Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids
One day at lunch my coworkers complained about how expensive gasoline is right now, and I asked one of them if he knew that one gallon of milk is more expensive than a gallon of gas. He looked at me blankly and said, "really?" Then another coworker who used to live in London chimed in and said, "yeah Americans have the cheapest petro I have ever seen. In London it is probably about $8 a gallon."
After this conversation I set out to find out how cheap gas really is compared to other liquids I have used and consumed. I went around my house and office and made a list of common fluid substances and here are the results:
rowhead Bottled Water
These prices were taken from the local Safeway and the cheapest gas station down the street. Since I live in San Mateo, California these prices are a bit above the national average. The way I calculated the prices of things that are not sold in gallons is to take the price per ounce and multiply it by 128 since there are 128 fluid ounces in a gallon. This table shows that gasoline is one of the cheapest liquid products we buy.
This is quite puzzling to me because we require a lot less Krazy Glue than gasoline on a daily basis, and yet gasoline is several magnitudes cheaper than glue. However, because we consume so much gasoline we feel the pinch more on a day to day basis and we complain about it. The price of petroleum also contributes to higher grocery prices because everything needs to be transported around the country. Nevertheless, gasoline is ridiculously cheap in America, and perhaps that is why we do not have very good public transit systems compared to Europe.
Another thing I noticed is how expensive sodas and other packaged drinks are. I do get most of my drinks free at work , but the most frugal thing to do is to just drink tap and save the money for gas! Anyway, I challenge you to make a comparison chart of your own, and then you may not feel so bad about the price of gasoline.
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