Can this save you a little money?

by DanB

This will be TNPC’s 10th year of publication. It has been a long
time and the Internet has gone through many changes. One of those
changes forced us to change our name in 2003. Spam filters had
gotten so aggressive that our original name was swallowed up. Hence
the start of the acronym TNPC.

Many people wrote yesterday asking what had tied up my time. In a
nutshell I accepted a job outside the house and our children are
beginning to have many activities outside the house. The combination
has me busier than I ever remember being in the past.

My plan at this point is to send shorter emails more frequently.
In the past your copy of TNPC tended to be more lengthy and With so
much email flooding your inbox you will find the shorter issues
easier to digest. We will use the blog to share even more hot tips
and ideas. This will give you and other readers the chance to share.

That brings us to the item for today. As We all know gasoline
prices are rising quickly. The price of gas brings mixed feelings
for me. On the one hand it is disheartening when I have to fill the
tank then on the other hand, my day job is with an oil company.

My family is large. We drive a large vehicle. My wife took a road
trip recently and it was over $120 to fill the tank. Toward that end
someone sent me this little tool:

http://autos.msn.com/everyday/gasstations.aspx?zip=&src=Netx%3C%20/A%3E

Type in your zip code and see the local gas prices. Truthfully, it
isn’t that useful to me. All the local stations are just a few
blocks from my house. To reach any more I have to drive to the next
town. But maybe it will help you.

It could be useful when planning a trip to know when and when not
to fill up.

Related. I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on how I was
applying dollar cost averaging to my fuel purchases. You can read
it here:

http://www.tnpcnewsletter.com/blog/2006/01/19/gasoline-and-dollar-cost-averaging/

Let me know what you think. If you have an opinion or tip that will
help others leave a comment at the blog.

Talk to you soon.

~ Dan

Dan Butler
TNPC Newsletter

  • Keith G.

    The MSN gas price list is interesting, but it omits two of the consistently lowest stations in my area.

    I find the user-generated lists at gasbuddy.com to be more inclusive.

  • John S

    I find gasbuddy.com useful also!

  • Phil

    I of course understand your problems because the gas increased so much that you pay twice the price compared with a couple of months ago. Yet, you are not the most unfortunate although you are not used to such prices. Beeing living in France for 40 years, the taxes are so high here that we are nearly used to high prices. The misfortune of the ones cannot be a fortune for the others but the price of gasoline here is 80 to 90% taxes (even VAT based upon an other tax called TIPP, interior tax on petrol products) and I shall let you do the conversion by yourself :
    Diesel : 1.60 Euro per liter
    Gasoline : 1.58 to 1.80 per liter
    The difference is bigger for you but you were so lucky for so many years …
    Take courage because I really do not think it will go down !
    Phil.

  • Mark

    I drive approximately 75 mile round trip daily and the price of gas is taking it’s toll. Makes a huge differnce that I can drive my motorcycle when the weather is good. Don’t know what I’m going to do when the summer wids down intpo winter. Home heating oil prices are going to be the end of a lot of us. It’s only going to get worse…

    Mark

  • Loretta

    I just read that UPS saves 3.3 million gallons of gas per year on their trucks by only making right turns. They do make an occasional left.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/24/earlyshow/main4204831.shtml?source=RSSattr=Business_4204831

    It makes a lot of sense if you are able to do. I tried this going to work, I got there in less time too.

  • http://www.advprojmgmt.com Donald Honaker

    3 July- first publication 10 years ago. :)

  • http://www.JigsawADay.com Wayne

    By now you have probably heard of Hypermilers. These are people that drive in ways to get the most mileage out of their gas.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper_miling has a great article on getting the most out of your driving.
    Since I’ve adopted the mindset that it is me versus the car and not me versus other drivers, I’ve increased my mileage about 25%. Think of it this way – it’s like getting your gas for 25% off.
    The only negative thing I’ve noticed about driving this way is it tends to piss off the lead foots that want to do 10-15 miles over the speed limit.
    Hey, they aren’t paying for my gas, I am. If I don’t want to speed like a bunny on crack, that’s my business, not theirs.
    Wayne

  • Glen

    Surely, gas prices are high in France and the rest of Europe since they are now almost all Socialist economies. And that’s the way that the Liberals want this country to go! Drill Here; Drill Now; Pay Less!! Let’s start in ANWR:)

  • http://weblog.mcguireclan.org Allan

    The article on Hyper Miling is very interesting and helpful.

  • Trish

    I’ve investigated hyper-milng out of necessity- and very interestingly it has had an effect on the pace of my life generally- ie stopping and smelling the roses; generally moving towards being more consciously in the moment. Not bad for a former lead-foot speed demon………..a very positive effect from a series of events that I initially perceived as nearly 100% negative:)

  • Dana

    I don’t drive; I take public transit because I live in a city that has a good public transit system. Some of my family members do drive, so I will pass this information on to them. Thanks for the suggestions and the web addresses.

  • http://www.gimliartclub.com Chris Watkinson

    I live in a rural part of Western Canada, and if I want to go to the nearest big town (Winnipeg), it is going to cost me $3.00 more than two months ago to make the trip there and another $3.00 more to return home. Well that is tough to take as I firmly believe that the extra dollars are going into the Oil companies and energy speculators pockets…and I am unable to do anything about it….or am I unable to act..?. I can limit my trips and share the car with friends…I can do lots to prevent the crooks in Big Oil and Big Government getting any more of my pension.

  • John Walker

    I looked at the link, and then drove within my area and the quote for gas prices were very accurate, but like some of them listed had other gas stations on opposite corners as competitors, those stations were even cheaper than those on the list.
    It is also very useful for planning a short trip (for me- from my home to Las Vegas, and back), I found cheaper prices if I drove away from the freeway about 1 or 2 miles and the price difference was substancial .

    Great newletter, very helpful information and blogs.
    Keep up the great work..
    John

  • David Cohen

    check out http://www.brownsgas.com
    apparently, this thing actually works
    I would do it but I drive a hybrid SUV and the site makes specific mention that it has never been tested on a hybrid
    certainly worth looking into for the relatively low cost involved

  • Bob Nolan

    It is true that the US has to get off the oil standard. If we start using less oil, our friendly Arab suppliers my be more inclined to drop the price, and if the investors (speculators) will find another cash cow to exploit, then we might see some relief.
    I like the idea I saw in Germany many years ago where cars were taxed on horse power, so the Mercedes drivers were paying the tab for their extravagance. However, fifty years ago, gasoline was over three dollars a gallon, and I don’t imagine it has gotten any cheaper now.The problem we now face going to smaller, efficient cars is that trucking rigs are now close to 100 feet long. You want to have one of these sit on you???

  • lamigra2

    I had a guy do some work on my truck last week and when I picked it up, he told me he had added some air to my front tires, they were at 32 PSI (should have been 40+). Check your tire pressure folks!!! At least weekly! Get a decent tire pressure gauge from Pep Boys or whatever you have available locally and trust _it_, not the beat-up, old, inaccurate guage at your local gas station.

  • Art M

    I am constantly amazed that everyone blames the Government and the Oil companies for the high cost of fuel for our cars, home, trucks… Anyone ever stop to think that the oil companies have shareholders and the the shareholders want to make money from dividends and sales of stock. If Exxon/Mobil did not make billions to pay to the shareholders the CEO/CFO/President and other Execs would get booted. It is not just the rich and famous that are stock owners, pension funds, 401a/b/c/k’s and others are invested in these great profit stocks. We all want more so we can be better than the Joneses and we pay for it.

  • Kevin S

    on the browngas…it’s hydrogen and oxygen…
    the energy from burning hydrogen even in impossibly perfect efficiency will not exceed the energy used in the electrolysis to split the water. Internal combustion engines don’t get more than 16-17% efficiency. There are so many scams circulating right now like this, and on running on “free” vegetable oil, it’s hard to believe.
    On tires, follow what the label on the car says, inflating to what the tires say can be dangerous, the number on the tires is a maximum.
    Yes check tire pressure, accelerate slowly, coast to an intersection, especially if there are cars stopped there already. Getting there faster just to wait longer is pointless.

  • Linda

    I like the gas price web site. We are going to take a road trip (I know many are not, but we have to pull a UHaul to my son or he won’t ever get things like his dresser and bed frame and he is getting tired of living out of boxes). Being able to figure prices might help us a lot on the trip.
    Thanks,
    Linda

  • William

    In our area we have several gas stations to choose from. We have on that does not go up on their price until several hours and maybe even the next day after the others. So, when the others go up we head to the one that always lags behind and fill up. Sometimes saving as much as $.25 a gallon. We may have to wait several cars in line but if we are low on gas the savings are worth it.

    Thanks,
    William

  • cesle

    We used MSN gas and several other gas saver sites when we went on our vacation. It was great to have a list for each town that we stopped in for gas. We enjoyed seeing the higher-priced stations as we stopped at the lowest. The entire gas crisis is such a crock, we need to either get alternative fuels going or get our own wells pumping. It’s the true meaning of “Highway Robbery”.

  • Jerry

    I drive a diesel pickup for work on our farm and these prices are killing us. It now costs me $150 to fill up my pickup – about once a week. I use a AAA card which gives me about 2% back – not a lot, but I can use it anywhere and every little bit helps.

  • http://bford51sbcglobal.net Bruce Ford

    Dan, In regards to no. 8 i will try to send an

    email recieved on the subject if i can get to fly

    and your system will accept it. If so you could

    clean it up and forward it!

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