Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Britney Spears – "Gasoline" (2011)

My heart only runs on supreme
So hot! Give me your gasoline!

If your car gets by with “regular” 87-octane gasoline, you might as well stop reading today’s 2 or 3 lines right now.

But if your car’s manufacturer recommends 89 or 91 octane gasoline, I’m about to save you some  money.

Before reading any further, I’d recommend you drink a big cup of coffee – otherwise your eyes are going to glaze over quicker than you can say, “Jack Robinson!”

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Whole milk is 4% fat.  Skim milk has zero fat.  

You could get 2% milk by mixing equal parts whole milk and skim milk.  But it’s easier just to buy 2% milk at the grocery store.

What if whole milk was $2.80 a gallon, and skim milk was $2.60 a gallon – but 2% milk was $2.75 a gallon?  If you mixed whole and skim milk yourself, you’d end up with 2% milk that cost only $2.70 a gallon – a nickel less than the store-bought 2% milk.

Would it be worth it to buy both whole and skim milk and mix it yourself just to save a nickel a gallon?  I can’t answer that question for you – I can only answer it for myself.

For me, the answer to that question is HELL, YES!

Not so much because saving a nickel is meaningful, but because I would be proving that I am one smart cookie who has seen through the bullsh*t propagated by the dairy industry and beaten them at their own game.

Get that weak sh*t outta here, dairy industry!

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The same principle applies to gasoline.

My extensive research has revealed that most gas stations have two storage tanks – one that contains the lowest octane gasoline that is offered for sale (usually 87) and one that’s full of the highest octane fuel that’s for sale (usually 93).  If the the station sells an 89-octane midgrade gas – and most stations do – it simply mixes its two parts of 87-octane gas and one part of 93-octane gas.

You can do the same thing yourself.  Let’s say your car’s manufacturer recommends 89-octane fuel, and you need about 15 gallons of gas to fill the tank.  You pump ten gallons of the 87 and then pump five gallons of the 93 – which is essentially the same thing as pumping 15 gallons of the 89-octane midgrade, but a lot less convenient.

So why would you bother doing that instead of just buying the 89-octane juice?

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Have you taken a good look at the prices for the various grades of gasoline sold at your local station?

There’s a Sunoco station near me that sells four grades of gas – 87, 89, 91, and 93.  

The 87-octane regular goes for $2.87 a gallon.  The three higher grades sell for $3.25, $3.35, and $3.45, respectively.

So if you mix your own 91-octane gas by buying equal parts of the 89 and 93, you don’t save a penny – $3.35 is smack dab in the middle of $3.25 and $3.45.

But let’s say that you decide to mix your own 89-octane midgrade by buying equal parts 87 and 91.  If you need 12 gallons to fill your tank, buying six gallons of 87 and six gallons of 91 would cost you $37.32.

Buying 12 gallons of the gas station’s premixed 89-octane gas would cost you $39.00.

So mixing the gas yourself would save you about 4.5% – or $1.68 per 12-gallon purchase.

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The manufacturer of my car recommends 91-octane gas for best performance, but also says that I can safely use 89-octane fuel.  Occasionally, I’ll fill up with 91, but most of the time I stick to 89.

So I should mix 87 and 91 and save 14 cents a gallon rather than buying the premixed 89 – right?

Not so fast, bub!

The two biggest grocery store chains in my area – Safeway and Giant – offer discounts on gasoline to their customers.  For each $100 I spend at Safeway, I get ten cents off the price of each gallon of gas I buy at a Sunoco station.  Giant offers the same discount at Shell stations.

To maximize the value of that discount, you need to fill up only when your tank is almost empty.  That’s because if you spend $100 on groceries and then buy eight gallons of gas, you save 80 cents.  But if you spend $100 on groceries and buy 12 gallons of gas, you save $1.20.

So if you buy 12 gallons of 89-octane gas, you get the full benefit of the discount.  But if you buy six gallons of 87-octane gas and six gallons of 91-octane gas, you only get the ten-cent-per-gallon discount on one of those six-gallon purchases.

Even so, you still come out ahead – it would cost $36.72 for 12 gallons of the mix-it-yourself 89-octane gas vs. $37.80 for 12 gallons of the gas station’s 89-octane fuel.

Of course, if you waited until you had spent $200 at the grocery store before filling your tank, you’d save 20 cents a gallon.  That would lower the price of 12 gallons of out-of-the-pump 89-octane gas to $36.60.  

But 12 gallons of your do-it-yourself 87-octane and 91-octane blend would cost only $36.12.

In other words, you always save money by mixing your own 89-octane fuel.

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But you save EVEN MORE if you make do-it-yourself 89-octane gas by mixing two parts of 87-octane regular with one part of 93-octane premium.

Twelve gallons of that mixture would cost $36.76 – a 6.1% savings over out-of-the-pump midgrade.  (That compares to a 4.5% savings from mixing equal parts 87 and 91.)

This strategy works even better when you can take advantage of the Safeway or Giant discount because you’re able to apply that discount to eight of your 12 gallons instead of only six gallons.  

According to my calculator, a ten-cent-per-gallon grocery store discount on my 87-octane and 93-octane formula would lower my cost to $35.96 for 12 gallons.  

The 20-cents-per-gallon discount would take the price of that twelve gallons down to $35.16.

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Does all this strike you as a tad bit obsessive?

I would say so.  But I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to saving money on gasoline.

In fact, I’ve been known to go to the gas station with my son so I can fill up my car and then fill up his before closing out the transaction – essentially doubling the benefit of my grocery-store discounts.

Keep in mind that gasoline isn’t a big expense for me.  Let’s say I drive my car 12,000 miles a year and get 24 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving – which means I buy 500 gallons of gas a year.  Saving 14 cents a gallon by blending my own 89-octane fuel means that I save $70 in the course of a year.  And if I qualify for the 20-cents-per-gallon grocery-store discount each and every time I fill up, that savings drops to 12 cents a gallon – or $60 annually.

I like saving $60 or $70 as much as the next guy.  But I can easily go through more than that in an hour or two at the local strip club.  So it’s not exactly a meaningful amount of dough.

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I can’t believe that 2 or 3 lines has gone almost nine years without featuring a single song by Britney Spears.  I should be ashamed of myself!

“Gasoline” was released in 2011 on Femme Fatale, which was Britney’s seventh studio album.

Claude Kelly, who co-wrote “Gasoline,” told MTV that he came up with the tune for it while thinking of the hottest scenes in Britney’s previous music videos:

That kind of thing where it's sexy and it’s hot, sweaty and she’s in a club and she sees a guy.  That mysterious, exotic look, that whole imagery and that era where she’s a man-eater and all the girls want to be her and all the guys would kill to be with her. 

Sounds like Claude may have needed to take a cold shower or two before he finished writing “Gasoline”!

Click here to listen to “Gasoline.”

Click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

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