Let’s face it, I drive A LOT! If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even own a car. But because of where I live, even though it happens to be downtown in the Capital City of the state, our public transportation system is still antiquated and the city is widely spread out, which requires a car to get around about anywhere. Therefore, I end up filling up my tank at least once a week, sometimes more. Luckily, I picked a car with fairly decent gas mileage that can still haul around all of the children but I am still always on the hunt for the best gas prices to help ease my pain.
Location, Location, Location
The first thing that I learned is that not every station and part of town is equal. Gas prices can swing wildly depending on what part of town you happen to be in. I happen to live downtown, which means that the demographic varies widely, which means that gas prices can be all over the place.
If I plan things right, which I do most of the time, I end up needing gas when I am nearer to the poorer parts of downtown because the gas prices can be anywhere from $.10 – $.40 per gallon cheaper than other parts of the city. If I find myself trapped in the uptown suburb part of the city when I need gas, then I might have well tossed my money into the gasoline and set it on fire because of the huge jump in prices.
I frequent one particular street on the outskirts of downtown because I have found, through experience, that the prices are almost always the cheapest anywhere around here. In fact, I got my last tank of gas for $1.94 per gallon and spent under $20 total!
Gas Buddy App
When I do find myself somewhere other than my home territory and am unsure where to go, I have found this pretty awesome free app called Gas Buddy.
This little guy really helps me out when I am on the move and unfamiliar with the area. It tracks my location and finds me the best prices around. I can search by City, Zip Code or hit the “Find Gas Near Me” button in the middle of the home page and it pulls up a map of where I am at and all of the gas stations nearby with their prices listed.
I can also report gas prices as I see them to get “points” that I can use to enter their daily draw for a $100 gas gift card. With all app users doing this regularly, I know that what I am looking at are the most recent, real time gas prices. Not too shabby!
Most of the gasoline companies also have rewards cards to use as a perk for being loyal to them. I signed up for my BP Rewards card by grabbing one of the applications at a station but you can also do it online.
This is not a credit card, as I do my best not to collect those, but is solely a rewards card that gives me anywhere from $.02 to $.06 off of each gallon of gas per purchase. This means that I intentionally seek out stations that accept this card along with the lowest fuel prices around to begin with.
Time of Day
The other trick that I have learned throughout the years is WHEN I decide to fuel up. If you fuel up when it is cooler out then there is less evaporation of gasoline fumes while fueling, hence I usually fuel up in the morning or later at night.
It is also best not to fuel up if a refueling truck is at the station because when they pump the new gasoline into the tanks they disturb the sediment at the bottom of the tank, aka the “gunk” that you don’t want in your tank. With both possible situations, it reduces your gas mileage and therefore is costing you more money.
The other reason is that time of day you choose to refuel is important is that the gas prices fluctuate during the day, especially during peak hours when people are notoriously refueling. So if you choose to go early morning or late night, the prices per gallon are usually lower.
I hope that some of these tips help you save money on gas this summer while you are out on all of your adventures!
What’s your favorite way to save money refueling this summer? Let us know in the comments below.
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