Gas prices started dropping even before the coronavirus hit. Now, with people driving way less than normal, demand for oil is at a 40-year low, and so is the price of oil.
In just under two months, gas went from $2.56/gallon to $1.81, according to Ycharts — that’s $0.75 off. Gas is, on average, $1.00 less per gallon than it was a year ago. A fill-up already is 36% cheaper. But it gets better.
For the first time maybe ever, getting nearly-free gas is actually possible — with a little maneuvering.
Here’s what you need to know:
Know where to buy: Some states are seeing less than $1/gallon.
That’s insane, right? The Gas Buddy app reports that Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin all have stations selling gas at less than $1/gallon.
Find out who has the best gas prices in your area — right now — using apps like:
Use loyalty program points to cut the per-gallon rate to nearly zero.
Here’s how it could work. Both Albertsons and Kroger’s shopper rewards programs give $0.10/gallon discounts for every $100 spent on qualifying purchases. These programs are STILL in effect, and stores are extending deadlines for using points
So if you live in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and you pull into the Kroger fuel center armed with 1,000 points, it knocks the $1.25/gallon price down to just $0.25/gallon. Filling up your 40-gallon SUV would only cost $10.00, and a compact car would fill-up for just $2.50!
Per-gallon discounts of $0.10 and $0.25 are pretty common with other fuel loyalty programs, too.
Keep an eye out for discounted fuel gift cards to save even more.
Albertsons and Kroger gift cards are in short supply right now on Raise.com and Gift Card Granny, but also keep an eye out for gift cards from their associated gas stations — and sister stores.
For example, Albertsons points work at Chevron and Texaco, but also at Safeway and Vons fuel centers (among others). Kroger points work at Shell stations, but also at Fred Meyer, Fry’s and Ralphs (among others).
I’ve seen discounts of up to 50% on gas gift cards, but even a little discount goes a long way. It’s not uncommon to find 5% off a Shell gift card at Raise.com, so you’d be spending $9.50 for a $10.00 card, making that SUV fill-up (after using those Kroger points) only cost $0.23/gallon!
TIP: If you’ve got some time on your hands, accumulate points from Swagbucks by completing activities — like taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online. Earn $1 for every 100 points you get, and once you hit 5,000 points you can get a $50 gas card. Free. Freaking. Gas.
No matter what, though, you’re spending around 36% less per gallon than you did a year ago.
That’s right. AAA reports that the national average gas price is $1.81 — which is $1.03 cheaper than it was a year ago. Twenty states have gas prices that are at least $1.00/gallon cheaper than last year.
If you were consuming gas at the average rate you were a year ago (which you’re not), you’d be saving almost $60 a month.
How many gallons does your tank hold? That’s how much a fill-up will save you.
At $1.00/gallon less, a 40-gallon SUV gas tank would only run you $72.40 right now, on average, $41.20 less than SUV drivers were paying last year ($113.60).
A 10-gallon compact car that filled up for $28.40 last year now fills up for $18.10.