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MailTribune.com
  • Get a bang for your buck at the pump

  • I noticed several Rogue Valley gas stations increased their prices by 10 cents per gallon from Friday morning to Friday afternoon, apparently to gouge weekend drivers. Is there a best day of the week and time to buy gas to get the best price?
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  • I noticed several Rogue Valley gas stations increased their prices by 10 cents per gallon from Friday morning to Friday afternoon, apparently to gouge weekend drivers. Is there a best day of the week and time to buy gas to get the best price?
    — Janice S., Medford
    Gas stations do often increase their prices for the weekend, often beginning on Thursday, especially for holiday and summer weekends when more drivers are on the road. Some experts point to Wednesday as the best day to fill up since it's not near the weekend, and is also spaced apart from Monday, when many commuters buy gas to get to work.
    An analysis of four years of data by GasBuddy.com found the best day to buy varies by state. Early in the week is better in Oregon, while drivers should fuel up late in the week in California.
    Many experts recommend filling up in the early morning, when gas is slightly more dense because of cooler temperatures. More importantly, gas station managers often check their competitors' prices between 10 a.m. and noon and jack up their prices accordingly if nearby stations have raised prices.
    To avoid paying top dollar, try to fill up your car when it's one-quarter full, not when it's nearly empty. Seeing the gas light come on might cause you to buy from whatever station is closest at the moment — not the one that offers the best price.
    GasBuddy.com has a cool feature that allows you to find which station is offering the lowest price at the moment. Just enter a ZIP code in the box labeled "Search Gas Prices."
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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