Save money on gas with these mobile apps

Mar 28, 2012
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All tapped out every time you have to go to the pump? With gas prices at historic highs, there is a premium on any service or method that helps us save money on fuel. Thankfully, there are dozens of terrific mobile apps that do everything from locate the cheapest gas alternatives near you, to helping […]

All tapped out every time you have to go to the pump? With gas prices at historic highs, there is a premium on any service or method that helps us save money on fuel. Thankfully, there are dozens of terrific mobile apps that do everything from locate the cheapest gas alternatives near you, to helping you avoid traffic jams that unnecessarily burn energy.

Here are the five best mobile apps that will help you save money on gas at home or wherever you travel.

GasBuddy (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

The best app hands-down that will help you locate cheap gas near you is GasBuddy. Once you download the free app, it will ask you for permission to track down your location to find gas stations near you. Station selections are then sorted by price or proximity to you. You can also enter in a city, state or zipcode to find prices in other areas. Gas prices are reported by members of the GasBuddy community – the app has been downloaded 15 million times, and the company says there are 500,000 active users. Reporting price information into GasBuddy is a snap, and if you do it enough times you will be eligible to participate in a weekly contest where $250 prepaid gas cards are awarded. GasBuddy is a lot of fun, in addition to helping you save a few bucks every time you fill the tank.

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AAA TripTik Mobile (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

You don’t have to be a AAA member to enjoy the services of this free app, which not only helps you locate gas stations near you, but also identifies AAA-affiliated auto repair shops, restaraunts and hotels. The app also provides voice and text turn-by-turn directions to each location. Also, if you are a AAA member in need of roadside assistance, you can call for service directly from the app. Like GasBuddy, AAA TripTik Mobile can either base directions off your current location, or map to whatever city/address/zip code you provide.

Waze Social GPS & Live Traffic (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: Free)

Another great way to save money on gas is to spend less time in your car burning fuel. Traffic jams also drain time, and time is money. Waze is a revolutionary app that helps you avoid traffic jams by receiving reports from other members of the Waze community. The app works best on recurring commutes and, depending on points of congestion, leads you to an alternate route. You can operate Waze very well while hands-free, which is important if you’re behind the wheel. The app’s voice-based turn-by-turn instructions are also very accurate, and may cause you to think twice about investing in costly GPS navigation services.

Gas Cubby (iPhone, iPod Touch: $2.99)

It would be nice if gas were the only expense we had with our cars. From oil changes to wheel rotations to changing wiper blades, there are a myriad of ways we spend money on our cars. Gas Cubby is a great app for anyone wanting to track all of these expenses in one place, and see spending habits over time. The app can also nudge you to schedule that regular maintenance check. If you’re not sure you want to invest the three bucks without trying Gas Cubby first, take a test drive with the free version.

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Bike Repair (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: $3.99)

Ultimately, the most effective way to save money on gas is to not drive at all. But if you are going to use your bike for work commutes and regular transportation, you should make sure all of its parts are in order. Bike Repair documents 71 different bike problems and how they can be repaired through words and photographs.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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