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« Reader Profile: KTB | Main | Using Religion to Steal Money »

September 10, 2011

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Murphy USA , West Orlando is the worst they change prices 3-4 times a day with price swings from $3.40 - 3.58 back to 3.40 all in one day !

Never really have that problem with Costco. Their gas prices have been steady according to my mileage app.

The gas station I visit is pretty steady. It often goes for a week or more without a change. Rather than focus on the current price, I focus on taking advantage of the various deals the station (Get-Go, owned by the Giant Eagle grocery chain) offers.

1. I earn a 10 cent (currently doubled to 20 cent) credit on gas for every $50 I spend on groceries at the grocery store. Often they have deals where you get an additional bonus (10 to 20 cents) if you buy so many of a certain group of items. If they are items I normally use, I'll stock up to get the extra gas discount. Most gift cards count as well. If I am going to be shopping or dining someplace that my store sells gift cards for, I buy gift cards to cover what I spend. Since there is no mark up on the gift cards, the final cost is the same but I get the gas credit as an extra bonus. I actually have a deal with one of my coworkers where I'll pick up a case or two of diet coke for him when it's on sale, then he pays me back. He gets a better price than he would shopping near his home and I get the gas discount.

2. When I use my gas credits, I take five 5 gallon gas jugs to the station with me. The credit can be used on up to 30 gallons, so I make sure to get the full 30 gallons each time. I usually manage to get 30 gallons completely free every 6 to 8 weeks, which is enough to cover what I use commuting to work for 2 weeks.

3. For every 10 gallons of gas I buy at the station (regardless of price, so the free 30 gallons counts) I earn a 1% discount on purchases at the grocery store. Once I reach 20% (the maximum that can be applied on a single trip) I plan out a big grocery run. The maximum amount of groceries you can get 20% off on is $300, so I aim to purchase as close to $300 worth of goods as possible. I love to stock up on items that are on sale, which I have a coupon for, and then get an additional 20% off!

Between the gas discounts and 20% off stock up trips, I am averaging over $1200 a year in savings (the store tracks my yearly savings for me and puts it on the end of each receipt.) And it is all savings on gas and grocery items that I would have had to buy anyway.

Yes, I could shop around a bit and probably find a station that's charging a few cents less than this one, but then I'd not be able to take advantage of the full range of discounts available. Ultimately I'd end up spending more if I went to someplace like Costco to save a few cents a gallon...

People could probably save more money by just putting air in their tires, taking junk out of their trunks, and by not speeding & then slamming on the brakes & taking off like jack rabbits.

Many stations around here charge a higher price for credit sales. Generally it is about 3-5% more at these stations. That effectively eliminates any cashback earned by paying with a credit card. Fortunately, not all stations do this, so I stick to the ones that don't.

Where I live, it is true that gas prices usually will increase on a Thursday. But then they don't go back down. So waiting until Monday to fill up won't help me--I need a fill up once a week anyway and if I wait until Monday I'll still pay the higher price. So how is "never buying gas on a Thursday" going to save me any money beyond 1 tank's worth of gas in my entire life?

For some time now I have been reading articles pertaining to comments on high gas prices, huge oil company profits and government issues which are very interesting. No offence; but the comments have not changed the ridicules price we are paying at the gas pump, including groceries and clothes etc. I do not think the higher powers are listening nor do they give a crap. I guess actions do speak louder than words.

@Mr Horak,

If you are going to post a shameless plug by linking your name to your con website selling bogus gas cards, either faking outrage over gas prices, or else showing complete ignorance of basic econ 101 as if tightened supplies and increasing world demand don't affect price, you might try at least getting your website address correct!

Apex --

I took care of that. :-)

Its all about supply vs demand, the most fundamental economic rule. If everybody starts pumping gas on Monday - Wednesday, then guess what? That will become the new time of the week when gas stations will raise prices, only to lower them for the weekend when they aren't getting so many customers.

Actually there is some economic research that this is not true. One study suggests that the price is about the same regardless of day of the week (http://www.springerlink.com/content/k0p7n46n80082375/). Another study that I did shows that the price tends to be the same but that increases are more likely to happen on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday (http://www.springerlink.com/content/32071108v1v32660/).

There may be evidence that contradicts the above, but if the study is just based on the conventional wisdom, there is reason to think that the conventional wisdom is wrong.

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