Back in 2019 the average U.S. consumer spent about $1,600 a year on gas. As gas prices continually rise this number stands to increase substantially in the coming years. Because of this large expense, it’s TOTALLY worth it to try and find the cheapest gas whenever possible. Here are 8 highly clever ways I always find cheap gas near me and save a bunch of money at the pump.
8 Ways to Find Cheap Gas
Consider these apps before you fill up your tank next time.
1. Gas Buddy App
When it comes to finding cheap gas, the GasBuddy app is the “best of the best” as far as I’m concerned.
The app is simple to use and helps you quickly locate the cheapest gas no matter where you’re located or where you’re headed.
As long as you don’t run out of gas trying to save a few bucks, this free app is a beauty and a must-have for all iPhone or Android users.
Here’s how the GasBuddy app works:
- Download It to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device. Does anyone actually use an iPad for apps like this? The iPad always gets mentioned but I just can’t picture using it in the car unless I am sitting in the backseat with it and have a driver named Alfred. Oh, and a mini-fridge full of Grey Poupon.
- Update It. Loyal users then update the app with gas prices around town. There’s a small reward system and a weekly giveaway of FREE gas when you submit local gas prices into the app.
- Current Location. The app lets you quickly use your current location and find the nearest gas stations with the best prices.
- Includes All Stations. I like how the app also includes Ma & Pa stores and mini-marts and not just the Shells and Chevrons of the world.
- Easy Search. You can search for cheap gas by city, state, or zip code. Side-note: I had Taco Bell last night and have had cheap gas all day long. I wonder if Taco Bell comes up on the list of gas stations, if not, it should.
- Get Smart. Once you have a list of nearby stations, the Gas Buddy app lets you toggle between distance and price which allows you to make a smart decision about how far out of the way you want to drive to save money on gas.
How the GasBuddy app could be better:
- It could rate the cleanliness of the bathrooms at each gas station. When I’m on a family road trip with my wife and 3 kids, I would drive exactly 338 miles out of the way to find a clean crapper.
- BONUS TIP: Never use a gas station bathroom close to a Taco Bell location. (See #5 above)
Download the app and give it a try:
2. Waze Navigation
Most people know the Waze app as a clever way to get driving directions and traffic reports on your smartphone.
But did you know it also offers the ability to navigate you to the lowest priced gas station in your current area?
While lacking many of the same features, it works similarly to GasBuddy and counts on users reporting current gas prices.
The biggest drawback of the app is that prices are not updated as frequently as many of the other apps on this list.
But if you love Waze, and it’s your map app of choice, you’ll want to give their gas feature a look.
Download Waze and give it a try:
3. Gas Guru
For me, the Gas Guru app comes in 2nd place behind Gas Buddy.
I love the functionality of the app and the large, easy-to-read numbers it uses for the gas prices.
Comes with excellent turn-by-turn directions as well as a list of amenities at each gas stations.
For the amenities piece it shows things like ATM, store, eatery, and even if the station offers a cash discount.
The app is definitely worth a look and you might even find that you like it better than Gas Buddy.
Download Gas Guru and give it a try:
4. Gas Prices by MapQuest
Similar to Waze, the MapQuest app combines local gas prices with their navigation software.
It’s a handy feature that’s a bit hidden within the app. To find it, tap Find Places and a menu pops up with Gas as one of the options.
Tap Gas and the app will show you all of the gas stations in your vicinity along with the current price for all the grades of gas and diesel that they sell.
Unfortunately the app doesn’t allow you to sort the gas stations by price per gallon.
Download MapQuest and give it a try:
5. AAA TripTik
The cool thing about the AAA TripTik app is you don’t have to be a AAA member to use all of its functionality.
For example, you can scroll down on the app’s homepage and quickly find the Gas Nearby section.
It’ll show you the 3 closest gas stations to you along with their price for a gallon of regular.
Then tap More and you’ll get an interactive map with all of the stations in your vicinity.
The app would be more useful if it sorted gas stations by price, but if you’re a AAA member and use the app regularly, the Gas Nearby section is a handy feature to have at your fingertips.
Download AAA and give it a try:
6. Geico Mobile
Similar to the AAA app, you DON’T need a policy with Geico to use their cheap gas finder within their mobile app.
When you first open the Geico app it’ll ask you “What brings you here today?” – tap the Find Gas icon.
You’ll then go to an interactive map which automatically displays the town you’re located in (or near).
For me it said Redding,CA (without the space after the comma) which brought back ZERO results.
I had to manually add the space after the comma to bring back all the gas stations near me. This is a bug within the app that they’ll hopefully fix soon.
Once you get to the list of gas stations, the app is HIGHLY usable.
Pretty much all of the station’s gas prices are updated within the last 24 hours and many are updated within the last 30 minutes.
You can also filter your results by fuel grade, proximity to the station, and of course price per gallon.
Download Geico and give it a try:
7. Costco, BJ’s & Sam’s Club
Turns our wholesale clubs are great for more than just steep discounts on 2 gallon jugs of mayo.
Many Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s locations have gas stations attached to them and the savings they provide is significant.
Yes, you’ll have to be a paying member to get the discounted gas, but if you’re going their anyways to shop you might as will fill up your tank and save some money.
The last mobile app that I want to talk about is called Dash.
The app is pretty slick and actually connects to your car giving it a voice and unlocking a bunch of cool diagnostic and maintenance features.
It also helps you save money on gas by pointing you to the stations that offer the best price.
Dash is completely free and is a must-add for those looking to save money on auto expenses.
Download Dash and give it a try:
Ask the Reader: I figure if I can save $4-5 on my weekly fill up, that equates to over $200 a year in gas savings. Totally worth effort in my opinion.
What say you? How do you find the cheapest gas when you’re driving around town or on a road trip away from home?
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Mike Mozart.