How to Find Cheap Gas Near You
With gas prices hovering around record levels, it pays to shop around. Here's how you can find cheap gas, no matter where you are.
If you don’t remember gas ever being quite this expensive, that’s because it hasn’t been. The Ukraine-Russia war has catapulted prices to a level never seen before. Russia was a major supplier of energy to the United States, until sanctions enacted in early March banned the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal. Now, the national average price for regular unleaded gas stands at nearly $4.29 per gallon.
“While prices have dropped a few cents since their peak last week, that’s still about 75 cents per gallon higher than it was a month ago,” says Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA). Translation: You’re spending about 10 bucks more for every fill-up—$80 extra per month if you have two cars and go through a tank of gas every week. All that means you’re probably wondering where to find cheap gas near you … and if that’s even possible.
We have some good news for you: It is, and it’s easier than you think. From comparison shopping via the best gas apps to filling up your tank at warehouse membership clubs like Costco, we’ll help you find the stations near you with (relatively) cheap gas. Once you’re up to speed, learn other ways to save money on gas, such as by signing up for the best gas credit cards and figuring out how to get better gas mileage.
Download gas apps
You don’t have to drive all around town to figure out where to find cheap gas—there are apps that will do the work for you. The home screen of the AAA Mobile app, for instance, lists the prices at nearby gas stations. Within a one-mile radius in New Orleans, we found a 20-cent-per-gallon price difference between the cheapest and most expensive gas stations. “Near me, in the Washington, D.C., area, I see differences of up to 60 cents,” says Gross.
GasBuddy is another popular app that helps you locate cheap gas, but there are privacy concerns because the app tracks, collects and shares your information, including your location. To circumvent those issues, you might want to tweak your privacy settings, use GasBuddy on a browser-based search engine or try another app altogether, like Geico’s cheap gas search engine.
Leverage warehouse memberships
Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club tend to have lower gas prices than nearby stations. And if you have a BJ’s Mastercard, you’ll score an additional 10 cents off per gallon, adds Ani Jigarjian, marketing director of the deals site Hip2Save.com. Prefer Costco? She says that the warehouse club’s gas prices are consistently lower than competitors, even though it sells only higher-quality gasoline. No matter where you buy your gas, make sure you don’t become the victim of a gas pump skimmer scam.
Cross state lines
Depending on which state you live in, the average gas prices range from $3.80 to $5.79 per gallon, according to AAA. One reason for that wide range: Some states put a higher tax on gas. If you live near the border of a state with significantly cheaper gas prices, it may pay you to fill up there. For instance, the average price of regular, unleaded gas in Illinois is $4.50 per gallon, while in neighboring Missouri, it’s $3.80.
Redeem supermarket rewards
Sign up for the rewards program at your local supermarket. The money you spend on groceries at stores including Kroger, Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle and Albertsons will earn you points that you can redeem for gas discounts, says Jigarjian. She notes that some stores even double fuel rewards when you purchase gift cards. That means any station can turn into a cheaper alternative for you. By the way, diesel tends to be more expensive than regular gas, but you really do need to use it on certain vehicles.
Look for discounted gas gift cards
Watch for promos at your grocery store, or drugstores like CVS and Walgreens. If you save $5 on a $25 gift card, that’s like getting a free gallon of gas. Jigarjian also notes that some gas stations do offer a discount if you pay in cash rather than credit, so be sure to ask before you slide your card.
Take advantage of T-Mobile perks
If you have your cell phone plan through T-Mobile, you already know that the carrier offers amazing perks like free drinks and food to members every Tuesday. Discounts on gas purchases are another pretty common perk. Download the T-Mobile Tuesday app and enter your zip code to see what’s available near you. Now that you know how to find cheap gas, no matter where you are, find out how to calculate gas costs for a road trip—or any car trip, for that matter.
- AAA: “Gas Prices”
- Andrew Gross, spokesperson for the American Automobile Association
- New York Times: “GasBuddy Can Be a Privacy Nightmare. Here’s How to Limit Your Exposure.”
- Ani Jigarjian, marketing director of Hip2Save.com