I'm a comparison shopper. Before I buy anything, from boots to bed linens, I compare brands and prices. So, when a neighborhood painter told me recently that he saved a lot of money last winter buying heating oil from a supplier I never heard of, I decided to apply my shopping prowess to that commodity so that I could learn how to buy the cheapest heating oil. I made a few calls, and picked up some interesting tidbits from local suppliers that should interest anyone with oil heat.
The only sure way to save a significant amount of money on your per-gallon heating oil cost is to buy your oil from a C.O.D. supplier. The one my painter friend uses is in Newark, New Jersey. They do not offer a service contract, they simply deliver the oil when you order it and accept cash payment. You need to place an order each time you need oil. There is no automatic delivery. And you pay the spot price, whatever that is at the time of purchase.