Monday, June 9, 2008

The Price of French Essence

I spent an insane amount for Essence in France on our trip. No, I'm not talking about the newest fragrance at Sephora, or the hottest brand of hair product. Essence does sound chic, especially in French, doesn't it? But for those who don't speak French or who haven't been to France, the price of Essence is the The Hot Topic today in America. Essence is the French word for something very exotic...uh....gasoline or petrol would be the appropriate words in English.

Yesterday I got a real bargain, I paid $4.21 for a gallon. Asking for $30 worth used to fill my tank "back in the day". Not yesterday. It took about 12.5 seconds to get that much petrol. The good news is my wait in the gas line has been cut down drastically.

But seriously, Hubby and I decided a long time ago that we will not complain about our gas prices, because they could be worse. They could be FRENCH. When we were in the Toulouse area in March/April of this year, it was $7.50 a gallon. The very best deal we got in France was 1.19 Euros/liter for gazole (diesel--unlike here, diesel is cheaper in Europe). It is now 1.49 euros/liter at the same pump as of a week ago (my friend gives me updates). That works out to about NINE DOLLARS A GALLON!

So I will not complain about the price of our gas for another four dollars per gallon increase. If I do forget my vow and I start to curse the final answer on the pump at my next fill-er-up, I will leave and promptly drive home and find my credit card statements for March/April '08, and I will look at all the $12o-ish charges that filled up our tiny Ford tank.

At least the bread and wine were cheap.


our juicy life said...

We don't complain either. Here is LA it's about $4.55 a gallon. We have just decided that we will put $30.00 in our car on Monday and that's it for the week. If we run a bit too many errands then we'll be out sooner and if that happens - oh well....we just have to bike it. It's worked out great, we bike to work and only drive when we HAVE to. There are actually come weeks where we end with gas in the tank.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Juicy: Oh how I envy you right now. You must have some weather to bike in. Our weather is nasty and depressing at the moment. Ok, well, yesterday was gorgeous, but that was a fluke apparently ;)

b said...

Yeah, I'm trying not to feel too overwhelmed by gas prices but it is difficult. Never before have I really felt so aware of how much gas I use, in an effort to avoid hearing the gas station attendant inform me that my fill was $50 for a compact car!! Perhaps the awareness is a good thing. But really, it is challenging, especially with my upcoming road trip. But you are right, people adjust. It will be hardest for people in the suburbs, I imagine.

Thankfully, I will not be driving while in France in July. And yes, bread and wine is cheaper and more enjoyable than driving! :)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

B: I just heard a statement on the news that reminded me of your comment. Basically the idea was that the suburbs were built on the basis of $1/gallon gas. I never thought about that before, and it makes sense.
Yes, not to make light of our plight over here by my post, but I'm taking the "glass if half full" ("at least we're not paying European prices") approach :)
It doesn't work too well though at the pump, or when making a budget. Hopefully my post didn't come across as not affecting me in the wallet, cuz it definitelysdoes. That much less money for travel, coffee or clothing...***sniff***
Thankfully you won't be driving in Paris. Not only the cost, but the stress as well. Paris is scary to drive in!

Lavender Honey said...

Our gas bill amounts to €70 a week. I don't even want to think about it anymore.

b said...

Yeah, the American suburbs exist because of the mobility of cars and reasonable gas prices. I think it will hit those familes the hardet. Of course, I hate the suburbs and refuse to live there and I have no children, so this does not affect me as much.

No, relatively speaking, we don't have it as bad as they do in Europe. But I am so with you... this is by no means just a few dollars here and there. It really is impacting me, more than I want to admit. I hate thinking about money but the extra cost of gas is impossible to brush off. Ugh. :(

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Lavender: OUCH. 70 euros. That hurts. I won't bring it up again. ;)

La Belette Rouge said...

We aren't complaining because we have a Prius. We feel a sense of smug pride when we pull inti the gas station knowing we won't have to come back for a month. Love-love-love our Prius!!!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Samos Sis: A MONTH?! Did you say A MONTH? Hmmmmm....we ARE in the market for a commuter car for Thanks for telling me. How many miles to the gallon?

La Belette Rouge said...

Corfu Cousin: 47 miles to the gallon and we got that going 95 to Houston. It is a great car! I cannot reccomend it enough.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ever since the prices started climbing, I've thought so much about my friends back in France. When we lived there (1999-2003) the price was about what it is now here in the US. We complained at first but got used to it, and started to think more about our driving. But now I'm sure they must really feel the squeeze, though, as you say, they generally drive much less than we do. I try to tell my American friends that, but then they give me the look they always give me when I go on about France. Yeah yeah yeah, yada yada yada.

Great post!
I really enjoyed my visit to your blog! I'll be back!