Gas prices are on the rise, seeing a meteoric rise in 2022 so far, and we all want to find cheap gas. Starting off around $2-3 in the beginning of 2022, depending on where you live in the US, up to well over $5 in many areas. Making it cost you over $100 just to fill your tank. As of this writing, the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.92, and it’s showing no signs of stopping.
With summer travel ahead, gas prices are just going to keep going up. So we’re here to help you save some cash on your gas tank. Thanks to a handful of Apps on Android (and iOS), you’ll be able to save some serious cash on gas this summer and moving forward. And who wouldn’t appreciate that?
Google Maps has a bunch of neat features
Google Maps has a few tricks that can help you save money on gas. First off, you can tap on the “Gas” icon at the top of the page and show gas stations around you, as well as their prices. Unfortunately, you can’t sort this list by the cheapest, or by location. But you can see the prices which is good. These prices are updated through the Google My Business feature-set and automatically updates, as long as the gas station uses Google My Business.
Secondly, Google Maps also has the “most fuel-efficient route” feature. Which will show you a few different routes you can take to get to your destination, along with a most fuel-efficient route. This might take a few minutes longer, but it will generally involve fewer turns, and avoid the highway. Since the highway isn’t very fuel-efficient, staying on the backroads means you’ll get more miles per gallon.
There are a couple other features that Google Maps has, that aren’t necessarily tied to saving money on gas, but saving money period. Finding routes that don’t include tolls. A lot of States do have toll roads, and they can become quite pricey, especially on a road trip. But Google Maps can help you avoid them. Google Maps can also help you find public transport to get you from point A to point B. While it might take longer, it will save you money.
Find cheap gas with the Gasbuddy app
Gasbuddy is one of the very popular apps to find cheap gas. It’s been around for well over a decade, and will show you the cheapest gas in your location. Which you can sort by price and by distance from you. It also includes gas prices from Costco and Sam’s Club, which Google Maps generally doesn’t.
On top of that, Gasbuddy does also offer cashback deals when you spend money on everyday purchases with the Gasbuddy Card. There are paid subscriptions that promise up to $.40 off per gallon of gas with Gasbuddy. Which, if you do a lot of traveling, that might be the way to go.
Sam’s Club & Costco
Another way to save money on gas is with a Costco or Sam’s Club membership. Costco memberships start at $60 and Sam’s Club at $45. Though Sam’s Club usually has some sort of deal going on to where the membership is nearly free. Both memberships offer two cards, so you can split the cost with someone else, making it even cheaper.
Gas at Costco and Sam’s Club can sometimes be up to $0.50 cheaper per gallon than nearby gas stations. With the average car having a gas tank size between 13 and 16 gallons, that’s about $6-$8 in savings each time you fill up. Making the membership pay for itself pretty quickly. Don’t forget that you can also use it in the store and save on all sorts of other things. Including Costco Pizza which is an amazing value – an 18-inch pizza for under $10, even with rapid inflation right now.
The best day to buy gas
Just like with anything else, there is a best day to get gas for cheap. That is normally Monday, with the second cheapest being on Sunday. But whatever you do, do not buy gas on Wednesday or Thursday, those are usually the most expensive days. This data comes from a survey from Gasbuddy.
Monday has been the best day to buy gas according to Gasbuddy’s survey in 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2022. So that’s unlikely to change.
This is similar to how Wednesdays are the best days to fly, versus Friday-Monday.
Consider buying an EV
This is not an option for everyone, not only because electric vehicles are not that cheap, but also because the used car market is insane right now. But if the situation is right for you, and you’re looking for a new car, you may want to jump into that EV life.
Besides being able to laugh at gas prices as you drive by, you’ll also save money on maintenance. EVs need very little maintenance in their life. Basically just a tire rotation and replacement, and that’s it. So with an EV, you’re basically paying all of that maintenance costs upfront with the more expensive car.
Even if you can’t charge at home, an EV is a good option. I own a Chevy Bolt EV, having traded in my Chevy Trax last year. And my Bolt EV costs a whole lot less per mile to drive, in terms of fuel. I did the numbers last month, and I drove 947.1 miles, spending $66.48 to charge. That came out to about $0.07 per mile. Whereas a Chevy Trax at a generous 28 miles per gallon with the national average gas price of $4.97, would cost $0.17 per mile. That’s more than double.
Sure, range anxiety is going to set in, so you’ll want to download apps like A Better Route Planner (also known as ABRP) or Plugshare which will help you find charging stations to charge at. And it’s a good idea to get something like a Volkswagen ID.4, or a Hyundai Ioniq 5, which will charge fairly fast, and you won’t be at the charging station very long. The Ioniq 5 can go from 10-80% in less than 20 minutes.