Spotlight: Saving Money at the Fuel Pump

Weekend Picks on the Cheap:

– Artist talk and opening reception for the exhibition “What Is a Trade?” this Thursday afternoon 4:00pm at the Lewis and Clark Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art. From web site: “Donald Fels and Signboard Painters of South India exhibits 16 large-scale paintings that explore trade and globalization in India.”

– The Portland Art Museum offers free admission this Friday from 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

Writers Talking: Jess of Get Sconed! Meet the author of this local vegan-blog with free samples and tips this Saturday from 1:00pm – 2:30pm at the Multnomah County Central library.

Free benefit concert for relief efforts in Haiti this Sunday at 7:00pm at McMenamins Kennedy School. Donations gladly accepted.

– Willamette Week’s new Cheap Skate Deal Box features a free week of Kung Fu, a free avalanche clinic, deeply discounted wedding dresses, cheap beer and more.

– Taco Bell has reposted their free Fresco Taco coupon as part of their Drive Thru Diet campaign.

– For more free weekend events, please go to Aroundthesunblog

Spotlight: Saving Money at the Fuel Pump

It seemed not too long ago when we could go to practically any gas station in the Portland area and get unleaded gas for less than $1.50 per gallon. Fast-forward to 2009 and into this new decade and the norm has been above $2.50 per gallon, reaching as high as $4.50 just a couple years ago. Since the sticker shock of high gas prices, we have curtailed our daily driving use and have turned to bicycling, carpooling and public transportation. We are fortunate to drive a 91 Honda Civic and a 92 Toyota Corolla and our smaller cars can average around 30mpg. Still, we try our best to save money at the pump, and these are our thoughts on this subject:

– First off, here’s an article explaining why gas prices are predicted to increase into Spring 2010 and beyond: “More Pain at the Pump: Gas Prices High and Going Higher”

– Before heading out to fill up, we’ll check our local gas prices with This site is chock full of useful data and tips and pump prices are frequently updated by user submissions. We like that we can search gas prices by city and/or zip code; search prices by looking at a map; and one can join the community and win weekly prizes like free gas!

– Get to know your neighborhood and your frequent travel routes and soon enough you’ll remember the gas stations along the way. Keep an eye out for special incentives for “shopping” there. One of our nearby gas stations offers a free car wash with a fill-up. Another will discount the gas by ten cents per gallon with a minimum $10 purchase in their mini-mart.

– Gas savings can also be had by using your “Club Card” at area grocery stores with gas stations. Fred Meyer and Safeway are the two major food retailers here in Portland with gas stations at some locations. Albertsons also has a couple locations with fuel pumps. Swing by a Costco and you’ll see the lines of cars filling up for less; annual memberships start at $50.

– Portland edition Entertainment books include a coupon for $1.00 off 8 Gallons or more of Plus or Supreme Unleaded Gasoline at area Chevron stations. The nice part is that there is a coupon good for every month of the year.

– A few years ago we received an email regarding four suggestions for getting your money’s worth at the gas pump: read the post here, dissected and discussed by Urban Legends web site

– Some road warriors swear by the savings they receive via their credit cards. We have not personally taken this route, but here is a web site that provides an overview of credit card terms and incentives: Guide to Gas Station Credit Cards

– When you travel around Portland as much as we do, you’ll notice that there are areas of high gas prices and pockets of lower rates. We stumbled across this article written in August 2009 “Where to Buy Cheap Gas in Portland, OR.” Highly recommended reading!

– There are discount no-name stations with super cheap gas; there’s also ARCO…since high school our friends have always claimed that their gas is inferior. Is it? Is there a difference between name-brand gas (ie Chevron & Shell) and the no-name places? Here are two articles (with one video) that help explain:
Can discount gas crimp your ride?” from USA Today 06/2007.
Fuel Wars: Is Price The Only Difference Between Name-Brand And Discount Gas?” from CBS Evening news 08/2005.

– Finally, there is only so much you can do to find the cheapest gas out there—what it ultimately comes down to is getting the optimum fuel economy out of your vehicle. And for that we turn to Consumer Reports, which explains how to get the best gas mileage including some myth busters: “Fuel economy: Save money on gas

If you have any further tips or suggestions, feel free to post a Comment and thanks for stopping by!

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