If you're tempted to fill your tank on Thursday, it might pay you to wait until Saturday, new research from gas price website GasBuddy.com shows.
A study of gas pricing data from around the nation during the last four years shows that weekend gas prices are more likely to be lower than most weekdays.
That rule, of course, doesn't apply if gas prices are moving rapidly upward, but when the price at the pump is fairly steady, the lowest prices of the week are likely to happen on the weekend.
In Washington, the lowest price day varied slightly over the last four years. In 2010, the lowest prices occurred most frequently on Sunday. In 2011, the lowest price day happened two days earlier, Friday. In 2012, that cheapest day of the week moved to Monday, while last year it was Saturday in the Evergreen State.
That weekend or near-weekend pattern happened in most states, the survey found, but nearby Oregon was the exception. Over the last four years, the lowest gas prices occurred in Oregon on Monday, Tuesday, Monday and Thursday.
Over the last few days in the South Sound, gas prices have remained so steady that it scarcely mattered what day you filled up.
TacomaGasPrices.com showed the average price in the Tacoma area Tuesday was $3.301 a gallon. The price Monday was was just 0.3 of a cent higher. A week ago, gas was selling in the Tacoma area for an average of $3.305 a gallon.
The biggest price differential is between stations. At least one station in Pierce County was selling gas for more than $4 a gallon. Eight stations were selling regular unleaded for $3.10 or less. Several Safeways and Arco stations as well as Costco priced petrol at $3.09 a gallon.
In Federal Way, one station, an Arco at 1600 SW 312th Street, matched that $3.09 price. The lowest price in Thurston County was $3.14 a gallon at an Arco at 10222 Martin Way.
Fortunately for motorists, gas prices are not repeating the trends of last year when gas prices in the South Sound rose steeply beginning in late January until early March when they crested at $3.86 a gallon on average. Those prices dipped until late April before rising to more than $4 a gallon on Memorial Day.