Not sure what you were thinking when you read that title, but if you are any of my siblings you are wrong. Gas Buddy (actual site is gasbuddy.com) is a pretty cool site that shows the gas prices in a particular area of most of the gas stations. It is updated in real-time by volunteers and generally for any area with decent populations stays pretty accurate. How exactly would you use the information? There are a couple of ways…
First, you can use it find the cheapest place to get gas in your general area. I know that for us, Nicholasville is not all that big and we generally have things going on in both directions of town from where we live. So, if one station is fifteen cents cheaper and it is going to work for us, we will take advantage of the situation. How do you do that? Will, if you go to the main page, you can put in a state, city, etc or just the zip. This is for the main Nicholasville zip code. You will see a list of stations with the address and even links to maps and directions. On the left you will see the price list per gallon and on the far right is the time stamp of when it observed. It is important to note that, as often in a couple of hours the stations will have upped the prices but it may not have been reported here by a volunteer yet.
If you look up at the top (I know, a good deal of advertising, but good information to be found) you will see both a local area trend and average as well as the same for the state. Additionally you can scroll to the national average and the price of oil per barrel. Seeing the trend will tell if you have one of the dual tanks like I used to have if you should fill it all up while you can it or if you should just put in enough and wait for it to continue the downward trend in a few days. Matter of fact, that is one of my favorite things about the site – seeing both the trends and watching just how long it takes for prices to go up across town (generally not long once started, especially if it is a big jump).
Two other quick things about the site. Think about become a volunteer gas spotter. After all the data is collected by all volunteers and is only as good as the last time someone bothered to report the price. It is a small hassle to be doing some good for your friends and neighbors. Not to mention you get a pretty good set of points awarded and points can be used to enter a gas card drawing that is held fairly often. The other thing is the forums/blogs, which contain some pretty good analyst work of trends and predictions of what is likely to happen in the near future. Most of the time they have pretty good idea, but if not at the very least there is usually a pretty good explanation of why prices are going the way are at the current date and time.
** – Image is the Gas Buddy logo.