But many people have found the most affordable prices are at their fingertips if they put their smart phones to work. More and more people are downloading apps which give them up-to-the minute gas prices.
Drivers are so conditioned to pay the going rate no matter how high, $3.69 a gallon sounds like a steal.
Terry Cowell drove past Abe's Gasoline at Barstow and Peach in Clovis when she spotted the area's lowest price. Cowell said, "I drove by here and went woo hoo, $3.69. I gotta stop. That's cheap."
You can also use your smart phone to keep fuel costs down. The "Gas buddy" app offers information on the Valley's cheapest prices. Consumers constantly update the site and you just scroll through stations in your area.
Mona Bush of Fresno doesn't fill up without first checking her gas app. Bush explained, "It tells you cheapest gas from where you are, the cheapest gas and then that's what we do. We go to that gas station." "How helpful has that been for you?" "Oh definitely helpful. Very helpful."
Mona spent $3.77 a gallon at the Arco station at Abby and P street. It was among the cheapest prices in town. "Do you tell your friends about that?" "Oh no. I keep it to myself. I can't worry about them and whether they got gas."
In addition to the "Gas buddy" app, you can also use apps called "Gas book" and "Igasup" to find the cheapest prices.
Families planning trips this year could also take advantage by using the apps to keep track of fuel prices wherever they travel.