How to Save Money on Gas – Part 1 : Comparing Prices

Every time I go to fill up my car with gas, I almost find myself holding my breath until I see what the current price is. While it’s hard to find savings on gas prices, there are ways that you can save overall. I’ve compiled a mini-series on a few ways I’ve found to save on gas prices. Here’s the first one:

I recently discovered an App called “Gas Buddy” that compiles gas prices so that you can gauge the best price in your area. For those of you living in smaller towns with just one or two gas stations, it may not be incredibly useful but those of you like us who are in a busier suburb with gas stations galore, you might find this App to be a new useful tool. Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone, Blackberry or Droid as they also have a website that you can check online. While that may not help you when you are out-and-about, it can be a great resource if you get yourself into the habit of checking prices before you leave your house. (For those of you using the App, never use them when driving–check them when you are safely stopped!)

When I first started using the tool, I wasn’t sure how much it would save me, but I’ve since been surprised by what I’ve found. Had I not used the tool, we would have stopped at the nearest local gas station and paid this price, which was the average in the area at that time: ($3.98)

But while my husband was driving, I did a search on the best prices in our area and found a gas station that was this price ($3.79!)

We only needed 13 gallons of gas at the time but that figured out to $2.47 savings since it was basically on the way to where we were going. Not only is the App helping me find cheaper prices, but it’s also making me aware that I should always keep my eyes open for a lower price. It’s a great habit to get into and it just saved me $.22 a gallon this last week as I happened to see a station that was marked down to $4.07, instead of $4.29. This saved me around $2.20 as my tank wasn’t as empty. (The next day, this station was back up to the average price so I was lucky to catch that deal!)

It may only seem like small savings but here’s just a look at what it could add up to:

1 vehicle saving $.10 a gallon on 15 gallons a week is $1.50 x 52 weeks in a year = $78.00 a year in savings. Even if you only saved $.05 a gallon, that’s $39.00 a year–just for merely checking for the best price. If you have multiple vehicles, your savings will be far greater. The savings would change if you had a larger tank to fill-up and filled your tank multiple times per week, etc. It just changes by your overall usage of fuel.

How to Make this Work for You:

1) The idea isn’t to drive out of your way for savings or you are losing your savings. Check what’s in your area. You might find prices comparable within the same mileage of where you were heading but in a different shopping area–shop there instead. Or you might find a station on your normal route that you wouldn’t normally stop at.

2) If you don’t have a phone with App capabilities, get in the habit of checking online before you leave your house.

3) Keep in mind that prices aren’t guaranteed but are just what others are reporting them to be. They may be higher/lower so it’s a chance you take–or you could get in the habit of calling to verify before you change your route.

4) Use this tool when on vacation to help determine which exit you might want to stop at for fuel.

You might be able to find other gas price apps/tools. This is just one I have found and it is currently Free. (Be sure it states free as it can change at any time!)

I’m hoping that this might find you some extra savings in your budget. I have more ways to save on gas coming at you in the next few weeks so be sure to look for them.

Thank you for stopping by Coupon Geek! I value my readers and their advice, tips and comments. Please remember that Coupon Geek is a positive, family-friendly and upbeat site when leaving your comments.

Comments

  1. Samantha Gabhart says

    Love GasBuddy! What’s also great with it is you can set up favorites…not only your local favorites, but also favorites for other areas. I have set up stations for in Indiana for when we go see family, and I just had the thought to set up one for when I’m out in Rockford once a month. :D

  2. coupongeek says

    That’s a great option. Thanks for sharing, Samanatha! I’ll have to start using the favorites feature, too.

    Jaycie

  3. says

    Oh I love GasBuddy here in California! I was actually excited that I finally found gas for $4.19 as it has been at $4.59+. We have literally put our plans on hold until these prices drop its just too expensive! I do envy all the bloggers when the say their gas is at $3+/a gallon though…..Oh I wish it was at that price here!

  4. coupongeek says

    Yeah, ours is at $4.29 and higher. Chicago is one of the more expensive areas. I was looking at their prices last night and California is the highest on the list. Hoping that the prices drop some soon so you can still do more things!

    I’m so glad that you are finding extra savings with the App, too. I’m loving it and wished I had found it when I first got my iPhone.

    Thanks for sharing, California Mom!

  5. Yvette says

    To get more gas for your buck, try to fill up either early in the morning, or in the evening when the temperature tends to be cooler. Gas condenses (thickens) when its cold, and as the day warms up thins out. More gas to be had by all!

  6. Penney's Worth says

    Thanks so much! I don’t have a phone that can do apps, but the online pricing with different grades of fuel is right on target for my area! I’ve been to other sites that either don’t have fuel levels or are not accurate. Thanks for sharing.

  7. coupongeek says

    You’re so very welcome! I hope that you find the tool to be useful in saving money on fuel!

    Blessings,
    Jaycie

  8. coupongeek says

    That’s a good tip! I have heard that before and actually forgot. I’ll have to add it to one of the future gas savings postings.

    Thanks,
    Yvette

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