Gas Prices Continue Slide, Below $3 a Gallon in Some Cities

Gasoline Under 3
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
By John McCrank

NEW YORK -- The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States dropped 12 cents in the past three weeks to its lowest point in nearly a year, driven by the latest round of falling oil prices, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday.

Prices fell to an average of $3.26 a gallon for regular grade gasoline, according to the survey conducted on Oct. 10. Prices have fallen for the past 16 weeks, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.

The price of a gallon is nearly 13 cents below what it was a year ago and is at its lowest point since Nov. 22, she added. The price peaked on May 2 and is down 46.5 cents since then.

Crude oil prices have fallen over the past several months to near four-year lows, pressured by ample supply and concerns about the strength of the global economy.

That has translated into buying discounts for refiners, which have in turn slashed their wholesale gasoline prices, Lundberg said.

"These have been deep and fast wholesale gasoline price cuts and retailers have yet to pass the entire price cut through," she said. "We can expect another several cents at the pump in the next few days," she said, adding that would change if oil prices were to suddenly rise.

The San Francisco Bay Area had the highest price within the survey area, at $3.66 a gallon for regular, while the lowest price was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where regular grade cost $2.93 a gallon.

7 Best Things to Buy in October
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Gas Prices Continue Slide, Below $3 a Gallon in Some Cities

Sure, plenty of Halloween costumes are at their most expensive now, but you can still find affordable options if you know where to look. "Shop last year's inventory to get the lowest prices. Most stores have a clearly marked clearance section in store and online," notes Howard Shaffer, vice president of, on Kiplinger. "You can also save 30 to 40 percent off this year's costumes if you wait to shop a day or two before Halloween. The selection will be gone, but the deals will be there. And, you can always shop online. Coupon codes will allow you to save even more on sale items and stack your savings."

"There are a lot of great deals on camping equipment in October," Shaffer says. "It's the end of camping season, and clearance sales are offering 60 to 70 percent off tents, summer hiking gear and fishing gear." It figures that camping essentials are cheaper just when you've wrapped up your outdoor shenanigans. That's often the nature of retail, though, and you can use it to your advantage. If your current camping supplies are looking a little rough, don't wait until the peak buying season to buy. Instead, purchase discounted goods now and put them in storage for next year.

Denim continues to be a hot buy this month, especially now that the back to school flurry of sales has died down and retailers are eager to keep sales up between now and the holidays. Denim is typically discounted by stores as a "get you in the door" maneuver in hopes that you'll stick around and buy more stuff. In addition to finding sales in stores, look for online promotions.

As car dealerships anticipate the new year, many are eager to sell both current and earlier models. "The clock is ticking on 2014, and dealers want to get rid of their new summer inventory," reports Apartment Therapy. "Now that it's October, the end of the year is in sight, and they are starting feeling the pressure." If you can, wait to the end of the month -- or the end of a promotion -- to take advantage of car salesmen who are especially eager to make that sale.

There are several jewelry buying lulls in the year. One of those is in early fall while everyone's preoccupied with Halloween and back-to-school shopping, just before the major holiday push.

New home appliances are released during the fall, which has retailers eager to move the old stuff off the showroom floor. Promotional sales are common, and you have more legroom to negotiate.

Gardening and outdoor necessities are on sale for the same reason camping gear is discounted: they're out of season. Head to any retailer that sells grills, plants, gardening supplies, lawn equipment, patio furniture and the like, and you're likely to find sweet deals.
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