Analysis

Think gas is expensive? Try these liquids

As gas prices creep up across Canada, how do they compare to other pricey liquids?
Fuming over gas prices? It seems cheap compared to other liquids. (CBC)

A 10 per cent rise in the price of gas over the last three months has made a lot of Canadians angry.

Perhaps the reason gas prices are more annoying is that they are so in your face. Even if you're not planning to buy gas, it is impossible not to see the huge signs with the latest price.

And while we begrudge paying for gas — an internationally traded commodity subject to global supply and demand factors — we actually spend a lot more on less vital liquids.

Think about your morning coffee. Buy a tall coffee at Starbucks, it's about $2. But that's nearly $8 per litre.

Fancy Italian olive oil? That can set you back over $40 per litre.

Top of the line nail polish? Over $400 per litre. And you can't just look good, you need to smell good too. So the fanciest perfumes will set you back $1,600 per litre.

Don't have that sort of money to look your best? Well don't count on a cheap drink to make up for your shortcomings. A fine Scotch will set you back a few thousand dollars per litre. Even the cheap stuff is over $70. And a beer is about $5 for every litre.

Oh, and don't think of printing this article and putting it on the fridge. Printer ink is a whopping $1,750 per litre.

None of the liquids mentioned above, other than gasoline, should be considered necessities. And while nobody enjoys paying more at the pump, there may be more important things to complain about paying a high price for.

However, the fact is that we will continue to spend hard-earned dollars to fill our cars because we have to. We might buy a bottle of scotch once a year, but fill our cars once a week.

Of course, the reason the it seems high now because we got used to a lower price caused by the Great Recession. The greatest financial crisis since the Depression saw speculators abandon oil, pushing down the price of crude and thereby oil. But while we saved on gas, our stock portfolios and pension funds suffered substantial losses that dwarfed our meager gasoline savings.

Unless that changes, the price of gas isn't likely to come down any time soon

And until we can wean ourselves away from gasoline, it will be a constant frustration for people that struggle to fill their cars and satisfy other financial requirements.