Propane leaders answer: What changes have you made or are you considering due to inflation?

Editor's Note: Interested in submitting responses to our monthly column? Contact Nancy Coop at

We are hearing numerous and consistent conversations and news about inflation across the United States. This month, we ask our people what impact inflation has had on them either at home, at work or both. In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim.

Inflation Impact at Home

I read about “shrink-flation” (prices remaining the same while the package sizes decrease), and I wondered, “Is this really happening?” So now, when I am out grocery shopping, I keep picking up stuff and looking at the package weights to see if they have indeed “shrunk.”


My unofficial opinion at this point? Yes, it is really happening! LOL. As to what I’ve done with this fascinating piece of intel, well, I switched popcorn brands when I saw this sneaky behavior in my preferred brand. That will teach them …

Leslie Woodward
Fairview Fittings
Oakville, Ontario, Canada


I’m at a point in my life that it doesn’t affect me near as much as it would have when I was younger and oh so poor! I’m grateful to have had that time in my life, but I’m glad it’s in the past, and I hope it stays that way. I am aware of and feel for those so affected by it. I now watch it more for what it does to investments and hopefully a promise of a brighter future coming out of a downturn.

Susan Peterson
Rural Computer Consultants
Bird Island, Minnesota


Inflation is undoubtedly touching all Americans in different ways. While some changes in lifestyle have become involuntary — like paying more than five dollars a gallon for gasoline (which is yet another reason we should be utilizing autogas) — other, more voluntary changes in our daily lives are made up of a variety of choices.

Personally, my family is scaling back our travel plans for the rest of the year, as well as doing a lot more in-home dining versus ordering take out and going out to eat when we don’t feel like cooking. We have also opted to maximize the use of streaming services as opposed to visiting the movie theatre, where I dare not imagine how much a large popcorn is going for these days! While some of us are making the most of what we have, others are scraping by to make something out of practically nothing. The truth is, there are far greater sacrifices than these being made across the country, so I consider myself fortunate.

Jessica Johnson
Asheville, North Carolina


Since my wife typically shops for food in our house, I asked her. She said she has always shopped the sales regardless, but in these times, she might pass on the filet of beef in favor of a lesser cut.

As for me, I’m more conscious of my driving habits, although I’m not sure I have cut back much. I’m also trying to squeeze a few more games out of my tennis balls, as the cost of those has almost doubled from last year.

Bruce Swiecicki
National Propane Gas Association
Tinley Park, Illinois


While inflation has certainly impacted the price of groceries, gas and pretty much everything we purchase on a daily basis, I really have not made many changes in this area. If I still had young children, I am sure I would probably be more diligent in my spending habits.

However, the one area that we are following much closer is our whole financial picture. Now that we are near retirement age, we have to be sure that we have a good plan in place for a
secure future.

Rosie Buschur
McMahan’s Bottle Gas
Dayton, Ohio


Inflation Impact at Work

It’s been a difficult year all the way around for sure. One of the changes I have considered is the cost of my commute to work, but since it’s only six minutes away and I’m too old and overweight to go with an e-bike, that’s out! And my operations manager, Lisa, has told me I can’t spend any extra money on anything this year. She is so mean to me.

All kidding aside, we are OK. We are just being very conservative in all our purchases until we feel we have come through these difficult times. We have not purchased any new vehicles this year and are being diligent about the purchasing and placement of tanks.

We have asked the guys to check and double check their trucks to make sure they have everything they need for a job and to please come back to the shop with the tools they left with.

We have cut back on some advertising and extra community donations. These were hard cuts to make but seemed like the best choice for us — for now.

Judy Taranovich
Proctor Gas
Proctor, Vermont


This new trend of record-breaking inflation requires positioning for the impact on our business. We’re experiencing much higher fuel, steel (tanks), parts and vehicle costs that are creating some real challenges with no relief in sight in the near-term.

Vehicles are hard to come by, and if you can find them, they are substantially higher-priced with longer lead times for delivery. On the product cost side, we have to pass as much through as possible and on the increased vehicle and tank costs, we will buy less this upcoming year than we would have otherwise. We will continue operationally to focus our team on efficiency even more, to further offset as much of the inflation as we can to continue to deliver on our financial objectives.

Boyd H. McGathey
Energy Distribution Partners
Parkville, Missouri


Our behavior has changed to be more conservative in our expenses and investments. High inflation makes us examine our logistics more frequently — as well as to ensure we are as efficient
as possible.

Laurie Irish-Jones
Irish Propane
Buffalo, New York


We are continuing to operate conservatively, but are always looking for ways to both reduce costs and increase throughput.

Jason Soulon
Westmor Industries
Shawnee, Kansas


Inflation Impact on Work & Home Life

As inflation rises and we appear to be in a recession, I have become much more conservative in both my business and personal spending.

Planning ahead is helpful. I am keeping a close eye on the business climate to see how companies may be trying to save money. This makes the value proposition much more important. I guess I will do my trip to Ireland
next year!

Ed Varney
Top Line Management LLC
McKinney, Texas


From a personal perspective, we are closely monitoring our spending on a monthly business. The costs of all goods and services in general have skyrocketed, which has resulted in limiting our spending due to the uncertainty of the future. We are holding off on any major purchases and limiting vacations, travel and entertainment. We are staying home and cooking more meals rather than going out to eat.

At our company, we are closely monitoring our expenses and travel and being very selective about what conferences and conventions to attend. In summary, we are being very cautious with our spending personally and at P3 Propane Safety.

Jerry Schimmel
P3 Propane Safety
Cumberland, Rhode Island


Money Matters

Inflation affects all aspects of the economy. As you have read here, multiple steps may be considered to help your operations or personal cash flow through inflationary times. Gasoline prices make the headlines, but the cost of popcorn is a benchmark heard here first!

Nancy Coop is an industry advocate. She is director of marketing at the M&A advisory firm Cetane Associates. Contact her at


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