Gas prices have continued to soar over the past couple of years, forcing many families to revamp their budgets. In 1991 during the Gulf War, gas prices rose to $1.30 per gallon, which at the time, was considered very expensive. Since the early 90s, gas prices have crept higher and the average cost per gallon now hovers around $3.
Why Gas Prices Increase
One of the main reasons gas prices have increased is the rise in demand. Countries like China, with the highest population density in the world, are in constant need of gas. This weighs heavily on the world’s total oil supply.
The refining process of crude oil is another major factor controlling the price of gas. In the 1980s, over 300 refinery plants were in business. The amount of gas being refined kept the cost of gasoline low. Now the amount of refineries in America has dipped to about 175. As a result, the supply of gas is more limited making gas harder to come by and raising the price.
Lastly, there are several small and large players within the gasoline or oil industry which account for more than half the cost of gasoline. When crude oil is collected it is stored in barrels. These barrels are then sold on the open market, purchased, shipped, refined, and transported to local gas stations. Gas prices are manipulated by the market and by governing agencies. Taxes are another reason for the expense and account for almost 15% of each gallon purchased.
Finding Cheap Gas
There are methods for finding cheap gas. The key to finding the cheapest gas prices near you is to keep careful track of the nearby gas stations. Tracking gas prices helps you find the lowest price.
There are several gas tracking websites on the Internet that can help consumers find cheap gas. Gasbuddy.com and Gaspricewatch.com are two of the leaders in tracking gas prices. Websites like these hold large databases of real-time gas price changes and compare each station for the cheapest rates.
The amount of gas you use can also affect how cheap your overall gas budget will be. Smaller, newer cars usually have better gas mileage. If you are concerned about spending too much on gas, consider investing in a vehicle that has good gas mileage.
Bulk purchasing has always been the number one way to buy cheap items. Transportation companies often buy gas in bulk, saving them a great deal of money. Transportation companies also sign contracts with gas stations to get great bulk deals on gas. Though most individuals do not use enough gas to enjoy a bulk benefit such as this, small business owners can try this method. Finding cheap gas takes a little effort, but if you reach out to gas companies, you can save some money overall.
Scouting for low gas prices on your daily commutes is the best way in finding cheap gas. There are also several online websites that will help in your search. A little research is sure to benefit your cheap gas search and help you in finding cheap gas.