Getting Gassed at the Pumps

oregon-woman-pump-gasHas anyone figured out the method to the madness of gas pricing across the Province of Ontario? It surely doesn’t have much to do with the price of a barrel of oil anymore. I used to think greedy petroleum companies jacked their prices up on the weekends and then slowly lowered them during the week, but there seems to be no master plan.

Driving through the eastern states and provinces this summer I noticed fairly consistent prices in each area. In Ontario prices can vary up to fifteen cents a liter between Windsor and Toronto. Where we used to hate having to gas up on the 401, now the prices along the route can be cheaper than in the city.

Personally, I tend to gas up at a nearby Shell station for the sake of the convenience, collection of air miles, and a good car wash. Being retired and not having to drive much means I only have to fill up every couple of weeks. Trying to pick a cheap day to fill up is like trying to buy a winning lottery ticket.

Why is it prices are allowed to either jump or drop up to fifteen cents a liter in one day? That would never happen in the U.S. where gas sells by the gallon. Could you imagine the blow back if gas prices jumped a buck a gallon? Please don’t worry, our government says there’s no collusion between oil companies. They promise.

maxresdefaultWith increases in bridge and tunnel tolls, and long waits to clear U.S. customs, we all know how much of a pain in the ass it is to cross the border just to fill up. Cathryn uses the “GasBuddy” app on her phone which shows gas prices in your area. Everyone knows Costco is usually the cheapest, if you don’t mind the wait in line or jockeying for position.

After making a couple trips up north this summer I was pleasantly surprised to find consistently cheap gas right here in Ontario, where the government has no control over the pricing. Look to your nearest First Nations Reserve for prices that are always ten to fifteen cents per liter cheaper than anywhere else. For smokers the stop is a double bonus.

I think it’s ingenious how aboriginals have reclaimed their land and then found ways to make money off us for using the natural resources we pump out of that same land. I also like how they thumb their noses at the government and share their tax-free status with us by selling cheap gas and smokes.

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