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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Costco Gas: A simple cost-analysis

As I was leaving Costco today, I decided to grab some gas on the way out. It was only $3.11/gallon and I figured I was here and could cross two items off my list with one trip. I drove to the gas pump area and saw 4 lanes with 10 - 15 cars backed up per lane. I didn't need gas that bad and went on my way.

About 30 seconds after I left Costco, I ran across an Arco that was on the same street. They gas at Arco was selling for $3.12/gallon. I had to wait for one car, filled up and went on my way.

I did a little research and found out that it burns up to 1/10th of a gallon of gas to idle for 30 minutes. At $3.11 this is about 31 cents. There is also additional wear and tear on your engine(minimal, but still there), environmental consequences, and aggravation of sitting for 30 minutes. There is also the cost of 30 minutes of your life. What could do you for 30 minutes that would be more beneficial that sucking the SUV fumes of the vehicle ahead of you.

As you proceed throughout your day, don't get caught up in the hype of "Deals!!". Going 5 extra miles to save 10 cents with a coupon is not cost effective or worth the time.

Saving money is critical to long term financial growth, but sometimes that seemingly obvious savings have some "fine print" to think about.

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