mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

gas lines...

People have responded to rising gas prices in a number of ways. Some people are trying to trade in their SUV's, but finding that dealers don't want them. People are carpooling, driving less, buying more efficient cars.

And how has madanthony been responding? I've been buying gas at stations that charge more than where I usually go.

Here's the deal. I have a membership card to BJ's, an east-coast warehouse club, which I got a discount on through a promo with my credit union. I seldom shop there, because I'm a single guy and it takes me forever to work my way through most of their giant-sized packages, because I don't really like shopping in a warehouse, and because they don't carry a lot of the flavors or varieties of some of the products that I like. But I do usually get gas there - it's usually about 10 cents cheaper than anywhere else, and I figure that makes up the cost of my membership fees. Plus, it's practically on my way back from work/the gym - I've got to go a little out of my way, but it's right off the road I take home.

Despite the huge number of pumps they have, there usually is a bit of a line to get gas - you are usually a couple cars back. Not recently, though. The last couple times I've gone there, the line has been wrapped around the pumps and through the parking lot. I'm talking 10 or 15 minute waits to get gas. The first time - I think on a Sunday afternoon - I put up with it. The second time - a Wednesday night, around 6:30 or so - I didn't, because I had bar trivia that night. Since then, I've gotten gas at regular gas stations and haven't been back.

It's possible that the lines are an anomaly, although the times are pretty close to when I normally go and I haven't run into them before. I'm not sure if higher gas prices have inspired people to look more for cheaper gas or what. I'll probably go back again and see if it's still stupidly long lines, but if it is I can't see going there for gas.

It's not so much the time factor - unless I'm giving up overtime to do something, I generally consider my time worthless - if nobody is willing to pay me for it, I'm willing to get paid for it by saving money. But my thought is that the extra gas that I'm using to drive to BJ's instead of stopping at a station that's directly on my route, plus the gas I waste in line while my engine is idling probably outweighs at least part of my savings.

Of course, the main reason I kept my membership was for the gas savings, but that's a sunk cost whether I use it or not. And I still do try to find the cheapest gas stations (and always feel like I've stuck it to the man if I buy gas right before a station raises it's prices a few cents a gallon).

And as far as that article about SUV's that I posted at the top, in a sick way I'm kind of hoping that stays true for the next few years. I've always wanted a stupidly expensive, gratuitously ostentatious luxury SUV - think Escalade, Navigator, Range Rover, or my new favorite odd duck, the Porsche Cayenne. If gas prices stay high and they keep dropping in price, I might be able to pick up a used one cheap in a couple years when I can justify a new vehicle. Sure, it will cost me more to keep it gassed up, but it will be balanced out with the lower acquisition cost. And I'll probably hang onto the Ranger even if I buy an SUV, and it gets decent milage (plus blends in better at Hamfest than a Porsche).


At 10:25 PM, Blogger tralatrala said...

would you seriously buy this hobby SUV if gas prices are $5/$6 a gallon?

you'd invest money in something that will do nothing but devalue faster than a cheezburger, but you think that your decision to buy a house was unwise???

At 11:32 PM, Blogger mad anthony said...

Hey, cheeseburgers might not hold their value, but they are tasty...

It's just a thought, it would be a few years before I would even seriously think about it, and a lot can change in a few years. But if I do, I see it as no different than spending money on a vacation or anything else that is non-permanent but enjoyable.

And it's not so much that I think buying a house was unwise as buying a house when I did (at the exact top of the market), and buying the specific house that I did..


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