I drove by the corner gas station today, as I do everyday on my way home from work, and I couldn’t help but notice that the price of gasoline rose another few cents over the weekend. This time the sign was unapologetically advertising a price of $4.179 per gallon.
You know, I hate that sign. Some days I feel like it is taunting me — especially the ones when I have no choice but to pull into the station and fill ‘er up.
“I’ve read your blog, Penzo,” that dumb old sign will say. “You and I both know shopping for low gas prices is a losing proposition, so suck it up and pay the piper.”
The fact that I own a Honda Civic that averages about 35 miles per gallon doesn’t make it any less painful; I still end up dropping more than $30 each time I fill up the tank.
Anyway, when I got home I had to share the latest gas price news with the Honeybee, who happened to be curled up on the couch with a good book (so I’m told). “Can you believe it? Gas is up to $4.17!” I said, not even bothering to say hello.
“That’s three cents more than Friday!” she replied, also not bothering to say hello. With that the Honeybee promptly took a sip from one of her favorite drinks — a foo foo iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks. Then she said, “You know, gas prices are just outrageous right now!”
She was right. But as I watched her take another swig of her drink, it dawned on me that gasoline really ain’t such a bad deal when compared to those expensive beverages from the Starbucks menu — or a lot of other everyday products for that matter. Consider that the 24-ounce caramel macchiato in her hand cost $4.65; if Starbucks priced them like Exxon prices gasoline, that drink would cost $24.799 per gallon.
And we’re complaining about the price of a gallon of gas?
There are plenty of other examples, of course. Here are just a few based upon a quick price survey I recently conducted:
|Item||Container Size||Price Per Container
||Price If Sold by Exxon (Cost Per Gallon)|
|Coke (12-pack)||144 oz.||$5.10||$4.529|
|Coke (vending machine)||20 oz.||$1.35||$8.639|
|Welch’s grape juice (2-pack)||92 oz.||$7.18||$9.989|
|Coffee-Mate creamer||32 oz.||$4.69||$18.759|
|Kikkoman soy sauce||64 oz.||$11.84||$23.679|
|Red Bull||8.3 oz.||$1.99||$30.689|
|Simply Saline saline solution||12 oz.||$5.94||$63.359|
|Jack Daniel’s whiskey||59.17 oz.||$31.98||$69.179|
|Tabasco Brand pepper sauce||5 oz.||$3.99||$102.139|
So, as you can see, when put in perspective, gasoline prices really are a bargain when compared to a lot of other everyday products on a per-gallon basis — especially when you realize what you get for the money.
After all, consider what a gallon of gas buys you. Depending on the type of car you drive, that gallon of gas provides the energy required to quickly transport you, your vehicle, and a load of passengers perhaps as far as 40 miles down the road. Not bad, considering what a taxi would charge for the same trip — or the length of time and inconvenience associated with public transportation.
Think about that the next time you feel like paying the equivalent of $25 per gallon for one of those foo foo drinks from Starbucks, or a can of Red Bull at $30 per gallon. Now that’s outrageous.
Photo Credit: AgentAkit