buying propane, part 2

I wrote back in April that after we bought our gas grill we had to decide how we would buy our propane: own the tank and get it refilled or use the swap method. I didn’t even know the first was an option until my brother told me about it. None of our neighbors in Gilroy did that. As I wrote at the time, we decided to buy our own tank.

I knew we were saving money in the long haul, but I didn’t stop to calculate how much money we were actually saving. Then the other day I happened to look at the sign on the propane enclosure at Smart & Final, where I go every week, though the sign had never registered with me before. No exchange: $49.99. Tank exchange: $19.99.

The first tank we bought was $39.99 at our local mom and pop Trailer Supply store. It was just over $10 to fill the tank given the price of propane at the time. Even money the first time out and $10 ahead of the game every tank refill after that. Recently I bought a second tank. I didn’t want to run out of propane in the middle of fixing dinner – something that has happened to me. I bought it at the national chain Tractor Supply for $29.95 and took it to Trailer Supply to get it filled, where at the then current price of propane it cost me just under $10.00. That’s $10 ahead of the game from the outset, and ten dollars ahead for every refill.

Greater savings than I had thought. A pretty good deal.

Blue Rhino propane



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