Gas prices in the U.S. are soaring amid a rise in demand, a slow ramp-up in production, and sanctions against Russia. As a result, AAA’s average national gas price is $4.176 as of April 5. Compare that to the $2.873 average just a year ago, and it’s easy to see why so many household budgets are feeling squeezed right now.
Some families drive more than others, and if you have a long trek to the grocery store, higher gas prices could be causing your daily errands to be much more expensive. Plus, many grocery store items have gone up significantly in price as well, leading to a chain reaction of added expenses.
In this article, we take a look at just how much soaring gas prices can affect your wallet depending on how far you drive to the grocery store round trip: 5 miles, 10 miles, or 15 miles. We assume you are making one of these trips per week, and that the typical gas mileage is 25 miles per gallon in each scenario. Let’s crunch the gas numbers.
Driving a total of 5 miles to the grocery store isn’t much, but with the current gas prices, it can still add up. Using this Fuel Cost Calculator, here’s what we come up with:
One 5-mile trip per week will result in $0.84 in gas costs with the current prices. Compare that to $0.57 with last year’s prices.
If you are taking four trips per month to the grocery store, that means 20 miles of driving. The average cost will be about $3.34 per month. With last year’s prices, it would have cost $2.30.
Assuming 52 trips to the grocery store each year, you will be driving 260 miles to and from the grocery store annually. All of these 5-mile trips will cost you an average of $43.43 per year with the current prices; last year, that cost would have been just $29.88.
Driving twice as far to the grocery store means your spending on gas will double. Here’s where gas costs start to add up, even when just running to the grocery store.
If you take one 10-mile trip each week for groceries, you should add about $1.67 to your grocery budget for gas costs, based on the current prices. The comparable price last year was $1.15.
Taking four 10-mile trips to the grocery store every week? Drive 40 miles, and you’ll pay $6.68 in fuel costs. Compare that to the year-ago cost of $4.60.
If we assume 52 trips to the grocery store for the year driving 10 miles, you’re driving 520 miles to and from the grocery store annually. That results in current fuel costs of $86.86 per year, on average. Compare that to $59.76 using last year’s prices.
With a 15-mile round trip to the grocery store, you will start to see some significant fuel costs, especially with today’s higher gas prices.
Using today’s average gas price and taking one 15-mile trip to the grocery store per week? That means field costs of $2.51, on average. The comparable price was $1.72 last year.
Driving 60 miles (four 15-mile trips) to the grocery store every month means spending an average of $10.02 on fuel. Last year, the cost would have been just $6.90.
Lastly, with 52 of those 15-mile trips to the grocery store per year, you’re driving 780 miles. That means spending an average of $130.29 on fuel costs alone with today’s prices. With last year’s gas prices, you would have paid just $89.64.
Keep in mind that in all of these scenarios, we assumed you were only making one weekly trip to the grocery store. We know for many households, food shopping trips are much more frequent during any given week, so you’d have to multiply the above gas costs by the total weekly trips you are making for a more accurate number. In general, though, it’s a lot more than last year.
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