I have been to CostCo for gas and other things coast to coast. One of the things I always enjoyed was the exclusivity of going there; quite simply put, I paid to be a member, so I paid for the enjoyment of the discount. Sounds smug right; good it is supposed to.
Apparently the legislature in New Jersey does not think along the same lines. The discount clubs in this particular state are not permitted by law, to discount gasoline to members only, despite the fact that you are paying for that privilege. The gasoline must be sold to everyone at the same price, regardless of membership status.
A recent trip down Rt70 in Brick Township showed a small mob at the local CostCo. Regular gas was selling for $3.62 per gallon. Holy vapors Batman, we better get on line before it's gone!
You have to keep in mind that gas was selling down the road about a mile, in both directions, for $3.71 per gallon. A whopping 9 cents a gallon difference. One dollar and thirty-five cents on an average 15 gallon fill.
Now, you may say, why did I pick 15 gallons as the average. I was curious and decided to ask the gas jockey. Yes, in New Jersey (Oregon also) citizens are thought of as being too stupid to fill up their own tank. But I digress. The gas jockey says a great majority of the people filling up here, are waiting ten to fifteen minutes to gas up depending on the size of the line (that is queue for you Brits). Once at the pump the average sale is about 15 gallons of gas.
Okay... here's the bottom line of the story. You go to this CostCo gas station because you think you are saving money. You pull in and wait the 10-15 minutes. Waiting with the engine running and the air conditioning on, burns approximately 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of gas depending on the gas guzzler you own. At the $3.62 per gasllon you are about to spend, you just spent approximately $1.80 waiting to buy the gas. You could have driven, or maybe it was on the way, to the other station and paid the $3.71 a gallon.