Thursday, April 17, 2008

No More Costco Gas... Probably

Well, Yesterday I cancelled our family membership to our local Costco,
almost entirely because of their new milk jugs. The new rectangular
jugs are quite unfriendly to the casual user, and although they save
Costco ten cents per gallon, they cause about a dollar worth of
aggravation. One should not have to live with drippy, hard to pour milk
containers.

So I got $100 cash back from Costco as my membership refund, promised
I'd come back when they go back to the better milk jugs, and took that
cash across the street to BJ's Wholesale club.

BJ's does not sell gasoline, but the membership was $20 less for the
otherwise same benefits. Costco gas is about 5 cents less than the
Fas-Mart nearby, so it will take about 400 gallons of gas to cost me
that extra $20 it costs to be a member of Costco. That is about a
year's worth of gas for the Mighty Corolla.

But the happiness of not buying those awful square milk jugs is totally
worth more.

Also, BJ's will reimburse me 2% of the amount I charge there on my
credit card (Costco did this as well). In addition, I can use my Disney
Visa card, which gives me 1% of all purchases towards Disney-related
stuff. So in a way, this BJ's membership will help me out more than
Costco did.

I will now likely be buying gas from a variety of different sources. I
hope to find a regular gas station that does not have a 15%-ethanol
mixture, to see if my mileage increases like everyone says it should.

I am getting near the end of my final Costco gas tank, that also has one
ounce of Acetone in it, so the next several tanks ought to be
interesting.

The green minivan also is working through its tank that has two ounces
of acetone in it, and so far, the trip computer indicates no real change
in fuel economy. But to its defense, I think the prior tank had one
highway trip on it that bumped the fuel economy higher than it
ordinarily would have been.

One loose end that I will test soon is that my friendly coworker has had
a lapsed Costco membership for a long time, but she reports still being
able to buy gas from Costco. I'll probably test that at some point.
That would be kind of nice, since Costco gas is still less than most
other places. But if there's a competitor that does not have the 15%
ethanol mix that Costco has, and my fuel economy is better on a 100% gas
tank, then a competitor would still be better.

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