Trim The Fat Tuesday: The Gas Station
I've been watching gas prices lately (when you drive almost 100 miles a day, you start to take in the scenery). There's a pretty wide variety, but I think I can make an easy cut by planning ahead to
Make the weekly fill-up at the cheapest possible gas station.
I typically hate stopping to put gas in the car, but I'll admit that it's been borderline-enjoyable for the past month or so. Each time I pull into the gas station, the gas is just a little cheaper than the last time:
This gas station is my preferred spot; the cheapest places I've found on the North Shore are in Peabody, which I drive through every day. Gas here along Route 1 is way cheaper than in Boston or Newburyport. I usually fill up during the commute.
But…sometimes I don't. And then sometimes we run out of gas on the weekend, which forces us to fill up at the expensive gas stations at home.
With a little advanced planning, I should be able to cut out those pricey Newburyport gas station trips entirely. The only trick is to fill up on Friday afternoon on my way home if the tank is any less than, say, half-full. I'll set a reminder on my phone and that will be that.
In Peabody, gas can be had (this week, anyway) for $2.71 a gallon. The two nearest gas stations in Newburyport are charging $2.95 and $2.99 right now, so it's about a $.25 per gallon savings. I put in about 9 gallons per fill-up (my car is tiny), so that's a savings of $2.25 each time. The 25-cent difference is pretty stead, despite the fluctuations in price overall.
The harder question is how many times per month I've been missing my chance to get gas in Peabody. After a quick discussion about it with Kirk, we decided that it's probably once or twice a month. Averaging that to 1.5 tanks of gas and multiplying by the $2.25 per-tank savings, the monthly savings comes out to $3.38 per month.
Not a lot, but not bad for something so easy to do. As always, I'll round it up.
Savings per month: $3.50