When to Fill up Gas?

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So $3 gas is back. Last time it was Katrina, this time I heard it was because some of the refineries were taken offline for maintainence. For us average consumers, since we can not trade in current (regular) car for hybrid, nor can we buy cheaper gas and store it somewhere. We have to fill up when the gas price is cheap (relatively). I found a good sign of gas price going up. There are two gas stations near my house: Shell and Exxon. Usually they don’t raise the price at the same time. So…when I saw one gas station already changed the price (up), I would go to the other one and fill up.

I did this yesterday. I saw the regualr price at Shell was 2.93, while it was 3.19 at Exxon. But unfortunatly I drove too fast and passed the Shell. I drove Olive west for a while and checked the price at another station near 270, it was 2.93. Good…if it’s 3.19 I would drive back to the Shell. I know it will be 3.19 momentarily.

I also use Citi Dividend card for gas purchase as it will give me 5% back. There are other credit cards offer savings on gas.

Another way to hedge against high gas price: buy some oil or natural gas stocks when they are cheap. Because they usually go up when the gas price is up. This way you make money on stocks to compensate the higher gas bills.    


  1. umm, buying the oil stocks when the price is cheap. That’s a good way of hedging, but you lost other investing opportunity, if there is better one coming.

  2. Not sure how effective your stock hedging is going to help here. I personally haven’t read anything that indicates a convincing correlation between the two events. Plus why skip other opportunities what give more returns?

    Anyhow, the areas where us consumers would definitely feel the pinch are those where the businesses would simply pass the fuel charges on to us. The postage increase recently was partially a result of that.

    I asked one of clients today over lunch…at what price point it would become a turning point where we see dramatic behavioral change from US drivers?

    Not gotten a satisfactory answer yet.

  3. I think “buying oil stocks” will have some “feel better” effect, as we fill
    gas tanks when the gas price hit $3. This effect probablly will be more
    important than the actual money we may make from oil stocks.

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