Are you really getting the best deal on gas?

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Is driving to the cheapest gas station really worth the savings?


Maybe not as much as you think.  The conversation below is one I had with my 11-year-old son recently.

Ryan: “Mom, gas is $3.75 at ABC gas station!”
(alerted by the free GasBuddy app he has on his phone)

Me: “That’s great, but that’s like, 5 miles from here.”

Ryan: “So?”

Me: “I can get gas for $3.80 right here.”

Ryan: “But it’s five cents cheaper.”

Me: “Yes.  But by the time I drive to get it, I’m actually losing money.  So I’m good.”

Ryan: “Huh?”

(Disclaimer: Math.  Yikes!)

Me: “Let’s say our car gets 25 mpg and holds 20 gallons.  20 gallons x $3.75 = $75.00, compared to 20 gallons x $3.80 = $76.00.  I would save $1 by getting gas at the cheaper station.  However, in driving the additional 10 miles roundtrip to get to the cheaper station, I am using 4/10 of a gallon of gas.  Which would cost me $1.50.  So I’m actually spending $0.50 more by driving to the cheaper station.  I would also spend about 20 minutes driving there and back, and my time is valuable.” (whew!)

Ryan: “Ooooohhhhhh!  I get it!  So it SEEMS cheaper, but it really isn’t!”

Me:  🙂

Sometimes, driving around to get a deal on gas isn’t actually a deal at all.

Be sure to take a moment and figure out if it is *really* worth it to drive the extra miles.


Have you done something similar in the past, only to realize that you really weren’t saving money in the end?

Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. I tend to stick to what’s convenient. Sometimes I miss out on a deal, but my time is valuable.

    • That’s right! Our time is super valuable! Honestly, I’d rather pay $0.02 more a gallon if it means I can turn right, instead of sitting in traffic to turn left. 😉

  2. LOL!! Love it. A math lesson, and life lesson all in one 😉

  3. Great lesson for your son.
    I use my Kroger Plus miles and get a 10 cents a gallon discount at Shell. Thank goodness the Shell station OTW home from my son’s preschool has the lowest prices so I time my trips to go there.

    • I use my Kroger card too, as we have 3 Kroger fuel centers nearby, and you know we have a TON of points from groceries for this brood! Funny story, once Ryan and I were coming back from an event in Atlanta and we were driving on fumes. I refused to stop in town because the gas is so high. I finally made it (fingers crossed) just outside the city to a gas station that wasn’t absurdly expensive. And then I proceeded to select Premium gas on accident, and ended up paying $0.30 more a gallon. Ryan laughed at me the whole way home, lol.

  4. I’ve given up trying to get the best price in town and just go to the closest place to home.

  5. Today I was going to drive to a store to pick up something that I ordered online because shipping to the store is free, then I did the math of what gas and bridge toll would cost and decided that paying for shipping was the better deal.

    • I LOVE having things shipped to my house. As long as the shipping is reasonable, that means I don’t have to load up all the kids, drive to the store, and do my best to avoid buying anything else I “need” while I am there. Me and Amazon, we’re buddies. Lol.

  6. So true. My husband says that all the time. He won’t even cross the other side of the road for cheaper gas – usually not worth it.

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