Three Ways To Avoid Overpaying for Gas
Most of us will spend about $2000 filling up the tank this year, and it's likely we'll overpay by a few hundred dollars. But there are three things we can do to make sure we're not getting the shaft.
It's not that bad here, but we still have a handful of things we should be doing to avoid paying too much at the pump.
3 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas
1. Price check. Most of us don't check around before we fill up. We'll either go to the same neighboorhood spot to fill up because it's close to the house and it's a habit, or we'll head to the first gas station we see when we realize we're running on fumes. If we'd take a minute to look around, we might find a cheaper price. An average gas price is an average because there are higher and lower prices nearby, and searching for the lower ones can add up to decent savings.
2. Fill up on Mondays or Thursdays. GasBuddy says prices tend to be in flux on Tuesdays because it's the day before the weekly oil and energy reports come out, and that makes Tuesday an undesirable day to fill up. (Unless you're on empty, of course, and then waiting until the next day isn't the best idea.) Gas prices might rise on Fridays and Saturdays as more people hit the road for the weekend, so Thursday is the best late-week day to fill up.
3. Use fuel loyalty programs. If you're part of a gas loyalty program through a grocery store or convenience store, you're doing yourself a solid. Those discounts are legit. I've saved as much as seventy cents per gallon using those rewards, and I have friends who have saved more. Those are some of the deepest discounts you'll find, and they're ongoing.
We're lucky right now because gas is pretty cheap. I mean, it could be better, but we're steering clear of the $3 mark by quite a bit, and prices at several places around the Treasure Valley are under $2.40 per gallon. At last check, the average was $2.50, but some places are posting $2.36. And predictions are that gas prices will stay low for at least the next few weeks, possibly through Spring Break and beyond. With opportunities to save through loyalty programs and price checks, even those of us that drive big SUVs can't complain too much right now.
Oh, and there's one more secret that the experts are sharing with us to save at the pump. Prices at gas stations right on the interstate tend to be the highest, and if we travel a little further into neighborhoods the prices should be lower. Now we know.