Gas Lines, Prices, and Me

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by rsforkner, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    I just came back from some errands and decided to fill up while I was out. (3 PIPs left on the guess gage.) But while I am out I decide to stop at BJs since I am in the area. I pulled in and there are 8-10 cars waiting in line at each pump.

    BJs price: $3.51 per gal
    Street Price: $3.54 - $3.59 per gal

    I decided this just wasn't worth it. So I head home. A couple of miles from BJs and less than a mile from my house I find a Shell station at $3.51 per gal - SAME AS BJs. I sure am glad I didn't wait at BJs and watch all those folks burning all that gas waiting in line.

    The Happy Wanderer, with his new Prius, smiling all the way to the pump. Hey, this is going to be FUN.

    Bob
     
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The "Big City" in our area is Traverse City and is 25 miles south of where I live. All major shopping expeditions involve a trip to Traverse, so we usually buy gas when there. My typical gas buying experience goes something like this:

    1) Drive to Traverse to go to the dentist.

    2) Pass several gas stations on the way into town, but plan on getting gas on the way out due to schedule constraints.

    3) Go to my dentist appointment, run some errands, and head out.

    4) Stop for gas and discover gas prices went up 12 cents a gallon since I passed them on the way in. Bah.

    Our area also has a large tourist economy, so gas prices reflect that. Prices always go up around Thursday and possibly come back down after the weekend. I only need gas on weekends. I know that's not true, but it sure feels that way.

    Another odd thing about tourist economies: our gasoline comes in by tanker ship. A whole ship of petroleum products comes into port and pumps over to the tank farms. From there it is trucked to neighboring cities and gas stations. Our shipping costs should be about as low as you can get, so why is the gasoline cheaper inland? It's the lack of tourists. Even though costs are higher, prices are lower. It's all about what the market will bear, and tourists will bear a lot.

    Tom
     
  3. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    Lets run the math for a second...

    assuming that your mpg is an above-average 60mpg from your stop at BJ's to the other gas station AND that the other gas station is 3 miles away.

    that equates to .05 gallon of gas used to move you 3 miles.
    .05 gallon equates to about 18 cents of gas.

    gas savings assuming you can fit an above-average 7 gallons of gas in your tank (since you had 3 pips left).
    Gas savings per gallon from BJ and the cheapest street price: 3 cents.
    total tank savings: 21 cents.

    difference between staying at the station and moving to another cheap one = 3 cents cheaper.

    Fine and dandy in a prius, but its usually not worth it in a normal car.

    Prius wins this round... by 3 cents... IF you were searching for a gas station, but in this case, since the station is on the way to your house, you saved 21 cents.

    I have to note... I'm not sure if BJ's lists the "member price" or the regular price... the member price after you scan your card may be even cheaper....
     
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Your math is okay, but your premise is incorrect. She stopped at another station on the way home, so no extra driving was required.

    Tom
     
  5. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    ah yes... Northern Michigan economics... know it well, had relatives in Interlochen so very familiar with the area...

    think about the prices WE pay when you are buying fruit this summer...especially cherries... that should make you feel a little better (ps... although i live in a farming state, they run around $3.00 a POUND here
     
  6. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog C'Mere Sheepie!

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    I usually put some gas in at a couple of pips. But every day I wait it seems to go up another few cents so I filled yesterday even at half tank almost.

    So Im filling and a man walks up to me to ask about the car. He is polite and asks about the batteries, the explosion thing, and electrocution hazard stuff the idots talk about. I explain it all kindly and he asks my real mileage.

    I tell him the odometer has 300 miles. and let him look at the pump when I clicked off the second time: 5.5 gallons. Thats around 54mpg.


    Right then a light visibly went off on his face. He got it. or at least part of it. I told him about the almost zero emissions and the low carbon footprint and the low maintenance needs.


    He went away a convert I think! at least he know understands why I would buy such a vehicle. Thats the battle- one person at a time.
     
  7. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    Been there, Done that! I grew up in Lansing, MI. 1946-1985. Been to Traverse area many times. Still get up to Boyne City to visit family. (summers only <grin>)

    Here in Florida I live about 40 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, a MAJOR port. In this area we have the highest gas prices in the state, most of the time. Go figure!

    NOW DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THIS FREE MARKET AND GAS PRICES. THEY WILL SHUT ME OUT OF THE FORUM FOR PLUGGING UP THEIR CPU CAPACITY.

    Bob
     
  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Looks like I may have hit a nerve. ;)

    Tom
     
  9. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    Please, not that I don't love the ladies but she is a he. <SMILE>

    Bob
     
  10. xsmatt81

    xsmatt81 non-AARP Member

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    funny to watch rush hour gas lines. There is a AM/PM citco? and a chevron across the street near my home. Normally AM/PM is about 6 cent's cheaper..every time I drive by it's packed, while the chevron is empty, except for anyone filling diesel, which the AMPM doesnt pump out. crazy

    can't imagine the chaos when and if it hits 5 bucks a gallon
     
  11. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    The price quoted was the member price. The other point was that the price at the Shell station was the SAME as BJs. And since it was on the way home the only extra cost I incurred was a drive around the pumps at BJs to get back on the street. I did get lucky finding that station since all the rest I saw, while running around, were higher.

    Is this a great country or what?

    Bob
     
  12. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    i think gas price fluctuation is a lot worse during hunting season... i remember when i was a kid, gas was 50 cents a gallon and price used to jump 5-10 cents per gallon just in time for the hunters to hit town... because of distances, you could not make it without getting gas to get home...

    know many many penny pinchers who would study the map to see where the last cheap station was (quite far actually, usually as far as grand rapids area) or how many 5 gallon gas cans they needed to make it...
     
  13. Cliff Archie

    Cliff Archie New Member

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    i live in upstate SC but work in Charlotte, NC...my commute to work is about 32 miles one way...SC has the lowest gas prices in the US due to low taxes...there can be $.20 - .30 per gallon difference between the gas prices in NC and SC....everyday i go by a few gas stations that are just across the NC/SC border on the SC side..they stations stay extremely busy with NC drivers waiting in line to take advantage of the lower SC gas prices....today i filled up and the price was $3.36 /gal but it can be found cheaper in other parts of SC...
     
  14. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    My favorite is all the people who wait in line at their favorite discount gas retailer (the prevalent one here in California is Costco) with their engine running.

    So they'll go through all the effort of waiting 5-15 minutes to fill up with the cheapest gas in the area, but then leave the engine running the whole time so they don't have to bother stop/starting the engine and leave their precious A/C on (even when it's not hot out!).

    Seriously - probably less than a quarter of the people waiting in line bother to turn off their engine while waiting - just another reason why auto stop/start / anti-idling technology aka mild hybrids should be mandated.

    I wonder how much fuel is wasted by people sitting idling in their cars when they could be off...
     
  15. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Probably wishful thinking on my part. :D

    Tom
     
  16. rsforkner

    rsforkner Member

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    OK, now you've done it! Remember ECON 101 - Free market, Supply and demand and all that junk?

    It's all gone! On one end of the pipe we have a cartel that is arbitrarily controlling supply by setting production quotas. On the other end of the pipe you have the big oil refineries. Earlier this year, in the US, there was a 10% drop in demand, for whatever reason. All of the US refineries cut production by 10% thus, once again setting an artificial supply with the end result that the price stayed about the same, for a while.

    I am so tired of the "experts" on TV telling me about growing demand in China causing the problem. That may be true, but with supplies being manipulated all along the way there is no such thing as a "Free Market". IT IS ALL ABOUT GREED AND MONEY! (Wait, is that redundant?)

    The fact of the matter is that we will soon be paying $5.00 (or more) per gallon regardless of supply or demand.

    And that folks, is my $0.02 worth. (or should I say $2.00 worth)

    Bob
     
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