The truck’s gas gauge registered below a quarter of a tank. I rummaged in my purse and checked my grocery store receipt. We had enough reward points for ten cents per gallon off at the grocery store’s gas station.
“If their price is lower than the going rate, we’ll gas up here,” I told Keith as we ate lunch at a local restaurant in Waynesboro. “Otherwise, we’ll wait and get gas on the way home.”
I had noted gas prices at the stations on our way to church last Saturday—I quilted with the ladies for Lutheran World Relief while Keith attended a meeting. BP in Afton had the lowest price per gallon of regular: $2.25.
The grocery store’s station posted the same price. With points, we’d pump 15 gallons and “save” a dollar fifty.
I love playing the gas price game. It’s like a treasure hunt for penny-wise and pound-foolish people like me. There are mobile apps to find cheap gas, but that would spoil the fun.
I don’t always win the game. In fact, on the last trip I made to visit my mother, I got my comeuppance.
When I started out that Friday, the truck registered under half a tank—round trip takes a full tank— and thus I needed to buy gas on the way down. Of course, I preferred to gas up in the afternoon so I could scope out prices in the morning. But that day I had to rely on past experience of which stations had the lowest prices within my under-half-a-tank range.
Driving 29 south, I noted prices for regular gas, starting with a high of $2.39 per gallon dropping to $2.29, $2.25, $2.22 (better), $2.05 (much better), $2.02 and $1.99 in Chatham (much, much better). I could have pulled into that station. But I got greedy.
The previous week, the BP station in Danville had posted $1.95, and that station was still within range. Maybe I’d get lucky again. Problem was, BP Danville is the last gas station along my route south for a good while. If I didn’t fill up there, I’d have to exit, burning both gas and time, and accept whatever price.
I rounded the corner and looked down the highway at the BP posted price. $2.26.
I groaned. And that wasn’t the end of my comeuppance. On the way home, the posted price was $2.05.
I laughed, thinking maybe I was “paying” for my greed.
Obviously, I still play the gas price game, and obviously, I don’t always win. But losing gives me a chance to laugh at my penny-wise, pound-foolishness. And for me, laugher is worth a lot of pennies, even a dollar fifty.
How about you?
This post on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLCmMhlG9ao&feature=youtu.be