issue for me. Of course, if you can afford to buy one of those really expensive cars, paying extra for premium probably isn't a problem either, is it? (And keep scrolling to see how little gas cost the year you started driving!)

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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