Gas is a high commodity these days and can put a major drain on your wallet. Some may think there isn’t much they can do about the price of gas though…it is what it is, right? My feeling is that you can always save money if you know where to look.
Many people are hitting the road for a fun-filled holiday weekend. When planning for a trip, it is very easy to focus your frugal energies on saving your money at the hotels, dining locations, events, etc. Don’t get me wrong, these are excellent and easy areas in which to save money. But, don’t forget to save your money at the pump as well.
There are many websites available that offer excellent information on where to find the lowest gas prices but my favorite is definitely www.gasbuddy.com. It is a one-stop shop of information for gas price savings.
The first way to get information from the site is to simply enter a zip code. You are quickly shown a list of gas stations in the area and their prices. This is great if you want to find prices close to home or at your final destination but what about the stops for gas along the way.
One of the features that makes this site great for planning trips is definitely the Trip Cost Calculator. Simply enter your starting & ending locations and the make & model of your vehicle, then click “Fuel My Trip”. Instantly, the site will tell you exactly how much you should expect to spend in gas, where to stop along the way for the best prices and what you could save if you do.
Another option for planning your fill-ups would be to use the Gas Price Map. Simply pull up the map and then zoom in on the area in which you are traveling. The map is color coded. according to the average reported price of gas within the past 48 hours for each zip code.
Right click on a particular location to be shown the average price for that zip code and then click on a link to be shown a list of prices, per location, in that area. Zoom in close enough and the site will actually plot out some of the gas stations in the area, showing the gas prices right on the map.
How in the world do they gather all of this information? Their motto is “Consumers working together to save on gas.” They enlist the help of conscious consumers like you and me who voluntarily visit the website to report the price of gas at their local filling station. As contributors participate with the site, they earn points which allow them to qualify for drawings and prizes (ex. $250 in gas!). So, while you are saving money at the pump you could also try your hand at winning some free gas as well.
Oh, and if you forgot to plan before you left the house, they offer mobile apps for all sorts of gadgets. So be safe, have fun and save some money at the pump this weekend!
Jennifer Kline – “I have tried a variety of money-saving ideas over the years, some that work and some that weren’t worth the work. I hope that you will come back each Friday to learn my tips and tactics for hanging on to your hard-earned dollar. I also hope that you will share some of your tips with me by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.”