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Gas prices in the United States are soaring amid rising demand, a slow ramp-up of production and sanctions against Russia. As a result, AAA’s national average gas price is $4.176 as of April 5. Compare that to the average of $2,873 just a year ago, and it’s easy to see why so many household budgets are feeling stretched right now.
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Some families drive more than others, and if you have a long drive to the grocery store, rising gas prices could make your daily groceries much more expensive. Additionally, many grocery items also increased significantly, leading to a chain reaction of additional spending.
In this article, we look at how soaring gas prices can affect your wallet based on how far you travel to and from the grocery store: 5 miles, 10 miles, or 15 miles. We assume you take one of these trips per week and the typical gas mileage is 25 miles per gallon in each scenario. Let’s look at the gas numbers.
5 mile trip
Driving a total of 5 miles to the grocery store isn’t much, but with today’s gas prices, it can still add up. Using this fuel cost calculator, here’s what we come up with:
A 5 mile trip per week will incur a gas charge of $0.84 with current prices. Compare that to $0.57 with last year’s prices.
If you make four trips a month to the grocery store, that means 20 miles of driving. The average cost will be around $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’ll drive 260 miles to and from the grocery store each year. All of those 5-mile rides will cost you an average of $43.43 per year with current prices; last year, that cost would have been just $29.88.
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10 mile journey
Driving twice as far to the grocery store means your gas expenses will double. This is where gas costs start to add up, even when you’re heading to the grocery store.
If you take a 10-mile trip every week to get groceries, you should add about $1.67 to your grocery budget for gas costs, based on current prices. The comparable price last year was $1.15.
Making 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 cost of $4.60 a year ago.
If we assume 52 trips to the grocery store for the year traveling 10 miles, you travel 520 miles to and from the grocery store each year. This translates to current fuel costs of $86.86 per year, on average. Compare that to $59.76 using last year’s prices.
15 mile trip
With a 15 mile round trip to the grocery store, you’ll start to see significant fuel costs, especially with today’s higher gas prices.
Using today’s average gas price and taking a 15 mile trip to the grocery store a week? This means land 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 each month means spending an average of $10.02 on fuel. Last year the cost would have been only $6.90.
Finally, with 52 of those 15-mile trips to the grocery store a year, you’re running 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 only $89.64.
Keep in mind that in all of these scenarios, we’ve assumed that you only make one weekly trip to the grocery store. We know that for many households food shopping is much more frequent in any given week, so you’ll need to multiply the gas costs above by the total weekly trips you make to get a more accurate number. . In general, however, it is much more than last year.
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