- Apps eliminate the need to drive around looking for the lowest price.
- The best gas apps point you toward cheap gas, tell you which stations are cleanest, and help you make meal reservations.
Apps make it easier than ever to find out which stations offer the cheapest gas.
The price of gasoline has indeed dropped, but it's still prohibitively expensive for many, even when they're looking for ways to cut down on the amount they use. Fortunately, we live in a time that allows us to compare gas prices before leaving the house. For me, that means hitting the apps. I'll admit to not having a favorite app at this time, but there are several to choose from before heading out.
Probably the biggest name in cheap gas apps, GasBuddy does more than help you save. You let the app know where you are, and it helps you find the cheapest gas in the area. What's cool about GasBuddy is that it's crowdsourced. That means that actual users report how much they're paying at the pump. And the fact that GasBuddy has more than 60 million users means that information tends to be fresh -- like hot out of the oven fresh.
To use GasBuddy, you link it to your checking account. Every time you fill up, you receive a small discount per gallon.
And if you're into gas station gossip, you'll enjoy that users note which gas stations have the cleanest bathroom, coolest amenities, and the friendliest staff. Also, adding your impressions of the stations you visit is kind of fun.
Finally, GasBuddy offers a few other helpful features, like a trip cost calculator. Using the calculator gives you a better sense of how much you will spend on the next big road trip, helping you budget.
Another biggie in the business is Gas Guru. Rather than gather user data, Gas Guru collects prices from Oil Price Information Service. One thing I appreciate about Gas Guru is that it always includes when the last price update was conducted. That way, I can make an educated guess as to whether it's still accurate.
With Gas Guru, you can save your favorite stations, which makes it easy to check them out next time you need gas.
Although I was frustrated with the bossy Waze voice this past weekend (she must have reminded me of a high school teacher I once had or something), I wouldn't trade the app for anything. That said, I use it as a GPS to figure out where I'm going. I typically only use it to find gas stations when I really (really) need to find one.
Still, Waze is becoming quite popular with folks looking for the cheapest gas around. Like GasBuddy, it's crowdsourced, so you get the inside scoop from others who use the app. Waze also gives you the option of saving your favorite stations.
Back in the old days, when I was a news reporter, I would use MapQuest to help me get anywhere I needed to go. That was before cell phones or apps, but MapQuest has managed to keep up with the times. Now, instead of printing off directions and laying them next to me on the front seat (in retrospect, a terribly dangerous practice), MapQuest gives me verbal directions, helps me avoid traffic snarls, and finds the lowest gas prices nearby. Plus, the app also helps with things like making dinner reservations.
MapQuest has come a long way from those "I cannot believe I never crashed" early days.
Everyone in my family is married to one app or another. I like switching things up. That way, when an app comes out with a new feature, I can try it out.
The bottom line is that several great apps are out there to help you find cheap gas. The trick is figuring out which one adds the extra features you'll find most useful while helping you save money.
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