WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Gas prices have dropped heading into November, offering a chance to keep cash in consumers’ wallets as discretionary spending is likely to increase during the holiday shopping rush.
In the meantime, several consumer hacks can help drivers stretch their dollar, including knowing when and where to fill up their car’s gas tanks.
The average American tends to spend between $150 to $200 a month on gas depending on driving habits and vehicles driven, according to JD Power. Household expenses on gas are around $5,000 annually, 2.24% of monthly income, JD Power added.
Gas Buddy reports Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the best days to fill up, while Fridays and Saturdays tend to be when higher prices are posted; changes in the oil market can contribute to price shifts.
Drivers in the DMV can consider filling up in Virginia where average prices for a regular gallon of gas are the cheapest.
According to AAA pricing Friday, a gallon of regular gas in the Commonwealth hovers at $3.24, while Maryland’s average sits at $3.31 and the District’s average is $3.64 a gallon.
Certain apps and websites, such as Upside, also offer chances to save. The outlet can identify gas stations near you in real-time, offering up to 25 cents cash back a gallon to use on future visits. Consumers can stock up on cash back too.
GasBuddy also helps drivers find real-time gas price data through their mapping system. Contrarty to cash back built within the Upside’s app, GasBuddy does offer a “pay with GasBuddy” card — similar to a debit card — that links an existing personal checking account.
Savings are similar; up to 25 cents a gallon after activating “deal alerts.” GasBuddy discounts are then applied when time to pay.
The time of day consumers fill-up may also grant more gas for your cash. Yahoo! Finance suggests filling up when temperatures are cooler, such as overnight hours, because gas can expand when it is warmer. Save a few extra nickels this way.
Consumers looking to ditch gas station visits, and opt for public transit can visit the Washington Metro Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s site for schedules, routes and rates as well as their “trip planner” tool.