Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer (2024)

Our best advice? Skip tank exchanges and look for refill stations to get the best deal on gas for your grill. Learn what we found out about propane pricing at big-box stores, supermarkets, and local gas stations.

Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer (2)

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If you’re like me, your gas grill is running almost daily through the warmer months of the year. That means you’ll be going through more than a few propane gas tanks from Memorial Day to Labor Day. With inflation impacting pretty much every consumer product on the market, I recently began wondering just how much more I would be paying to keep my gas grill going all summer long. Thus, I began a quest to find the best deal for propane. I found that while gas stations and grocery stores offer the most convenient option for purchasing propane, there are much better deals out there if you’re willing to look for them.

Prices May Vary

As with any other fuel, the price for propane can vary significantly in different parts of the country. My gas grill and I happen to reside in North Carolina where propane prices are currently holding steady. Propane prices will certainly vary for those who live in other parts of the country.

RELATED: Why Your Backyard Barbecue Will Cost More This Summer

Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer (3)

Gas Stations and Supermarkets

I began my search by heading to the most convenient places to get propane: gas stations and supermarkets. I surveyed prices at Harris Teeter (a local grocery store), Food Lion, Walmart, and two local BP gas stations, all of which do propane tank exchanges only. Prices for all four of the locations I surveyed were within a dollar or so. Prices at Food Lion and Harris Teeter were identical at $19.99 each, while Walmart came in a buck lower at $19. The two BP locations I surveyed were nearly the same as Walmart at $18.95.

Home-Improvement Stores Holding Steady

The Home Depot and Lowe’s, like supermarkets and gas stations, also offer propane tank exchanges. Given that the cost of building materials inside these stores have been skyrocketing, I was surprised to find that prices were holding steady for propane at these locations. As with the gas stations and supermarkets I surveyed, the prices at both were consistently around the $20 mark. The Home Depot was charging $19.98 to refill a 20-pound tank, while Lowe’s was virtually the same at $20.

U-Haul Does Refills

U-Haul, the largest moving truck rental company in the nation, offers propane refills at its truck rental locations. What sets it apart from other suppliers is that it publishes the cost of its propane refill by the gallon right on the website of each individual location. If you have six U-Haul locations in your area, you can quickly go online and check to see which one has the best price. Prices at each location can vary significantly; per-gallon rates for U-Haul propane refills at locations in my area ranged from as little as $3.50 per gallon ($15.75 for a tank) up to $4.50 per gallon ($20.25 for a tank).

Local Suppliers Offer Good Prices

Not satisfied with the prices from the larger chains, I hunted around for local suppliers. I found a local company that sells and rents party supplies and landscaping equipment that also offers propane tank refills (as opposed to tank exchanges) for just $16.95, which is about $2 to $3 cheaper than they are at local gas stations and supermarkets. A local farm supply company that also offers propane refills was a bit higher at $18.50.

Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer (4)

Costco Is Propane King

Warehouse clubs offer the best prices when it comes to gasoline, so it makes sense that their propane prices are also better. I just didn’t expect them to be nearly as low as what I found. While my local Sam’s Club doesn’t do propane refills, BJ’s and Costco do, and their prices for propane were by far the best. Filling up a 20-pound propane tank at BJ’s costs just $14.49, while Costco blew away the competition with a per-gallon rate of just $2.82, which translates to just $12.69 to fill an entire tank. Of course, you’ll need to be a club member to take advantage of these fantastic rates.

Choose Refills Over Exchanges

As I quickly found when researching propane rates, if you want to get the best deal, find a place that does refills. It’s much cheaper for a propane gas distributor to refill your 20-pound tank from a large on-site tank than it is to stock individual 20-pound tanks for exchanges. How much can you save? On average, you can expect to spend 33 percent more for a tank exchange versus a refill.

Beware of Short Filling

Finding a place that does tank refills versus exchanges can be a challenge in some locations. If your only option is a tank exchange, choose a gas station, big-box store, or supermarket you trust to make sure you get a full tank. Short-filling, which is the process of selling propane tanks that aren’t filled to capacity, is a problem in the propane industry.

What Rising Prices?

As I began my survey of local propane gas tank prices around me, I was surprised to find that prices hadn’t changed significantly in the past year. Either propane prices in my neck of the woods are holding steady in the face of inflation, or it’s the calm before the propane gas-rate- hike storm. At any rate, regardless of what the economy is doing, it’s clear that hitting up a refill station for your propane needs is far more economical than doing a tank exchange.

Shop for Propane Tanks and Accessories at Lowe’s

Shop for Propane Tanks and Accessories at Ace Hardware

Shop for Propane Tanks at The Home Depot

Shop for Propane Tanks and Accessories at Walmart

Prices are accurate as of publication on June 29, 2022.

Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer (2024)

FAQs

Where to Find the Cheapest Propane Refills for Your Barbecue Grill This Summer? ›

Uses: Commonly used for resale and with propane grills, generators, patio heaters, and other outdoor equipment. 20 pound propane tanks are often referred to as grill cylinders and hold 4.6 gallons of propane when full.

How much propane fills a 20 lb tank? ›

Uses: Commonly used for resale and with propane grills, generators, patio heaters, and other outdoor equipment. 20 pound propane tanks are often referred to as grill cylinders and hold 4.6 gallons of propane when full.

What month is propane the cheapest? ›

Conversely, during the summer months, demand for propane decreases as people do not require as much propane for heating purposes. This decrease in demand leads to lower prices for propane, making summer often the best economical time to buy propane.

How many times can you grill with a 20 lb propane tank? ›

A 20-pound tank of propane lasts between 18 and 20 hours on a medium grill. A large grill will burn through the same amount of fuel in closer to 10 hours. Generally, a medium grill can handle eight to 10 full-meal cooking sessions (at high heat) per tank.

How much is to fill a gas tank for a grill? ›

Wayman Propane Gas Grill Tank Refills: Specials & Prices

Keep your grill tank and wallet full with our affordable propane gas grill tank refill prices (tax not included): 20 lb $18.00 – compare to cost of local competitors, priced higher. 30 lb $26.63. 40 lb $36.00.

How much propane is in a blue Rhino 20 lb tank? ›

The 20 pound tank can hold 4.76 gallons. If you use a bottle exchange, you will only get 15 pounds ( says so right on the label) or 3.57 gallons.

Does an empty 20 lb propane tank weigh 20 lbs? ›

A 20-pound cylinder is compatible with pretty much all propane refill stations. Typically, a full 20-pound tank weighs 37 pounds because the weight of an empty cylinder—also called the Tare Weight (TW)—is 17 pounds.

How to save money on propane? ›

Ten Tips to Conserve Propane If You Are Running Low
  1. Turn down the thermostat. ...
  2. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans wisely. ...
  3. Keep the fireplace damper closed. ...
  4. Close off rooms you aren't using. ...
  5. Keep heating vents clear. ...
  6. Use your curtains to your advantage. ...
  7. Block any drafts. ...
  8. Winterize your windows.
Dec 7, 2022

Is it worth buying your own propane tank? ›

Perhaps the most significant advantage of owning a propane tank is the freedom to shop the best propane rate from any gas company. When you rent, you're subject to the distributing company's propane prices. Buying your tank allows you to negotiate the best rate for propane.

Will propane prices go down in 2024 in the USA? ›

According to Procurement Resource, in 2024, U.S. propane prices continue to fall, extending the downtrend observed in 2023, despite rising crude prices.

What is the shelf life of a 20 lb propane tank? ›

How Long Are Small Propane Tanks Good For? Propane tanks of 100 pounds capacity or less have an expiration date of 12 years from the date of manufacture. Once those 12 years are up, you can either exchange the tank for a replacement, or have it inspected for requalification for an additional five years of use.

Can you run two grills off one propane tank? ›

Secondly, you will need a Propane Tank Y-Splitter or Splitter Adapter; this hardware allows for the attachment of two separate hoses to a single propane tank. Ensure that you have the requisite hoses for each appliance, typically included with their initial purchase.

Does Lowes do propane refills? ›

Lowe's does not refill propane; we only do exchanges. i.e. you bring your empty tank in and exchange it for a full one. My store asks that you not bring in empty tanks. There is a service that will hook you up, and we go over it when we sell you the propane-using thing.

Is it better to refill propane or exchange? ›

You can save up to $1.75 per gallon by refilling over the cost of an exchange at third-party retailers. You'll only pay for the propane you use if you own your own propane tank.

How much does gas refill cost? ›

You can pay for 9 Kg Gas Bottle Refill online for only R332. 00.

How long will a full 20 lb propane tank last? ›

A 20lb propane tank will typically last for around 18-20 hours of continuous usage at a rate of 2-4 gallons of propane per hour. However, the actual duration may vary based on individual usage patterns and the amount of propane consumed each time.

How much pressure comes out of a 20 lb propane tank? ›

For example, a standard 20-pound propane tank at 70 degrees will have 145 psi internal pressure. That same tank on a 100-degree day will have 172 psi of pressure. Propane pressure levels exceeding 200 psi are likely to trigger a release from the safety relief valve commonly installed on propane storage tanks.

What is the maximum fill percentage for a propane tank? ›

Remember, a tank is filled to a maximum of 80%. IMPORTANT: Order more gas before your tank gauge reads below 25%.

How many gallons is 20 percent propane? ›

To calculate the approximate amount in your tank, take the size of your propane tank and multiply by the percent in the tank. For example, a 500-gallon tank has 20% of propane, the formula is 500 x . 2= 100 gallons.

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