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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Is anyone buying gas in Columbia?

        We are used to paying more for anything in Columbia and that includes gas.  Going to Laurel is one way to find cheaper gas but who wants to drive 10 miles out of your way to save 5-10 cents a gallon on gas?  Those that go to Virginia regularly notice how much cheaper gas is there because of lower state gas taxes.  At least those of us in Maryland get better roads for our higher gas taxes.
      This morning the High's gas at 2861 Jessup Road in Hanover had the cheapest gas at $2.39 a gallon according to the Gas Buddy app.  Those willing to go a little further to the Sam's gas on Route 198 can save even more but I have noticed recently that their price has been more than the local Costco gas.  For many of us buying gas at Costco is one way to save 15-20 cents a gallon over other gas in Columbia.  Waiting in line for 5-10 minutes is worth the savings.  Wait times from before 9 am is considerably less.  Soon we may have another choice as BJ's gas at Dobbin Center looks to be opening soon.

    I don't know how their price will compare to Costco's price but the BJ's gas price at their station near Bowie Baysox Park is generally lower than our Costco.
    Of course any discussion of saving on gas has to recognize the most important factor in how much we spend on gas comes down to the type of vehicle we choose to drive.  Anything with 6 or 8 cylinders shows that saving on gas is not your priority.  A hybrid or plug in can save enough to be the most cost effective if you keep your car long enough. Many newer cars have built in systems called Eco that smooths out acceleration gas usage.  Keeping cars tuned up and changing oil and filters can help you get the best possible gas mileage.
    There are a few credit cards that offer a discount of around 5% on gas purchases.  The gas company cards discount the price at the pump and the bank cards usually give cash back in other ways.  I personally use either my Sam's Club card that always gives 5% back or the Chase Bank card the months they give 5% back.  One nice feature of the Chase card is that you can use your cash back money for Amazon purchases.
    Ever notice that gas stations tend to increase costs after Wednesdays in anticipation of people filling up at the end of the week or on the weekend?  Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be better days to buy gas.  Buying gas in cooler temperatures in the early morning or at night is supposed to give you more gas for your money as gas expands during the day. 
     Finally just drive less.  Any trip under a mile or two can many times be done by walking or biking.  You may be healthier and lose a few easy pounds.
     Any other ways you save on gas costs?

    Couldn't imagine what type of person would drive this type of truck in Columbia?  Let's say I kept my distance even though the smiley face did seem to send a mixed message.


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