Saturday, July 19, 2008

How we saved gas money on our vacation

For a recent vacation, we recently took a trip to Chicateague Island, Virginia. So the first thing I did was to use MapQuest to determine the route. Then I opened up and chose the feature of mapping gas prices. Then I zoomed out until I could see the whole southeast. Once you get out past a certain point, the map is color coded to show you where gas prices are the highest and lowest.

So I selected areas that looked like they were at least 100 - 200 miles apart, and I knew that I could probably use a stop to stretch my legs anyway.

I determined that gas prices were lowest in Spartanburg, SC, then Thomasville, NC, then a suburb of Norfolk. While the cheapest gas in my local area was $3.97 for regular, in Spartanburg it was $3.72 right off I-85, in Thomasville, it was $3.82 and in Norfolk it was $3.82. In most of these locations, the prices were $.10 a gallon higher at stations just one exit away!

So I got the address of each station, added it as a stop to Mapquest and had my travel plan all printed out. I added the stops to my Garmin GPS, but that is another story for another time.

It turns out that two of the stations I chose were BP stations, so I earned a 5% additional discount on the gas I purchased. All, in all, I saved just over $55 on gas expenses. Not too shabby.

Ok, here are a set of websites that will help you save gas money even on a daily basis. I use every time I know that I need to buy gas. This website shows me the lowest gas prices that members have reported over the last 36 hours in my area.

I can even narrow it down to a suburb of Atlanta. I can choose a type of station such as BP, Kroger, RaceTrac, Exxon, etc.

I don't drive out of my way to save a few pennies, but if I am going to work, running some errands, or just going to be out and I know I am going to need gas, I check this website.

Here are some others:

Go to any of the above mentioned websites, and you can scroll down and look on the left hand side of the webpage where it says "Metro Areas OR States/Provinces", and click on the drop down arrow, select your state or metro area, then click on the go button just to the right and bam, you are there!!

I hope this helps you out during this high gas price time.

Let me know if any of this works for you, or if you have any other suggestions on gas prices.

One other website I just found has a contest going on for a $25 gas card. Just subscribe to their blog. Here is the link. Gas Card Giveaway.

Happy bargain hunting!!!

1 comment:

State_of _America said...

Thanks for visiting State_of_America

I checked out your map and it will come in handy in a couple wks, I'll be helping my son relocate.

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