Save at the Pump

Photographer: Michelle Meiklejohn, www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

There are claims that our economy is showing signs of starting to recover. I am pretty doubtful and I am sure that the continued rise in gas prices is not going to help the average american family recover from their economic woes any faster.

As of this morning the national average price per gallon of gas is $3.50 with some areas (including the area where I live) soaring as high as $3.90 per gallon. I am not that old (35) to be specific and I can remember filling my first car’s gas tank with just $10.00 and now I am lucky if I can fill my car with $60.00. Now this is not a complete fair comparison because my first car was a Honda Prelude and my car now is a Chevy Tahoe but still, but you get my point.

It is so hard to plan and budget when the gas prices are constantly fluctuating. Don’t give up, it is still possible to at least maintain a reasonable budget but it will take you doing your homework. You need to spend some time figuring out where the best gas deals are in your area or the areas in which you will be traveling. Do not get in your car and start driving around trying to find the best deals so that you can plan for your next trip to the gas station. You are only going to waste your time and money on something that you can easily do from the comfort of your own home.

Here are a few ways to save at the pump even as the prices continue to go up.

1) Costco (or similar type wholesale stores). Costco typically runs $0.10 less per gallon than the surrounding areas gas stations. However, you will need to have a membership to Costco in order to enjoy this perk. If you are not already a member you will have to weigh out the benefit for having a membership just for gas, as the memberships start at $50.00 per year. If you are a member anyway there is no reason you should not be enjoying this bonus.

2) Grocery store gas discounts (Raley’s being my favorite of course). My local Raley’s store has always given $0.10 off for every $50.00 you spend and $0.25 for every $100.00. Since I am already going to be shopping at Raley’s I might as well get the benefits of the discounted gas. Plus currently they are running a special in place of their normal gas program where for every $75.00 you spend you get $0.50 off per gallon. That makes a huge difference when we are talking about having current gas prices near $4.00 per gallon. I can not speak from experience with other stores, although I do know that Safeway lowers gas for those who carry a Safeway card. I believe their discount ranges from $0.03 to $0.25 off per gallon. Just check with your regular grocery store and see what kind of discount they offer. So many of these stores are giving out discounts now to draw customers.

3) Let Mapquest tell you where the cheapest gas is in town. Mapquest is much more than a map service, they help with many other of your travel needs, including gas prices. Just click on the link above and then all you need to do is fill in your zip code and you will be given a list of local gas stations and their current prices.  This will save you on driving around wasting gas and trying to find the least expensive place in your area.

It is never fun paying a lot of money for gas, however that is just the state we are in currently. No one can be sure that gas prices is going to come back down or if they will continue to rise.  So make the best of it and find ways to save at the pump.

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