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I Went Out Shopping For a Bargain and Came Home With Gas!

Aug 28, 2007
It was Saturday afternoon and time to go grocery shopping. I thought to myself, since I have to go through the drudgery of shopping, maybe I can have some fun by looking for a bargain. Who knows, maybe I'll even find the biggest bargain in the world.

First, I went looking for hamburger meat. I didn't find any bargains there. In fact, the hamburger meat I prefer is $4.50 a pound. That's lean hamburger meat. I've got to watch my cholesterol, you know.

Next, I thought, a can of soup should be pretty cheap. Soup, at least the kind I like, is about $2.50 a can and one-can is 19 ounces. So, that's really not such a bargain, is it?

Then I went down the bread aisle. I didn't think bread could cost too much, but it turns out it is $3.19 a loaf. There's kind of a lot to a loaf. At least, size wise there's more to it than a can of soup, though it doesn't weigh a lot. Let's face it $3.19 is not that much of a bargain.

At this point, I was starting to doubt I'd find a bargain at all. Then again, maybe I could find a bargain for my dog. Here, I figured I was onto something. $2.00 for three cans of dog food. One can is 13.2 ounces. So, that means I'm getting almost 40 ounces for two bucks. That's my best bargain so far!

I needed to go down the detergent aisle to pick up some fabric softener. There wasn't much in the way of bargains there. One small bottle of fabric softener is priced at $6.19! After seeing that, it was time to leave that aisle.

Last on my list was water. Now certainly, it's got to be easy to find a bargain shopping for water! The water I like is 99 cents a bottle. Now that's cheap! Plus, if you buy 12 bottles, instead of 99 cents a bottle its cost is reduced to 79 cents a bottle. There it is! It looked like I found my big bargain with water!

On the way home, I noticed a light flashing on my dashboard. As I looked down, I saw it was coming from the gas gauge. The needle was on E. It seemed like a real good idea to pull into the next gas station, which of course, I did.

I thought to myself "boy, I'm glad I'm still not shopping for bargains because I'm sure not going to find one here!" Looking at the price on the pump verified this fact. $2.89 a gallon, what a rip-off!

As the dollars, I mean the gas, flowed into my tank I wondered; what if everything I just bought was sold in gallons? How would the exorbitant price I'm paying at this gas station compare to those bargains I was finding in the grocery store?

I understand, a pint's a pound the world around. So, what if hamburger meat were sold by the gallon? One pint of lean hamburger meat would be $4.50. Seeing as there is 8 pints in a gallon, a gallon of lean hamburger meat would ring up at the register at $36! I thought, "I sure am glad this Buick doesn't run on hamburger!"

I'm glad it doesn't run on soup, either. Consisting of 19 ounces per can, there are about 6.7 cans to a gallon of soup. So, at $2.50 a can, soup actually goes for $16.75 a gallon.

I don't know about all bread, but the bread I eat comes in 16 ounce loaves and cost $3.19. To convert 16 ounces into 128 ounces, or a gallon, you multiply by 12. So bread costs $25.52 a gallon. Wow! You sure would have to have a lot of bread if your car ran on bread!

Ah yes, but Cosmo (he's my dog) certainly has a bargain. $2.00 for 40 ounces. That means 128 ounces or a gallon of dog food would cost, $6.40. Well, I guess that's more expensive than gas, too.

Let's just forget fabric softener. It costs $6.19 for a size less than a gallon, so that's not a bargain. However, I did find some cheap liquid laundry detergent, on sale, for $2.50. It looks like it is in a gallon jug, but really, the container is 100 ounces. 100 ounces is .78 of a gallon. This means a gallon of detergent, on sale is $3.20. That's the cheapest thing I've found so far, besides gas, I mean.

So I guess it comes down to water. I bought 12 1-liter, or 33.8 ounce bottles of water for 79 cents each. So, I bought 405.6 ounces of water, or 3.17 gallons of water for $9.48. 3.17 gallons of the gas I was pumping at the gas station was: wait! How can this be? $9.16! Gas is cheaper than water!

After bargain hunting all afternoon, the best bargain I could find was gas. Maybe, you could do better. I'm not a very good shopper. However, just remember, to be fair about it, when you shop for the best bargain, you should use all before-tax prices.

With everything I priced, I used before-tax prices. Everything except gas that is. New York Unleaded Gasoline sells on the New York Mercantile Exchange for $1.98. The rest of what you pay on a gallon of gas is taxes. So, it looks like gas is a bigger bargain than it appeared to be at first glance. So much so, it looks like gasoline is the biggest bargain in the world.

So, the only logical thing for us to do is write a letter to Exxon-Mobile or some other oil company. Apologize to them if you thought they were overcharging. Then, thank them for giving us the biggest bargain in the world!
About the Author
Ed Lathrop is a successful Real Estate investor. He has developed EzCalculator, a Mortgage Calculator that calculates anything to do with mortgages, shows you how to pay off credit card debt and now includes a free student loan calculator. This Free Mortgage Calculator, is home to the famous "How to Make $100,000 on Your Mortgage" calculator. Come visit this free site at Mortgage Calculator!
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