Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means…. it’s BBQ time!!! Unfortunately, my BBQ propane tank needed a refill. Of course, most gas stations and Costcos sell propane, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was any difference in price. If so, by how much? Here’s my Costco Propane Cylinder Refill review.
Most people would agree that when it comes to gasoline, Costco is usually the best deal in town. Roughly speaking, I find that Costco usually charges about 5% less than the local average gas price. However, unlike gas prices, propane prices aren’t prominently advertised. Therefore, I thought I’d check in to it, so that you don’t have to! 😉 Note: Prices posted below are at MY local gas station and Costco in early May 2020. Your results may vary.
Propane Cylinder Refill Price Example
As you can see in the photo above, my local gas station charges propane at a $1.10/litre. Consequently, a standard 17.8 litre tank(20 lb. tank) total price comes to $19.58.
At Costco, the price for propane was $.56/litre. Therefore, a standard 17.8 litre tank at Costco comes to $9.96. Essentially half price.
As much as I love BBQ’ing I don’t use a lot of propane. I’d say I go through one tank once or twice a year. However, if I’m able to save 50% or about $10 each time, well… I’ll take it! If you own a Camper or Motorhome with large propane tanks, the savings are even greater. 🙂
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Look again at the Co-op sign. It is charging by the pound, not by the litre. That Co-op has not caught up with measurements being used in Canada. Confusing when they do that. I think most propane filling stations charge by the litre.
So at 1.12 lbs per litre of propane that means the cost per litre of the co-op propane is about $0.98. So Costco is still WAY cheaper.
Yes, I don’t think you can go wrong with Costco’s propane.
Despite Canada being on the metric system, BBQ propane tanks have a Tare Weight generally shown in pounds (approximately 17lbs). The easiest way to see how much propane you have in your tank is to weigh it and subtract 17lbs from the weight and the result is the number of pounds of propane you have left. A tank with a full 20lbs of propane should weigh 37lbs. So for most people showing prices for propane in pounds makes sense because most people don’t know that a liter of propane weights 1.12 pounds so don’t have a clue how many liters their tank will take which makes seeing prices per liter pretty well useless for them.
Replying to myself to add a P.S. What’s further confusing, @Northernscout, it that the Costco pricing sign isn’t even consistent. The upper part gives price/liter while the lower part gives price for filling a 20 pound tank. Consistency would have meant showing that as the price for filling a 17.86 liter tank which likely would have further confused customers who only know they have a 20lb tank. They could perhaps have added 20lb in brackets after the 17.86L. Just sayin’…. 🙂
I use 20 lb tanks for my fire table and patio heater. We used them a lot this year for outdoor COVID gatherings.
Here are some prices at Costco in Markham, ON
From December to March 2021 they were charging $0.67 per litre. Cant recall last summer’s prices, but I have my receipts since December, pretty sure it was around $0.67
Today went to fill 2 tanks and its $0.81 per litre.
The pre-charge varying amounts for the first fill when you buy a tank there.
May 2020 they charged $10.69
Feb 2021 they charged $13.69
March 2021 they charged $14.19
The day they charged me $14.19 for my new tank. I filled a completely empty old tank for $10.32
it was completely empty, and the fill was only 15.6 litres.
Its one of the only places in town that sell propane by the ‘litre’. Our 2nd Costco in the west end of Markham charges a flat rate around $15 (if its empty or half full, doesnt matter.)
note: the Costco price is plus HST. Gas stations might blend it into the price like they do for gas. I dont know just maybe.
Thanks for sharing!