Corporate buyers have had the chance to lock-in fuel prices by prepurchasing fuel from vendors like Fuel Man, but for most of us average guys, our ability to control fuel pricing is limited to say the least. First Fuel Bank has been offering pre-purchasing service to private parties in very limited areas in Minnesota since 1982, but the recent rise in gas prices has brought fresh attention to the idea. The plan has a $1 lifetime membership fee, and the only risk to members is that fuel prices may drop after the transaction is made. Is the pre-purchase of fuel a good idea? That's hard to say given the dynamic nature of the market, but if we look at the trends over the past year, it would have been possible to obtain a 36% return on investment on fuel purchased at this time last year.

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