Posted by: Jamie Stamm | May 13, 2008

Bargain hunting

I am a bargain hunter at heart. I clip coupons, I scan the grocery store sales circulars each week, I buy my kids’ clothing online when the sales are massive and the shipping is free. So it would stand to reason that when I need gas, I survey all the stations along my daily route before deciding where to buy.

I was running low last night – on both gas and cash – so I was carefully plotting the best way to spend the $14 I had in my pocket. The first gas station off my exit – a huge convenience store that usually has the same prices as its sister station just down the road – had jumped from $3.64 to $3.72 since my morning commute. Knowing that one of the smaller stations in between these two giants seems to change its prices only overnight, I drove on, hoping to stretch my dollars as far as I could.

It turned out to be the right decision. The second station was still at $3.64 (while the convenience store beside it had indeed increased to $3.72 during the day). I opted to keep my cash and instead used my bank card to fill the entire tank. I had a feeling Station No. 2 was about to rise to the competition, and I wanted to stock up on “cheap” gas while I had the chance.

By this morning, that little station’s gas had jumped to $3.74 – a 10-cent increase overnight! I admit to being a bit smug, knowing I had saved a whopping $1.50.

Isn’t it sad that it’s come to that?

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