Find Cheap Gas

Two tools for finding cheap gas teats nearby are Cheap Gas and MSN Autos. The first integrates Gas Buddy with Google Maps. Bill Gates’ offering displays pricing info from over 90,000 gas stations nationwide using data from the OPIS Price Index.

Not surprisingly, MSN Autos doesn’t allow Mac versions of Firefox or Safari.

How are you beating the gas man?

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  1. Amy Alkon says:

    Perhaps I’m just not awake enough yet, but only Gas Buddy works on a Mac. (I tried Cheap Gas on Safari and Camino [a Firefox browser].)

    Luckily, I’ve had a Honda Insight (which I highly recommend) since 2004, so I only have to get gas once every two months. Then again, I might try to fill up half a tank before it hits $5, so Gas Buddy will come in handy.

  2. Amy Alkon says:

    Oops, tried MSN autos, too. Very Mac-innovation unfriendly, just like that dorky Mr. Gates.

  3. ikes says:

    a quick check of the cheap gas site got excited about $2.87 gas in my neighborhood.

    “last updated 15 Sept 2005″

    woops!

  4. Drinker Nisti says:

    Hmm… In Cheap Gas, nothing in my corner of LA has been updated since January. Ahh– those golden days when anything was possible and gas was $2.33/gal…

  5. Ben says:

    I echo that Cheapgas seems to be broken. Gasbuddy works fine for me because I don’t need a map of town. If I were travelling the integrated map would be nice (but I don’t usually have internet access on the interstate and prices change constantly)

    To answer your question, I buy gas at Sam’s Club. Nobody in town has had cheaper gas for the last two years (usually they beat everyone by a nickel a gallon or more).

  6. GenXCub says:

    The one thing I hate about the MSN Autos page, is that it’s not comprehensive. Everyone in Vegas knows the ARCO stations are the least expensive, yet they aren’t shown on their site for whatever reason. Most of our local news has a segment on which stations in town are actually the lowest.

  7. CMStrapz says:

    I’ve been beating the gas man with a rubber hose, but am open to new suggestions.

  8. Amy Alkon says:

    When I used to need a mechanic, he told me never to buy Arco gas. Don’t know if there’s a good reason for that, or just an unwarranted suspicion on his part. And I’m no automotive genius, but I think my car runs better and I get better gas mileage when I don’t buy my gas at Costco. Would be interested to see what other more informed drivers think.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    Pete writes:

    “Easiest way to make MSN Autos work on a Mac: Install User Agent Switcher
    for Firefox: http://useragentswitcher.mozdev.org/

    Then, set your “browser” in the Tools menu to IE 6.

    The site works just fine from there.

    This is the best bit of subterfuge for those sites that “depend” on a
    browser — often, the site itself works fine in another browser, but the
    developers are too “busy” to make absolutely sure, so they “disable” it.

    -Pete K”

  10. Mary Marsala With Fries says:

    If you call only-getting-screwed-for-$2.79 “lucky”, then I get lucky by living right down the road from the one little pissy gas-station that always has to undercut everybody by a penny or two. Or we go to Costco, which is of course Sam’s Club without the 3v1l. Haven’t been doing that long enough to comment on gas quality, though. Of course cheap gas and a fuel-efficient car (I have a manual-trans Volkswagen) only helps so much, when you’re forced to drive a half hour to and from work every day, so when it gets more expensive I’ll probably, um… Hmm.
    -M.

  11. Transuranic says:

    Urm, can I just take this moment for a juvenile thumb-nosing at anyone, anywhere, who has to shell out for gas prices. There is more wrong with persisting in car ownership than can be addressed in a simple consumerist rant-y comment; and although I prefer to lay out the entire argument in order to seem less Earth-First!-y (I’m really more “Humans First”-y), I also love some lowbrow middle-school-stylin’s, so I will keep it to a simple “oooh FACE”. Thank you.

  12. LLH says:

    i agree transuranic. the bending over without lube first part is basically the last straw. i now refuse to get a second car, me and the hubby will just have to share. i don’t mind taking public transport. i got a nice video ipod now, so ignoring the stares from pervs will be that much easier AND it’s helping the environment.

  13. Tiny Clanger says:

    http://www.petrolprices.com for us UK users. And you think YOU have expensive fuel :(

  14. Josh Cohen says:

    LLH: there are cities (like Atlanta) in which public transportation is nothing more than a joke and is completely not viable for anyone who doesn’t live within 15 miles of the city center. The trains don’t go anywhere, and to take a bus or train to work I would actually have to drive farther than simply getting on the interstate in my car. Trust me, if I lived in NYC or Chicago or DC, I’d be all about the mass transit, but Atlanta is a joke.

    Here’s a few simple gas price tips:

    1. Never get gas at a station near an interstate. These stations are designed to prey upon people who aren’t from the area and have no idea where they’re going. These people are not willing to drive five extra miles to save 10 cents a gallon.

    2. Never get gas at a “rest stop”. Florida’s Turnpike charges way more than necessary if you stop at the Citgo stations in the service plazas.

    3. Keep track of the “good” gas stations on long trips. When I drive from Atlanta to Miami, there are five gas stations that I stop at and at least three (and counting) that I will never stop at again.

    4. Corner gas stations charge more sometimes because corner lots are more expensive. If you can find a gas station that’s not on a corner, go there instead.

    5. Get gas at a “cluster”. In other words, rather than just going to the Chevron down the street, go to the place where there’s a BP, Exxon, Texaco, and Shell, all on the same corner. Competition will keep the prices lower (hey, how about that free market system… it really works, doesn’t it).

    6. Know the least expensive stations or brands. In Atlanta, it’s QuikTrip; in Central Florida, it’s Racetrac. According to GenXCub, it’s Arco in Las Vegas. Schedule or plan your trips so you pass by your cheapest station.

    7. Get a credit card or gas card that offers you rebates or miles. If you’re going to pay $30 a tank every week, you might as well put it toward some sort of reward program (Citibank offers a Mastercard that gives you 5% cash back on gas purchases, for instance.)

    8. I’ve never tried this one before, but my dad says that if you save all your gas receipts and send them to your accountant along with an honest amount of driving to and from work, you can get money back on your yearly federal income taxes for money you spent commuting.