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Five Ways To Find The Cheapest Gas

February 20, 2012 by staff 

Five Ways To Find The Cheapest Gas, Just as the economic recovery begins to accelerate, another roadblock has jumped in the way. In this case it’s America’s old familiar enemy: Rising prices at the gas pumps. The national average cost for regular unleaded gasoline is already 8% higher this year alone, now at $3.529 a gallon, according to AAA.

This is the highest price point ever seen this early in the year. Seasonally prices rise heading into the Summer driving season, but never has the average price of gasoline topped $3.50 this earlier in the New Year.

Furthermore, gasoline demand has dropped 10%; meaning Americans are driving less but the amount of money we’re spending on gasoline is rising.

As individuals we can’t do much about price hikes but Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.com says there are some things we can do to minimize the damage done to our personal finances every time to fill the tank. In the attached clip Laskoski discusses 5 ways to find cheap gas prices.

1. Track Prices Via Websites and Mobile Apps

Is your local station gauging you? The only way to know is to be aware of what you should be paying. Thanks to the Internet, drivers can drill down and find the average price by zip code. Laskoski’s Gasbuddy.com, Gaspricewatch.com or scores of other web sites or mobile applications make it easy to find gas stations taking the least amount of profit from consumers.

2. Inconvenience Yourself

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock but the easier it is to find a gas station, the more you’re going to pay. Laskoski says gas stations just off the highway cost more than others just down the way. If you’re willing to spend an extra ten minutes in your car you can find stations that make it time well spent. And, avoid affluent areas; that gas station conveniently existing right in the middle of town is likely charging a premium.

3. Fill Up at the Right Time

Urban legend says gas prices are lowest during hours when most folks are sleeping, from midnight to 5am. Laskoski debunks that myth, but says there is a best time to fill-up that most people wouldn’t think of: Wednesday. Gas prices are highest on weekends when the most people are out on the road. Filling up in the middle of the week saves you both sleep and money.

4. Mind the Fine Print on Your Credit Card & Reward Programs

Many companies offer “club” membership at their stations but the real savings come somewhere else. Liskoski says to look for partnerships between your local gas retailer and other merchants. Often times pairing the right card with the right grocery store is where you’ll find the benefits.

5. Get Out of the Car (Opt for Self-Service)

Despite the near-death of full-service, many gas stations will give you the option of having an attendant fill it up. The next time you’re tempted, take note of the premium being charged per gallon and start doing some math. At a reasonable-sounding quarter per gallon premium, you’re going to pay $5 more to fill a 20 gallon tank. One stop per week for a year works out to $260 a year for the right to sit in your car.

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