FARGO — Yahoo! Memorial Day weekend is finally here, and barbecues, bonfires and lake time mean one thing: traveling.
Packing up the car and shipping out to those beaches and lake cabins is definitely something many of us dream about during our seemingly yearlong winter. But everyone wants to save money before going on their first vacation of the summer, right?
Americans have been getting hit hard at the pump in 2019 — the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the country has gone up 50 cents since January — and the worst is yet to come, according to projections. But even with the largest surge in gas prices since 2011, more Americans are expected to soon hit the road for their summer getaways.
Fortunately, using data from their database of crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices, GasBuddy found the best and worst days of the week to buy gas and maximize savings (both in dollar bills and wait time) during the busy summer travel season.
Fill 'er up cheaply
GasBuddy analyzed gas prices between January and March this year and found the beginning of the workweek brings the lowest average gas price in about 30 states, while the weekend seemed to be the worst or most expensive.
According to the site's report, Saturday is the most expensive day on average in 16 states, but Friday has the most expensive average price compared to any other day of the week across the country.
All that means, of course, that as the week progresses and consumers get more excited for the freedom and open roads that come with the weekend, gas prices rise.
North Dakota follows those national trends, so Monday is the cheapest day to fill your tank and Friday is the most expensive.
In Minnesota, however, you might be better off waiting until Tuesday to save the most money, according to the report.
Don't wait in line
In addition to saving drivers money by finding the cheapest places to fuel their vehicles, GasBuddy looked to save consumers' time.
By analyzing foot traffic data alongside prices, researchers were able to determine the beginning of the week is the slowest time at gas stations.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were, on average, the least busy days at the pump, respectively. But as that clock hits 5 p.m. and it's time to return home from the salt mines (or offices), gas stations get busier and busier. In fact, 5 o'clock on a Friday was shown to be the busiest time for gas stations nationwide, according to the report.
GasBuddy's data shows that filling up on Monday mornings each week can collectively save drivers over $2.1 billion each year. Commuters looking to avoid gas pump bumper cars should try fueling up between 7 and 10 a.m. Tuesdays, the site says.
So, what does this all mean ahead of the holiday weekend? Well, you probably should've filled up sooner.