Gas prices in 2011 were touted as the most expensive, on average, ever. The average cost per gallon, nationwide, was around $3.51 for the year.
Typically, gas prices peak in the summer months, or around Memorial Day. This year's national average is expected to be $3.86 to $4.13 by Memorial Day. Some experts have predicted prices will rise to well over $4.25 a gallon by mid-summer.
With prices like that looming, consumers everywhere will be clamoring for the cheapest gas prices in town. If you are looking to squeeze every penny you can out of each fill-up, they you will want to know which smartphone apps are the best for finding the cheapest gas. Here are some of the best apps currently available.
• GasBuddy – Based on your GPS location, GasBuddy operates by the user pressing a green gas pump button on the screen labeled, "Find Gas Near Me." The app then shows you prices in your area so you can compare. The app is free.
• Fuel Finder – This app isn't free, but comes with more than just the "find me gas" feature. There's a feature, "On Fumes" that shows you the closest stations to you if you are running out of gas. The app can also tell you whether the price listed is worth the drive to fill-up; it tells you how many dollars per tank you'll save, so you'll be able to decide if you should make the effort.
• GasHog is only 99 cents, and will allow you to enter your odometer reading and the amount of fuel each time you fill up, and it calculates your fuel economy. It doesn't point out the cheapest gas, but it does help you spend more wisely.
• GasBook – This free app shows you cheap gas and cheap lodging near you, wherever you are, based on your GPS location.
• Gas Stations – This Android app allows you to input your location and how far you're willing to drive to get cheap gas. You can also save gas stations you like as a Favorite for your return trips.
The only glitch with these apps is that they don't account for cash vs. credit. Some stations offer a discount when you use cash, or they'll charge more if you use a credit card. Some of the apps, like GasBuddy, are adding to the application the flexibility to see both prices.