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Gas Prices, Plus Some Experiment Results

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gas Prices, Plus Some Experiment Results

Hi!

Today I finally got up the nerve to submit a local gas price to the Raleigh Gas Prices website. I figured I've been using the site so much, and the station right outside of my neighborhood's entrance (it has a single entry/exit, more on that for another posting) is hideously expensive, I thought I'd get an account and start reporting what I see.

For those geography geeks, here is a cool map of gas prices across the U.S. Note the local minimum in South Carolina -- I make a point of filling up in McColl, SC, where I usually cross the state line when driving down to Shaw AFB for drill. Further down on the page is a map of North Carolina, but you can enter any city/state or zip code and look at more localized price information.

"So how did you do on your grand experiment?"

Yes, I was just getting to that...

In case you were wondering, here's a description of the experiment. Unfortunately, Dave and I took a temporary hiatus from the single-vehicle experiment during my drill last weekend, plus this week we had several occasions to use separate vehicles. I'd like to return to the schedule next week, but we'll see. I will be watching a friends' kids on Wednesday, so I'd definitely need the van to fit 4 little boys in their booster seats!

We were able to drive the van a limited amount on ONE tank of gas from March 8th through April 1st. The Prius cost us $25-30 to fill up about every 6 days. So we used about 4 tanks of gas in the Prius. Typically we spend $250-275 per month on gas, in the time period in question, we were able to spend only about $150 for gas. A nice cost savings, I must say! We put about 1000 miles on the Prius in that time frame. That took into account a round trip to Pope AFB (120 miles total) and one round trip to Dalzell, SC, about 400 miles total.

Overall, it was a cool thing to try out for a solid month, but in practice, we simply live too far away for it to work while we're still in NC. Maybe it can become our lifestyle in NE this fall, we'll see. The Prius was getting about 18 extra miles on it daily since it had to make two trips to campus instead of just the one, and the time the boys and I had to take every evening to pick up Dave could be better spent than sitting in the car.

But - if gas prices continue to climb, this is something I'm willing to make the time for 2-3 times per week, provided Dave isn't driving anywhere during the day.

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