One of the everyday expenses most of us often grumble about is the cost of gas, especially these days.
When gas prices increase — even by a little bit — we get upset. Just imagine if they jumped as much as $5 or $10 per gallon.
However, we often buy things that cost much, much more on a per-gallon basis.
You could be spending hundreds of dollars per gallon and not even thinking about it. The following household items cost $500 per gallon — and usually a whole lot more.
As veteran shoppers know, online prices can vary depending on the day you shop, your location and other factors. All prices in this article were current as of the time of our research.
Also note that we rounded product prices to the nearest dollar before computing the per-gallon cost, which we also rounded off. No matter how you run the math, though, all of the following products easily cost at least $500 a gallon.
1. Nasal allergy spray
Over-the-counter nasal allergy spray can help you get through allergy season with a minimum of misery, but your pocketbook might be less happy.
You’re likely to pay a lot more than $500 per gallon for nasal spray.
Consider this: Amazon sells brand-name Flonase in a two-pack — 1.24 ounces total — for $38. That’s $3,923 per gallon.
Even if you get Amazon’s generic version — yes, Amazon has its own generic brands — a three-pack of Basic Care allergy spray was $28 when we checked. You’re getting a total of 1.86 ounces there, yet you’re still looking at $1,927 per gallon.
2. Foundation makeup
Many people talk about the “pink tax,” and perhaps it is nowhere more obvious than in the cost of some makeup products.
Liquid foundation can be quite pricey when you look at its cost by the gallon.
A bottle of CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless foundation seemed downright cheap when we checked, around $7 on Amazon. However, consider that there is only 1 ounce in that bottle, which brings the per-gallon cost to $896.
But that’s nothing compared with high-end brands. When we looked, Glo Skin Beauty’s Luminous Liquid Foundation SPF 18 cost $60 for a 1-ounce bottle. Buy this, and you’re paying $7,680 per gallon.
3. Essential oils
Essential oils can get pricey.
For example, a 0.5-ounce bottle of doTerra On Guard Protective Blend, which is meant to be consumed, had a retail price of $48 on the day we shopped. That comes to $12,288 per gallon.
Even for a “proprietary blend that supports healthy immune function,” as doTerra describes the product, that’s a hefty price.
It is possible to find less-expensive essential oils. Some brands sell a package of several oils, which could bring down the per-gallon price.
An example is a six-pack of Pure Aroma essential oils meant for external use that includes oils of lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and sweet orange.
The set — containing a total of 2 ounces of oils — sells at Amazon for $10. That’s $640 per gallon despite being a savings over some other essential oils out there.
It’s nice to have soothing eyedrops on hand to help with irritated eyes. However, you might be surprised at how much they cost per gallon.
A 1-ounce bottle of TheraTears lubricating eyedrops — a “value size,” according to the product packaging — was on sale for $12 when we researched this article. That puts the per-gallon cost at $1,536.
5. Personal fragrance
Perfume and cologne are the kind of everyday products whose cost varies dramatically depending on the brand. But regardless of which you choose, you’re likely to pay a fairly high per-gallon cost.
For example, Daisy by Marc Jacobs in a 3.4-ounce spray bottle can cost $76. This comes to $2,861 per gallon.
Equivalent brands and sizes of men’s cologne do tend to cost less, based on our research. But whether you’re buying perfume or cologne, it can be tough to bring the price below $500 a gallon unless you buy an even bigger bottle or settle for a low-end brand or generic brand.
6. Hair serum
If you want to keep frizzy hair under control, you might want to buy some hair serum. A good serum can help you feel better about your coiffure, if not your pocketbook.
A 2.2-ounce bottle of Obliphica Professional’s Seaberry Hair Serum for medium to coarse hair costs $38. Perhaps it’s worth it if the serum, as its Amazon listing says, really “disciplines and smooths the most unmanageable curly, wavy, or straight hair.” Still, you’ll pay dearly — $2,211 per gallon — for it.
As with anything, it’s important to shop around and weigh price and quality to decide which items are worth paying more than $500 a gallon for.