How do you shop for gas?

I remember the oil crisis from the 1970's when I was growing up.  A habit I picked up from my parents during the crisis was to keep a mental catalog of which gas stations had the best pricing.  I tend to notice the day-to-day changes as I drive around town.

There's a BP and a Speedway which I pass on my way to and from work each day.  As gas prices dropped from $4 to near $1.50 per gallon over the past few months, the two stations moved prices down in tandem — the BP's pricing was within 2 cents of Speedway's, usually higher. 

A few weeks ago, the BP started pricing 15 to 20 cents higher, and they have remained about 6 to 10 cents higher since. 

As I watched these fluctuations, I wondered how people shopped for gas, and if BP might be taking advantage of a particular customer behavior…  Do they take advantage of people who shop at BP no matter what?

So we'd like to know: How do you shop for gasoline?  Here are a few of the ways in which people might shop for gas.  Let us know if any of these match how you look for gas, or if you use a different strategy:

  • Lowest Price: Shop for the lowest price, even if you need to drive a little further.
  • Certain Brand: Try to go to the same brand, regardless of location (Shell, BP, Speedway, Sam's, etc.)
  • Neighborhood: Look for a station that's close to home (or work)

Has your shopping for gas changed at all since the prices have come down, or do you still go to the same places?

I look forward to seeing your comments.

[where: 900 Winchester Rd, Lexington, KY 40507]

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