Go Ahead and Buy at the Checkout Line

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Considering that candy bar, chewing gum, or gossip mag? Forgo the urge and spend the money a better way!

If you are like most Americans that do not own a Tesla and still drive a gas guzzling car then read on. Pay attention to gas prices on your typical route and you’ll notice that the difference in prices are consistent between the gas stations. Make note of the place that charges the least amount per gallon of gas and start filling your tank there rather than at your traditional spot. You could also use GasBuddy or Waze to check prices. If the cheapest priced station makes you a little uncomfortable either because of the location or quality of gas then pick the next station that works for you.

Watch the price you paid at the pump and compare that to the price of the gas station that you skipped. This difference is your Forgo amount which you can then apply towards your savings goal.


At the time of this writing, my gas station charged $1.89/gallon. Across the street was another gas station which charged $2.27/gallon.  I filled-up my Monstrosity, a 2010 Honda Pilot which gets roughly 16 miles per gallon (don’t worry eco friends, I mostly drive a Gen 2 Prius and have solar panels to offset my carbon footprint).  It took 18.77 gallons to fill the tank. To calculate our Forgo amount, take the difference in price/gallon and multiply this by total gallons.

I heart math

  1. Price of gas: $1.89/gallon
  2. Price of the skipped station: $2.27/gallon
  3. Difference: $2.27 – $1.89 = $0.38/gallon
  4. Gallons to fill the tank: 18.77
  5. Forgo Amount: 18.77 gallons x $0.38/gallon = $7.13

I hate math

You don’t have to be EXACT, let rounding and estimates be your friend. In the example above, you can round the gallons up or down to a whole number… let’s round down to 18. You can also pick an arbitrary number for the difference in gas between the two stations. For instance, if you notice that the difference during your commute is typically $0.30/gallon then go with this number. The math will simplify to 18 gallons x $0.30/gallon = $5.40.

Read the post Gas Tanks and Cash Back for additional ways to save at the pump.

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