10 Reasons to Stop Buying Gas Station Food


You have a craving for a breakfast burrito and your local gas station sits just a half-block away. Should you turn your wheel and head over?


Gas station food is often loaded with calories and fat. The prices aren't as cheap as you think. And that gas station convenience store might not be the cleanest place in town. Not convinced? Then check out these 10 reasons why buying food or drinks at your local gas station's convenience store is a big mistake.

1. You're Wasting Money That You're Saving at the Pump

Gas prices are falling. On May 4, a gallon of regular gas cost an average of $2.62 around the country, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report. That's down from an average of $3.67 a gallon during the first week of May last year. Don't waste the money you're not pumping into your car. Skip the snacks and drive away.

2. We're Already Spending Too Much Inside Gas Stations

According to Convenience Store News, "C-stores" recently enjoyed record in-store sales — sales of items other than gas, basically. In 2014, in-store sales hit $214.9 billion. Think of how much you spent last year inside your local gas station. Now think of what else you could have done with that money.

3. You'll Start Your Day Off on the Wrong Foot

Say you should only consume from 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day. If you start your day with a chicken and cheese biscuit at your local Speedway, you'll consume 500 calories — and 29 grams of fat — for breakfast. If you opt for the sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, and cheese croissant, you'll scarf down 590 calories and 39 grams of fat. And it's all downhill from there.

4. What You Think Is Healthy Might Not Be

You'd think a wrap would be a healthier alternative to a hamburger or hotdog, but this isn't always the case. The chicken pepper jack wrap offered by FiveStar gas stations, for example, contains 764 calories and 37 grams of fat.

5. Getting Creative Can Get You in Trouble

The Sheetz gas station chain offers what it calls a walking taco — basically a taco in a bag that's easy to eat when you're, well, walking around. You can build your own walking taco at Sheetz, and that's where you can get into trouble. If you're adventurous enough to build a walking taco that includes Doritos, grilled chicken strips, Mexican black beans and rice, and something called boom-boom sauce, you will have created a treat with 760 calories and 38 grams of fat.

6. Coffee Will Kill You

Coffee drinks can be especially hard on your waistline at your local gas station. A medium mocha drink at Sheetz with 2% reduced-fat milk and chocolate mocha sauce clocks in at 660 calories and eight grams of fat. That's a lot of calories to drink.

7. Even Non-Coffee Drinks Can Hurt

A 22-ounce Coca-Cola Classic fountain drink at Speedway comes with 183 calories. That might not seem like a lot, but drink three of these — which isn't an unusually high number for many — and you've consumed 549 calories. That's about one third of the 1,800 calories that many people aim for, and those calories don't include a bite of real food.

The Slurpee offered by 7-11 comes with about 99 calories for a 12-ounce serving. That might not seem like a lot, either, but Calorie King says that you'd have to walk for 27 minutes or jog for 11 to burn off those 99 calories. And, again, you're not really eating any food for those calories.

8. Gas Station Food Isn't Always That Cheap

You might think you're spending pocket change at the gas station. But consider this example: You can buy a 20-ounce plastic bottle of Diet Pepsi at your local gas station convenience store for as high as $1.89 a bottle. Why not just buy a two-liter bottle of diet pop instead? You can find generic two-liter bottles for as low as 79 cents at some chain grocery stores. (And don't complain about the taste: Close your eyes and you can barely tell the difference between generic diet pop and the big two.)

9. You Don't Know How Long Food Has Been Sitting Out

Ever picked up a candy bar at your local gas station only to find dust on the package? Who knows how long that treat has been sitting on the shelf waiting for someone like you to pick it up? It's true, too, that you don't know how long your food has been sitting around before you order it at a typical fast-food or fast-casual restaurant. The same holds true at your local grocery store. But when there's dust on your Snickers bar? It's time to move on.

10. Gas Stations Aren't Always Clean

Many gas station owners keep their convenience stores clean. Many others, though, do not. Check out the bathroom; if you don't want to be in there, you probably don't want to buy anything to eat from the rest of the store, either. If the inside of the bathroom is gross, it's a safe bet that the inside of the Slurpee machine is gross, too.

Do you splurge on gas station and convenience store snacks? What's your favorite?

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Guest's picture

So expensive and so unhealthy!

Guest's picture

90% of items at the market and 100% at the gas station market are unhealthy. Most things at the market at bottled, wrapped, or bagged. This means is processed and bad. Markets are experts are selling sweets, and only a small percent of the food are acceptable like fruits, water, seafood. Not much can be done to alter these, perhaps rice, beans and other seeds are acceptable. The closest to healthy food is own grown or by living off a farm. It's disgusting the industry force us to eat poison, government don't help much.