said by cableties:
What about inflation of gas prices, or pricing of tank exchange services (like BlueRhino...which is less for me than buying a tank, taking it to filling place which charges more to fill than swapping)?
I purchased my propane tanks empty (one in 2009 at Lowe's and one in 2012 at Home Depot, both were $29.99)
The propane exchange places around here (such as Big Y, Home Depot, etc in Springfield, MA) get about $19 for an exchange or $49 for a filled tank without an exchange. And those places only fill it to 15 lbs instead of the full 17 lbs that the tank was designed to handle.
I can get my tank filled at BJ's (members only warehouse) for $13.49 to fill a 20 lb tank to it's full capacity of 17 lbs And BJ's uses a meter so you only pay for the amount of propane that is in your tank. So if you top off a half empty tank, you only pay for the the amount of propane that you purchase. With the exchange programs, you don't get credit for propane that is left in the tank.
The rule of thumb when it comes to running out of propane is you run out of propane in the middle of a big neighborhood get-together.