I've watched the price at the gas pump ever since I got a school/work permit when I was 14-years-old. Last weekend, as I compared prices I was shocked at the discrepancy.

Sunday morning I was out and about and one of our vehicles was in desperate need of gasoline. I was shocked when I looked up at the price sign of the place I typically buy gas. The "cheapest" unleaded, which I always buy, was $2.689 a gallon. About a football field away the price for the same fuel was $2.989. What?! No wonder there was a line at the pumps. I filled up our other vehicle three hours later, also for $2.689.

A check of Gas Buddy today shows fuel prices in Cedar Rapids ranging from $2.74 to $3.09 per gallon. That's a 35-cent per gallon discrepancy. I'd drive across town for that.

Iowa City? Similar. Prices range from $2.99 to $3.09 for the most part. If you're a Costco member, you can apparently fill up there for $2.69. Thirty to 40 cents per gallon lower than everyone else.

I decided to take a look at Iowa prices overall. Gas Buddy's lowest prices in Iowa are in Ankeny and Waterloo. It lists Sam's Club in those two cities at $2.64 and $2.66, respectively. The discrepancy in prices is small, though, when compared to other stations in that area. In Altoona, Ankeny, Des Moines, and other nearby cities, prices were just a few pennies more per gallon.

I realize there are a lot of variables when it comes to gas prices but big discrepancies at the pump always make me wonder if something untoward is going on...

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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