How fast are gas prices rising? Fast enough to cause some real pain for Americans. I was shocked to see a story on CNN last week about people who are selling blood for gas money.

If you’re looking for a way to save money, Verizon mobile customers might save a few bucks with a new service called FuelFinder. It costs $1.99 per month plus the $5 you’ll pay each month for any extra add-on service (the $5 is a one-time fee and if you already have it for another premium service you won’t pay it again).

FuelFinder allows you to put in a zip code, and out will pop the most expensive and least expensive gas options. Here’s a real example: the cheapest gas in downtown Chicago as of five minutes ago is at the Shell station (350 West Chicago Avenue) for $3.09 agallon. The most expensive is BP at 1647 N. LaSalle at $3.29 a gallon. That’s a a 20 cents per gallon savings.

If it takes 20 gallons to fill up your vehicle, you just now saved $4.00. And, if you fill your tank once a week, that’s a savings of $16.00 a month. Prices are updated every 2 hours — and let’s just call that another sign of how quickly gas prices are rising.

Of course, if you’re a regular ThinkGlink reader, it’s unlikely that you’ll be filling up at the most expensive gas station in town. And, you can get this information for free at, which you can check before you head out to fill up the tank. But let’s assume you save $.05 per gallon using FuelFinder, and let’s assume the 20 gallon fill-up. that’s a savings of $1 per tank, or $4 per month, which saves you $2 per month, or $24 per year.

Where FuelFinder really helps out, however, is when you’re in a neighborhood or town that you don’t frequent all that often. When passing a gas station, you may not know exactly where the cheapest gas station is located, and then your savings could be greater.

Is FuelFinder the best option ever? I’m guessing that having it is like owning a boat — it’s something you’d really rather your best friend owns, so you get to use it without having the headache and expense of paying for it.

May 9, 2006