Pounds, Gallons, and a 75% Rip Off

July 31, 2013 Wednesday

While making breakfast this morning, we ran out of propane. (Fortunately, the water was hot enough to go ahead and finish making coffee!) So, the first order of the day was to find a place to get propane. iPhone to the rescue. Choice #1: a U-Haul place about 19 minutes away. I asked what the price would be to fill an empty 20-lb tank, and the girl said it was $3.39 per gallon. Hmm. I asked her what that would come to, and she said, “Whatever it would be for 20 gallons at $3.39 per gallon.” Double hmm. I told her that a gallon of propane doesn’t weigh a pound, and asked her how many pounds a gallon does weigh. She, of course, didn’t know and went off to ask someone. So – my question to you is – how much would it cost me to fill my 20-lb tank at the U-Haul place. Figure it out while she’s going to ask someone. A second choice was to contact the RV-dealership that we want to visit and ask them if they sell propane. They don’t, but they gave me the name of a neighboring campground who does. So I called the campground; their price was $16 for a fill-up of an empty tank. The price seemed about right, but they’re 25 minutes away. But, we could kill two birds with one stone: get the propane and look at a trailer we’re interested in. But – E isn’t ready to go. She’s going to take a shower. If I go get the propane alone, it doesn’t make much sense to go look at the trailer without her. Then I found option #3: a Walgreen’s 11 minutes away that has propane exchanges. The exchange price for an empty 20-lb tank is $19.99. That seemed reasonable, and not outrageously priced, so I decided to go there. Now here’s the rub. When I completed the sale and was picking up the tank, I noticed that the sign on the side of the cage said that there was 15 lb net weight of propane. In other words, they weren’t selling full tanks! Grrr. I decided it was too late to change things now, so I went ahead and took it. So here’s my question for the day: How much did I pay for the propane, in a comparative sense? In other words, how much too much did I pay?

So what did I learn? What should I have learned? Let’s see if anyone who reads this stuff wants to comment.

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