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Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
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Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

It seems that most people I know, regardless of their spending habits, have a good idea of what current gas prices are. I usually don't. Don't get me wrong; I track how much I'm spending on gas, just like I do everything else. But I've noticed that in the grand scheme of things, gasoline is such a relatively small percentage of my montly expenses that it doesn't matter if it fluctuates all that much. I know quite a few people who go out of their way to find the cheapest gas stations, but then turn around and drop $50 on dinner every Saturday. I think they're just stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

So do most folks here pay that much attention to gas prices?

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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I have a 7 year old Camry Solara, with 32,000 miles on it. Obviously I don't use much gas. Lately I've only been filling the tank once every couple of months.

So, I kind of know what it costs, give or take ten cents. I'd be upset if it went up fifty cents between fillups. It's not a major budget item for me, though, and I don't drive around looking for low gas prices.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I drive a long way to work (45 minutes) and I look at the sign above every station between home and work to decide where to buy gas. I am extremely price aware!
Much to the aggravation of DH.
I have been known to call my father from out of town to tell him how cheap the gas was somewhere! But we also call each other every month to talk about the electric bill! Again, much to the aggravation of DH.

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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

$1.989 at CostCo recently in Franklin, TN, and that's where we'll buy the next tank(s).

We use enough that a few pennies do matter, as long as we don't go significantly out of our way.

I don't track gasoline prices, but we pay enough attention to shop a reasonable price.

Also own VGENX, so when the price goes up, we're hedged a bit.

Frankly, I disagree with your example. If I save $0.05 to $0.10 per gallon, that savngs for two cars helps pay for that occasional $50 meal ...
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I went to the grocery store today and noticed that the tank was near empty, so filled it at the grocery store gas pumps.

Price was 2.069.

Thing is the last time I bought gas was Nov 3; at less than $75 and 30 gallons per year, I don't fret about the price.

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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

It's either Costco or Arco for me. I'll even pay the $.45 to use my debit card at Arco because it's always cheaper than other non Costco places.

Last fill up was $2.55 gal and I only know that because I was talking to someone about gas prices and couldn't remember if the prices were $1.75 or $2.75. I do remember the gas wars and $.14 a gal.

I do notice that round trip to Vegas went from $80 to $160 in a pretty short time.

I spend $40 for lunch at Applebees a couple times a week. That does include drinks and the staff takes care of me pretty good. That is my entertainment for the week!
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I don't pay attention to gas prices at all. I fill up maybe once a month or so... work from home most of the time and when I go to work it's a very brief commute.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:33 PM   #8
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I don't pay much attention at all, because I see it as something we have to have. However, I have noticed that prices have crept back up here in San Diego, think it is somewhere between $2.50-$2.65 in our area.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CompoundInterestFan
It seems that most I know quite a few people who go out of their way to find the cheapest gas stations, but then turn around and drop $50 on dinner every Saturday. I think they're just stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.
I do notice (and try to use) the stations along my way that routinely offer the best gas prices. I do this both for local driving and a couple of long distance routes that I travel with some regularity. The habit was probably instilled in me by my father, who rather made an art form out of such sorts of small savings (not that he was a skinflint; he could be very generous; he just didn't like to "waste" his money by "overpaying" for commodty stuff).
Now I kind of share that view and don't see anything incompatible about looking for routine savings in day-to-day expenses and still ocassionally "splurging" on other things in which you take (or can share) pleasure.

OK, so locally it's probably a quarter savings per tank at best, maybe a buck on well chosen long distance buy. Whatever attention gets paid may be way disproportionate to any savings realized. But as I don't go out of my way at all - I just choose where to habitually stop along my way - I don't think I've reached the point of "stepping over dollars" - just saving pennies.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:47 PM   #10
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

Coming back from the Grand Canyon today, I filled up in Flagstaff since it was 2.139 there versus 2.249 in Phoenix so I am somewhat aware.

My DW on the other hand has a corporate vehicle and gas card so she doesn't care.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:58 PM   #11
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

At $1400/year for two cars it's hard to get excited about spending less than $60/month per ER driver.

But we don't drive that far on an island.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 12:08 AM   #12
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I make some effort to purchase at the cheapest gas station since I believe in rewarding merchants with the most attractive prices. If everyone would do so, creating a more elastic demand curve for an individual station, dealers might be more inclined to inch prices down to drive up volume.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 12:20 AM   #13
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

We spent over $5000 last year on gass and less than $900 on eating out. Yeah, I pay attention to gas prices.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 09:18 AM   #14
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

2 pumps in town, both $5.30/gallon.

The price is set in July when the fuel barge comes in. The window for barges is about July 1 to Labor day. The prices stays the same all winter regardless of what the price does in the "real world."

Fortunately, my employer provides vehicle an gas.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

[quote= a 7 year old Camry Solara, with 32,000 miles on it. Obviously I don't use much gas. Lately I've only been filling the tank once every couple of months.

/quote]


I drive an eight year old Camry solara with 49,000 miles . What am I doing wrong ? I fill up the tank every ten days and yes I watch the gas prices .It was $2.19 at Siesta Key,fl. yesterday.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:02 AM   #16
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I only have to fill our 3 cars about every 6-7 weeks, so its not a big impact. I found the cheapest place in the area and fill there (sams club). Dont even look at the price as it'll only make me rant for 40-50 seconds for no valued reason.

When gas tipped over three bucks a gallon, I did seriously reconsider a few trips here and there. It made little sense to take a trip to the store for five bucks worth of minor items while burning up 2.50 in gas. I usually take the dogs for a ride in the old rav4 every day...but at $3+ if I wasnt already going somewhere to do something else, I had to look at some long faces once they figured they werent going.

I'd imagine four bucks a gallon, or better still...five...makes a big change in how people drive and how they live. No more driving an hour commute to a job.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:24 AM   #17
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

Quote:
I drive an eight year old Camry solara with 49,000 miles . What am I doing wrong ? I fill up the tank every ten days and yes I watch the gas prices .It was $2.19 at Siesta Key,fl. yesterday.
Most of my mileage was in the first three years or so. I took mine on three or four trips, some to Miami and some to St. Louis, back in 2001-2003. I had also just moved here from Baton Rouge in 1999, and would drive there and to Lafayette to see my old friends. For some reason that decreased and I don't do it any more. Then in 2005 I drove it to central Alabama and back twice when I evacuated from Katrina and Rita. These trips are where a lot of the mileage came from. It's the 4-cylinder version of Camry.

Normally, I really don't drive it much. I live a mile and a half from work, and the grocery store is on the way home as is a big strip mall that has everything else a person might need. Driving is no longer a pleasant experience around here since the hurricane, so I don't drive for fun any more. All of this probably explains why I only need to get gas every couple of months. I used to get gas every month until about a year and a half ago.

If you fill up a 17 gallon tank and get 30 mpg, and do it every 10 days (=36 times a year), that would be 17x30x36=18,360 miles per year. So, maybe you are filling the tank when it is half full, or maybe you are driving more now than you did.
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:31 AM   #18
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I watch the prices around my metro area but it's more out of habit now than anything. I have realized the same thing that the OP said: Skipping eating out one time a year would equal the savings of penny-pinching gas purchases all year long -- a tradeoff I'd be willing to make.

Around here the price of gas goes up and down but the stores stay the same in relation to each other -- I can pretty much count on the Costco and Fred Meyer being the cheapest in town, which is nice because they're both within two miles of my house. Interestingly another gas station (an Albertson's Express), which used to be an average to expensive place to buy gas, is now as cheap as Costco and Fred Meyer. I don't know why this is, but it caught my eye.

I did get a PenFed Visa that give me 5% off gas purchases -- that's worth about 10 cents per gallon savings.

I used to try to click the nozzle at the gas pump so that I'd get that extra fraction of a gallon of gas without the digital price meter going over to the next penny. This gets very difficult when the price of gas is where it is. When I realized how little I was saving with that maneuver I gave it up completely.

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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:34 AM   #19
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

Last February, I got rid of my SUV and bought an Accord. I thought that gas prices were going to $3.00 and staying there, hence the smaller car.

At the time, between our Town and Country and the SUV, both averaged about 20MPG. The Accord averages 28, so the gas savings for a 12 month calendar year was about $715, since I drive 20,000 miles a year, and the wife about 8-9000 miles a year........

That $715 was reallocated to college savings funds, so I guess it was ok.........
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?
Old 02-12-2007, 10:43 AM   #20
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Re: Just curious--who here pays attention to gas prices?

I go to ARCO, COSTCO and a local cheap station. I don't bother always looking for the last few cents, I know these are the cheaper stations and I have had no problems with their gas. On the road I look for ARCOs but will take anything, like whatever brand that was in Death Valley. Can't always be picky on the road.
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