The last time average gasoline prices reached $4.00 a gallon, people were agitated. I wasn’t immune either; I’ve commented on the rising prices as well. Although I’ve been thankful that gas prices in this country are lower than many other places in the world, and has prices in New Jersey are generally lower than average, it was hard to ignore the effect on my wallet, particularly when commuting was such an integral part of my working existence.
I don’t drive every day anymore, so I’m not personally affected as much by gas prices, but I would still like to see them low. After all, gas prices affect prices of everything, as modern consumer society relies of distribution of products from one place to another. The price of gas is reflected in most items from the grocery store (or restaurants if you eat out more than you cook), the electronics that you buy, your travel expenses, and in the cost of living overall.
While there’s not much you can do about the price of all items other than cutting back what you can, when you can, you can use technology to save money on gas. I’ve been using Fuelly to track my gas usage and expenses, but this doesn’t do much for me other than track the data. I haven’t been able to use this information to save much money.
CNN Money offers some suggestions for websites and mobile apps that, if used correctly, will help you save money on gas.
- GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas station on your path, thanks to user submissions, with incentives for sharing information.
- Bankrate’s gas calculator helps you determine whether it’s worthwhile to drive out of your way to save a few cents per gallon. Saving money on gas is pointless if the extra miles you drive eliminate the cost advantage.
- Carticipate for iPhone and Facebook helps you find carpools along your route or share your ride.
- Gashog operates somewhat like Fuelly, but the interface is better if you have an iPhone. You can track your fuel economy for each tank. While the app costs $0.99 compared to the free Fuelly, you don’t need internet access to track your information.
- Route4Me for the iPhone evaluates the map that includes all of your destinations and determines the most efficient route for completing all your chores that involve driving.
- Mapquest has incorporated gas price tools that will help you decide where to be a customer.
These apps and websites will help you make better decisions about spending money and driving, but don’t do much to help your fuel economy. Here are some ways to soften the effect of high gas prices.
Published or updated May 5, 2011.