Gas prices have crept up a few cents in recent days, and we would suspect they’ll be going up more whenever warmers weather gets here. Given the added heating costs during this harsh winter, every extra cost hurts many households, but what people may not realize is that they could save hundreds of dollars, perhaps thousands, if they took a few steps to save on gas. The US Department of Energy offers a lengthy list of tips to add to your gas mileage; here are a few of those suggestions to help drivers get the most bang for their buck.

Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

Observe the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. Each 5 miles per hour that you drive over 60 is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon.

Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your vehicle mileage by up to 2 percent.

Use overdrive gears. When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

Keep your engine properly tuned. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.

Keep your tires properly inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 pound per square inch drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

Combining errands into one trip. This saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel.

Plan your commute. Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours, and drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle. Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it. Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters.

Many of these are little steps, to be sure, but every little step helps. These are words of advice that truly can save people money; that in itself should be reason enough to heed to DOE’s recommendations.