How to Find the Cheapest Gas Station Near You
Nobody wants to pay more for fuel than they have to—here’s how to save.
Fuel prices are on the rise across Canada, and unfortunately, there’s no sign of a slowdown ahead. This year, we’ve seen gas prices regularly surge above $2 per litre, largely due to the soaring cost of crude oil. Factor in supply chain issues and geopolitical problems, and filling your tank is prohibitive.
Gas has always been a sizable household expense, particularly for commuters, but it’s making an even bigger dent in our wallets now. And, with inflation significantly impacting the cost of groceries and other consumer goods, Canadians are more eager than ever to find cheap (or at least less expensive) fuel at the pumps.
Here are four ways to save money by finding the cheapest gas station near you.
Use an app to find the cheapest gas station near you
If you have a smartphone, you’ve got a money-saving tool right in your pocket. Try downloading an app like Waze, which not only helps drivers navigate traffic using real-time information but also shows you how much fuel costs at nearby gas stations. Similarly, CAA members can use their app to view a list of local gas prices and decide where to fill up, or simply check out local gas price trends by using their website. There’s also Gas Guru, which lists nearby gas prices and lets you flag your favourite local gas stations to keep an eye on them, and GasBuddy, which displays pricing and allows users to collect “GasBack” points that can be redeemed for free fuel.
If you prefer a web-based option, Geico also has a gas price comparison tool that’s quick and easy to use (and no, you don’t have to be a customer to access it). It’s available as an app, too.
Ask your neighbours
That retired guy down the street may have the scoop on the cheapest gas station near you. And if you don’t have a friendly neighbour who’s in-the-know, try joining local Facebook groups. An online community is often the best place to get tips from local deal-hunters who are more than happy to share their successes. Look for a group that’s active, engaged and aims to be a helpful community hub. All you need to do is search for a thread about current gas prices or start one yourself, and watch the tips roll in! If you’re not on Facebook, consider joining alternatives like NextDoor.
Photo: Reshetnikov_art / Shutterstock.com
Take advantage of retail memberships
The next time your gas light comes on, consider filling up at a local Costco. Members get a significant discount on fuel when they fill up at a Costco gas station. Plus, if you pay with a Costco Mastercard, you’ll earn cash back. The downside of this option is that Costco gas stations tend to have shorter hours—and longer lineups—than their competitors. That said, if you tend to buy gas early in the morning or during normal retail hours (as opposed to late at night), this shouldn’t be a problem.
In addition to retail memberships, it’s worth looking at gas stations that offer rewards points, cash back or other benefits. Brands like Esso, Petro-Canada and Canadian Tire all have customer rewards programs, and there’s no harm in signing up for all of them (particularly if getting a points card is free). You can also speak to your financial institution about credit cards that come with a permanent discount on gas (for example, this RBC credit card that offers 3 cents off every litre of gas purchased at Petro-Canada, or this Scotiabank credit card that offers 2% cash back on every dollar spent at eligible gas stations). In addition to saving money through apps and word of mouth, you can count on some perks when you shop this way.
Time it right
According to research by GasBuddy, it’s not just where you buy your gas that matters—it’s when. There are more expensive days of the week to buy fuel—Monday and Friday, for example—and days when gas is cheaper. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, try to fill up on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings. Sunday and Wednesday evenings aren’t bad, either, but avoid Fridays if you can—fuel prices tend to spike as we drive into the weekend. Safe travels—and happy savings!
Now that you know how to find the cheapest gas station near you, check out the best apps to save money on groceries.