Gasoline prices in my area are at a record high at $4.34 per gallon. The price of crude oil has risen by 32% this year, while gasoline is up by 57%. I basically have stopped driving because of this. Last month, I needed to put some fuel in my vehicle because it was almost on empty. I also had gas rewards from a grocery store that were due to expire. Instead of going to the nearest gas station that accepts the discount, I decided to go online and look up gas prices in my area. The website/app that first came to mind was GasBuddy. I remember using it back in 2011-2014 when gas prices rose to $3.50. Now, that would be a bargain. Of course, it depends on where you live and what data you are looking at. Large metropolitan cities generally have higher gas prices.
So, I look on GasBuddy.com and found data for nine gas stations in my area. There was a difference of about ten cents between stations. I drove to the one that had the lower price, fully expecting to see that the price on GasBuddy was not accurate. But it was and I was able to save ten cents per gallon compared to the station that I was going to visit before checking GasBuddy. Today, I checked prices again. The difference from lowest to highest is 26 cents per gallon. GasBuddy shows you when the price was reported. If you see that the price was reported only 1 or 2 hours ago, you can be confident that the price will be accurate.
Driving an extra mile or two to visit the station with the lowest price is worth it (especially if you have discount coupons). If you are a Costco or Sam’s Club member, you already know that they have the lowest price on gas. No need to check GasBuddy, unless you are curious about the current price (under $4). The only negative is that you need to be a Costco or Sam’s Club member, and you may have to wait in line to fill-up. If you have a large family and will also be taking advantage of the many discounts and benefits inside the store, then the membership fee is a good value. Shopping at a grocery store that offers a fuel reward is also a good option.