Comparison of Cost of Fuel vs. Other Items We Buy

May 13, 2008 8:35:00 PM PDT
What we pay for our fuel directly affects what we pay for our food - because of production costs. And it's interesting to break down products into cost-per-gallon.Fuel seems like a bargain when you compare it to a gallon of coffee at Starbucks, which sets you back 32-dollars.

Diane Dyer of Fresno said "Yeah and I probably would still buy the Starbucks coffee. Not ready to give it up? No never."

Shoppers have noticed a gallon of milk costs just as much as a gallon of gas. A gallon of beer would cost about eleven-dollars.

Local economist Henry Nishimoto said "I think if you put it in that perspective it might give them a different feel for what their budget should be going to. It might change their priorities Nishimoto said food productivity normally out-paces demand in the U.S. "But that's turning around and so now we're seeing a reflection of both commodities rising together. That doesn't bode well for the consumers." Or for merchants who are paying more for items that don't sell like they used to. Fresno store owner Billy Ghuman said "Everything is slow. You have to look at what you can buy cheaper and try to make some money."

More and more of its going into the gas tank. Regular unleaded in California hit the two-dollar mark in March of 2003. It reached three-dollars in September of 2005 and this week the average price hovers just below four-dollars a gallon.

Nishimoto said "Every time there is a feeling of resignation." For someone making minimum wage - 8 bucks an hour, 320-dollars a week, a 15-gallon fillup would cost $58.65 or 18-percent of their weekly pay before taxes. Experts say we should be prepared to pay four-fifty a gallon during the busy summer months.


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