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How to Find the Cheapest Gas Prices in Your Area

Filling up your gas tank can take a big chunk out of your wallet these days, with prices fluctuating wildly by the day. But what if I told you there are proven ways to save money on gas in your neighborhood?

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk through the best apps, discounts, tools and insider tricks for finding the lowest gas prices in your area. I‘ve been studying gas prices for years, and I‘m excited to share everything I‘ve learned to help you stop overpaying at the pump!

Maximize Gas Price Comparison Apps

One of the best and easiest ways to save money on gas is to use a gas price comparison app. These handy apps crowdsource up-to-date gas price information from drivers like you, providing map visualizations of the cheapest gas stations nearby.

Apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru and AAA Mobile can show you real-time gas prices at stations all around you, letting you compare costs and route right to the cheapest option.

For example, GasBuddy has helped users save an average of $300 per year on gas! That‘s up to 30 cents per gallon in savings.

Some top gas map apps to check out:


  • Used by over 100 million drivers
  • Available on iOS, Android and web
  • Saves users average of 15 cents/gallon

AAA Mobile

  • Official app of AAA auto club
  • Shows station amenities like restrooms
  • Filters by fuel grade


  • Crowdsourced gas prices
  • Built-in navigation with gas layer
  • Alerts notify of nearby price drops

Gas Guru

  • Highlights lowest prices first
  • Lets you track favorite stations
  • Price change alerts
AppPrice DataNavigationAlertsPrice Tracking
AAA MobileOfficialNoNoNo
Gas GuruCrowdsourcedNoYesYes

The key advantage of gas apps is seeing a map view of all station prices around you. This lets you quickly identify the cheapest option, rather than having to drive around checking each station‘s price.

I recommend checking the apps first thing in the morning, when many stations change prices overnight. Prices also tend to drop early in the week, so Monday and Tuesday are ideal days to fill up after checking the apps.

Enable price drop notifications so you‘re alerted right away if gas prices start trending down. This lets you seize timely savings.

Search Gas Station Websites

Don‘t just rely on crowdsourced apps. Also check gas company websites directly when looking for cheap gas.

Most major brands like Shell, Exxon and Chevron have online station locators where you can view their latest gas prices by city and ZIP code.

Here are some tips for searching gas company sites:

  • Sort stations by price – See cheapest ones listed first
  • Filter by fuel grade – Regular, midgrade, premium
  • Compare locations – Toggle between stations
  • Check price update times – Are they recent?

Searching the companies‘ own sites can uncover special deals and promotions that haven‘t reached apps yet. Just keep in mind that brand site prices get updated less frequently than crowdsourced apps.

I like to check a company site as well as apps to get the full picture. Combining information sources gives me confidence that I‘m seeing the lowest prices available.

Harness Navigation App Gas Features

If you already use Google Maps, Waze or another navigation app when driving, make sure to take advantage of their gas price features.

Both Google Maps and Waze allow you to search for gas stations along your route. The results are sorted by distance and price, pinpointing the most affordable options requiring minimal driving detour.

For example, I checked Google Maps for gas during my drive from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe last summer. It showed me several stations just off Highway 80 that were 15-20 cents cheaper than the Shell station at my usual stop in Auburn. That added up to over $3 in savings!

Waze takes it a step further by fully integrating GasBuddy data into its map and search results. This gives you access to the latest crowdsourced prices without needing a separate app.

The biggest perk of using your navigation app is it clearly shows proximity to your route and how much extra driving is required for detours. You can weigh whether the cheaper price offsets going slightly out of your way.

Compare Prices at Nearby Stations

When your fuel tank gets low, take a few minutes to check gas prices at stations within a several mile radius. Comparing nearby options can unveil surprisingly big price discrepancies.

I like to quickly drive around my neighborhood and jot down prices displayed on the big station signs visible from the road. This allows me to get a sample of pricing at stations in all directions.

You can also pull up a gas app map and note prices at say 5-10 nearby stations. Record the addresses and prices so you can make an informed decision.

Pay attention to differences of even just 5-10 cents per gallon, which add up quickly especially on larger fills. Make price checking a habit before fueling up rather than sticking to one go-to station out of habit or convenience.

For example, my preferred Shell station was charging $4.29 a gallon last week. But an independent station just a mile away was $4.15 a gallon – 14 cents cheaper! That added up to $2.80 savings on a 20 gallon fill-up. Absolutely worth a few extra minutes to compare and drive to the cheaper station.

Unlock Gas Station Loyalty Discounts

Joining gas station rewards programs, clubs and loyalty programs can provide members-only discounts resulting in significant savings over time.

Grocery store chains like Safeway, Kroger and Giant offer discounted gas prices to loyal shoppers using their reward cards. For example, Giant offers 10 cents off per gallon for customers that spend $100 on groceries between fills.

Warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam‘s Club and BJ‘s sell discounted gas to members, averaging 10-30 cents cheaper per gallon. Costco gas prices are typically among the lowest.

Major gas brands also have loyalty programs that provide various cents-per-gallon discounts or redemption points including:

  • Exxon Mobil Rewards+ – 3 cents off or points
  • Shell Fuel Rewards – 5 to 30 cents off per gallon
  • Chevron Rewards – 20 cents off for new members
  • BPme – 5 cents off per gallon

The key is to combine a grocery loyalty discount with a brand loyalty discount to maximize savings per fill up. For example, a Giant shopper who also uses Shell Fuel Rewards could save up to 40 cents off per gallon!

When fueling up, have your membership cards and apps ready to scan so you properly receive applicable loyalty discounts. Over the course of a year, these can add up to over $100 in annual savings!

Pay with a Gas Rewards Credit Card

Using a specialized gas rewards credit card provides some of the heftiest gas discounts around due to high rebates and cash back.

Cards like the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa offer an unbeatable 5x points per dollar spent on gas. Based on point redemption values, that equals over 25 cents off per gallon!

The Costco Anywhere Citi Visa gives 4% cash back on all gas purchases. Assuming you spend at least $7,000 a year outside Costco to qualify for the max rebate, you get over 30 cents off per gallon!

Combining a gas rewards card with the loyalty programs above can lead to huge stacked discounts. Just be sure to pay off balances in full each month to avoid interest charges.

I started using the PenFed gas card this year paired with Giant‘s grocery points. Between the two programs, I save an average of 35 cents per gallon, or $7 every fill-up! That has added up to $215 yearly savings so far with 6 months left to go.

Understand Seasonal Gas Price Shifts

Gas prices fluctuate in seasonal cycles based on supply and demand trends over the course of a year:

  • Winter (Dec-Feb) – Prices fall as driving and demand drops due to cold weather. Average drop is 20-30 cents per gallon.

  • Spring (Mar-May) – Prices start rising as winter ends and driving increases. Average increase is 40-60 cents per gallon.

  • Summer (Jun-Aug) – Peak driving season leads to highest annual prices, often 30-50 cents above spring.

  • Fall (Sep-Nov) – Prices decline as summer road trip season ends. Average drop is 30-40 cents per gallon.

Being aware of this seasonal ebb and flow can help you make smart fueling choices. For example, anticipate winter discounts in December, and fill up before Fourth of July when summer demand will spike prices.

Historic gas price charts from AAA and GasBuddy provide great visuals of yearly trends. Follow the patterns to pinpoint ideal seasonal fill up times.

Shop Around at Warehouse Club Gas Stations

Warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam‘s Club and BJ‘s sell discounted gas to members, offering some of the most consistently low prices around.

The catch is you have to buy an annual membership, but prices are 10-30 cents lower per gallon which can easily offset the $45 to $120 annual fee.

You often have to pay with a co-branded credit card or mobile wallet linked to your membership. Some locations only allow members to fill up, while others let anyone use the pumps at the discounted price.

It‘s worth exploring warehouse gas if there‘s a location convenient to you, even if you have to slightly adjust your driving route. The gas savings alone can make the membership worthwhile if you drive a lot.

For example, I pay $120 per year for my local BJ‘s membership. But I save 30 cents per gallon when I fill up there vs. the Shell station near home. So after just 24 fill-ups of 15 gallons annually, the gas savings surpass the membership cost!

Be Flexible on Brand and Grade

Don‘t get stuck always gassing up at the same brand of station or grade of fuel. You may be paying extra for perceived quality differences that don’t actually exist.

Major gasoline brands all get their fuel from the same pipelines and refineries. The only difference is added detergent formulas, which you can buy separately.

Meanwhile, premium grades can cost 20-30 cents more per gallon than regular with zero engine benefit unless your car specifically requires it. Use regular if the manual allows.

For example, I switched from filling up only at Shell stations with premium fuel. By instead buying regular grade at an independent discount station, I‘m now saving 35 cents per gallon or $5.25 per 15 gallon fill!

Sign Up for Gas Station Email Lists

An easy way to save every time you fill up is to subscribe to gas station email lists which send members discount coupons and promo codes.

Offers may include 10 cents off per gallon, $3 off a $20 purchase, or buy one get one free on food and drinks. Redeeming just a single coupon per visit accumulates real savings over time.

You can sign up on station websites, or simply provide your email at the pump next time. Search "gas station email list" to find subscription forms.

Just remember to unsubscribe later if you don‘t want ongoing emails from the gas station cluttering your inbox down the road.

Earn Cash Back with Gas Apps

Cashback apps provide straight up cash rewards when you make gas purchases just by checking in at the pump. Apps like GetUpside, Dosh and GasBuddy Pay offer easy passive savings on top of your credit card rewards.

You simply link your debit/credit card to the app, then check in when fueling up to earn cash back. Typical rates are 15 to 20 cents per gallon, essentially like getting an instant discount.

GasBuddy Pay even offers up to 25 cents off per gallon if you watch a few partner ads before checking in. That‘s like getting paid to see ads!

The key is that you earn free cash rewards for gas you need to buy anyway. As long as you remember to check in when at the pump, the savings really add up.

Fill Up Near State Lines or Reservation Borders

State gas taxes vary immensely across the country, ranging from under 20 cents per gallon in states like Missouri to over 50 cents per gallon in places like California.

Some states with lower gas taxes are Missouri (17 cents), Texas (20 cents), and Georgia (29 cents). High gas tax states include Pennsylvania (58 cents), California (53 cents), and Illinois (39 cents).

This creates opportunities to save 10-20 cents per gallon by filling up directly across a state border in a lower tax jurisdiction. Delaware and New Hampshire entice out-of-state drivers with no sales tax.

Native American reservations also preempt state fuel taxes, with border gas stations boasting cheaper prices. For example, the Oneida reservation on the NY/WI border has gas 30 cents cheaper per gallon than neighboring Green Bay, WI.

When road tripping, I love mapping out my fill ups to cross into states with the cheapest gas taxes right over the border. GPS apps like GasBuddy make this easy by listing station prices already adjusted for taxes.

Avoid Out-of-the-Way Detours

Before driving 10 minutes out of your way to save 5 cents per gallon, run the math to confirm it‘s financially worth it. The extra fuel and time spent getting to distant stations can eliminate potential price advantages in many cases.

Let’s say a station 5 miles away has gas priced 10 cents cheaper than one around the corner. That potential savings needs to offset the extra 3 miles of round trip driving at 20 MPG (0.15 gallons burned) plus 10 minutes added time.

In this scenario, you’d actually lose money driving to the farther station. The extra 0.15 gallons burned costs 15 cents, erasing the 10 cent price difference per gallon. Plus you wasted 10 minutes of time and added mileage.

I like to use the GasBuddy app‘s adjusted price feature which deducts the cost of extra driving distance to accurately compare station options. Don‘t make long detours unless the app shows a savings of 10 cents or greater per gallon after accounting for mileage.

Track Local Gas Price Patterns Over Time

Monitoring gas prices in your area over an extended time reveals useful patterns, trends and differences between stations. Consistently tracking prices provides helpful context for determining the best times and places to fill up locally.

I recommend logging each gas purchase with details like:

  • Date & time of day
  • Station name & location
  • Price per gallon
  • Fuel grade

Apps like GasBuddy and My MPG make tracking super easy. After a few months, analyze your data to identify:

  • Cheapest overall station(s)
  • Outlier expensive stations
  • Days/times with lowest typical prices
  • Price fluctuations and ranges

For example, my two years of data showed that the Circle K on 5th St is almost always the cheapest option under $4 a gallon in my neighborhood. Prices are lowest on Mondays around 7-8AM. And I’ve observed an overall range between $3.50 and $4.50 for regular grade.

Having this historical knowledge helps me recognize price spikes or sudden deals when they happen. I know where and when to fill up in my area for the best rates.

Here are some final pro tips for getting the lowest gas prices based on my years of experience:

  • Time fill ups for early Monday mornings when prices drop after weekends
  • Prepay inside with cash instead of paying at the pump with a card
  • Utilize combined loyalty and rewards programs for stacking discounts
  • Avoid "express" lanes which are typically 10-15 cents more per gallon
  • Fill up on Fridays before holidays when demand rises over weekends
  • Take advantage of warehouse club member pricing
  • Monitor prices over months to detect seasonal changes and trends
  • Use apps to earn cash back rewards on top of credit card points
  • Don‘t fully top off – the last cent costs the gas station the most
  • Maintain proper tire pressure and drive at efficient speeds to maximize MPG

Finding the cheapest gas in your local area takes effort, but pays off over time through considerable savings. Follow crowdsourced price apps, loyalty programs, seasonal trends and station price histories. Try different brands, grades and payment methods. With smart strategies and awareness, you can consistently save money at the pump.

I hope all these tips, apps and resources provide a clear roadmap to cheaper gas prices in your neighborhood. Let me know if you have any other great money-saving ideas for finding low fuel costs!

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