Squeezing the Pump

Gas pumps
Photo by Juan Fernandez / Unsplash

With fuel prices rising, and that trend likely to continue, I wanted to share my notes about how to get the best price at the pump. I've spent, well, entirely too much time researching and tracking this over the last 18 months so now you can benefit from that.

Number one, if you're just looking for something simple you can do today - download GasBuddy and check prices before you go out. Keep an eye on the recency times for postings, and if there's a recent posting that's widely off update the listing and go somewhere else. Station owners are notorious for reporting low prices on GasBuddy to draw in traffic. Make sure they see you pull in and leave without purchasing and report the correct prices so you can save someone else the hassle. If you regularly drive past a station or two, take a note of their prices and report them when it's safe. In my math, shopping for gas is the biggest savings opportunity around - with an average savings of over $0.20/gal compared to picking a local station and always going there.

If you want to add some extra savings on, sign up for Pay with GasBuddy. This gets you a WEC Fleet card that is auto paid from a linked checking account. You can use my invite code EDH45QT if you want. This will typically net you a savings around 5c /gal without tying you to a specific station, minimum volumes, or anything else. Even if you have a system in place, it's not a bad alternative to keep in your wallet. My math doesn't show the Premium subscription as being all that worthwhile but if you try it and it works out please let me know!

If you have a favorite local gas station, check their rewards programs. Walmart has Walmart+, Shell has FuelRewards, Speedway's Speedy Rewards, etc. all work with your existing credit/debit cards and net you a few cents/gal. There's a pretty good roundup of programs over on this Swagbucks article. Do your own math, and decide if the program has value above/beyond GasBuddy. Remember, don't get in the habit of just going to the same station - that's the biggest way to save money!

Last, but not least. If you aren't using Pay with GasBuddy and your card isn't getting you at least 2% back on gas there are plenty of alternatives that will - provided you have good credit. CNBC, GeekWallet, etc. all have great guides to help you find and compare options.