Ugh… $4 for a gallon of gas. It’s definitely time to make use of technology to save money. Here’s my roundup:
Popular Mechanics tested out several gadgets claiming to help save gas — including ‘Miracle Magnets,’ vortex generators, vapor injectors, water injection and an engine ionizer. The conclusion: Nope, there’s nothing magic in gas gadgets. Read the article HERE.
Use your cell phone. Let me start with the free service: GetMobio offers “Cheap Gas,” one of a few handy mobile tools. Data charges from your phone service company may apply. GasPriceWatch.com provides the data (see below for more details). Also, here is GoMobio’s support page for Cheap Gas.
Then there’s Verizon Wireless, which offers “Gas Finder” in to the navigation service (which was developed by Irvine’s Networks in Motion). The service not only tells the user where gas stations are in nearby proximity but also provides gas prices.
Sprint users can find the cheapest gas in the vicinity through Sprint’s navigation service, which costs $2.99 a day or $20 a month.
Check prices online. Web sites specializing in finding cheap gas have been around for a while, but
they’re still good.
GasBuddy.com pulls up results by zip code, fuel type or time. Near my office, at the 92701 ZIP code, the lowest gas found was $3.87 . According to GasBuddy, it’s a network of 181 gas-price information sites. Locally, it goes by the name OrangeCountyGasPrices.com and relies on ‘buddies’ like you for updates. Behind the scenes, the company removes data that is more than 48 hours old so you don’t wind up with old prices.
GasPriceWatch.com also searches by zip code, fuel type and time-range (from 8 hours to forever) and relies on users. Its database of 128,000 gas stations nationwide comes from user submissions over several years. While its lowest price in the same 92701 zip code was $3.60, the information was from 3 days ago. That is too old since, in this environment, gas prices change overnight.
Other sites, such as MapQuest, use price data from the Oil Pricing Information Service, which sells a service to gas stations to check on how much profit their competitors are making. MapQuest’s gas price finder found gas for just $3.76 at a Valero four miles away that was not, I should add, in the same zip code.
An alternative, let the prices come to you. From LifeClever.com: Add gas-price widgets to your desktop. Mac widgets (on right) come from Interdimension Media and also uses GasPriceWatch for data. The GasWatch PC widgets from Yahoo get prices from MSN Autos.
More tips: We already should know stuff like this, such as consolidate trips, use the most fuel-efficient car, drive slower, avoid sudden starts and stops and clear out the junk in the trunk.Karen Datko at MSN Money’s SmartSpending blog, “25 ways to save money on gas” is pretty specific:
Scambusters.org offers a few more nuggets:
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