The price of gas is set to smile on you as you fill up in the coming weeks.

Just as prices spiked in mid-winter, we're now seeing a sharp reversal. A barrel of oil is selling for $88 and the price of a gallon at wholesale is down to $2.72/gallon.

In some places, the price at the pump is already down into the 2s. In Louisiana, the cheapest state, some stations are down to $2.74/gallon. A variety of Sam's Club locations in the Pelican State are down to between $2.81 and $2.84. Texas and South Carolina are both down below $3 too.

Be careful of a big spread in gas prices right now. Stations known as "pumpers" in the lingo of the trade may get three deliveries a day. By comparison, slower stations that don't sell as much gas may only take delivery once every few weeks.

So during times of falling wholesale prices like we have now, the high-volume stations cycle through deliveries every day and reflect market prices quicker and more accurately.

Yet during times of rising gas prices, the whole cycle is reversed and the low-volume stations have the best prices because they're still selling gas from a week or two ago before the run-up in price at wholesale.

Pay attention to what prices you see as you're driving around when you're at half a tank and fill up when you see a deal. But be wary of driving out of your way to fill up because it costs roughly 62 cents per mile to operate a car and that could quickly negate any savings.

Finally, sales of Priuses are down because gas prices have been going down. So now is the time to buy this ultra-fuel efficient ride, which gets about 50 miles per gallon on the flagship model. I've been looking and seeing traditional Priuses for about $21,000 brand new. That's a huge drop in price from just a few months ago.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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