By Kelly Hodges
With gasoline prices eking up over the $4 mark, filling up the tank has become an excruciating experience. And while public transportation, carpooling, and good old-fashion bicycle riding are great cost-efficient (and eco-friendly) alternatives to driving, many of us still heavily rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to go.
Sadly there are no sales or coupons to get deals on gas, but there is a tool available to help you find the lowest priced station in your area. Gasbuddy.com offers a free app that is iPhone, Android, and Blackberry compatible, that uses your current location to tell you the price of gas at stations in your area.
For example, as I write this, gas is priced at $4.09 at the Mobile station 0.6 miles from my home. However, a Clark station 0.8 miles away is charging $3.99 and a BP station 1.2 miles away is even cheaper at $3.95. That’s a 14 cent difference, and it took me 5 seconds to find that out on the app. Fourteen cents may seem like small change, but if you are filling a 20 gallon tank that’s $2.80 saved. If you fill up your vehicle every two weeks, that will translate to $72.80 in savings each year- a sizeable savings for minimal effort!
This works great when traveling as well. When you’re in an unfamiliar city and need to fill up, the app lists the gas stations near you and the prices at each station. It even gives you directions so you can find the station that you choose!
The less desperate you are for gas, the more useful this app will be. If you’re running on fumes with the empty light blinking furiously in your face, you’re going to have to go to the station that’s closest no matter what the price. If you start thinking about filling up when you still have a quarter tank left, you can take advantage of the better deal in the area.
Take a few seconds to compare gas prices in your area the next time you need to top off the tank. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of her employer or any other person or entity.