Propane Tank Use in Panama
Propane is the standard way to cook in Panama. In addition you can get gas dryers that run off propane. No matter where you go, in any given day you will see trucks with propane tanks running around town, picking up empties and dropping off filled ones at small little mom and pop stores around town.
When we first moved into our rental in Alto Boquete, we ran out of gas so our landlord took the empty to a local small grocery and exchanged it for a full one and returned it to us. We continued to use that same propane tank until we left the rental 2 months later. We of course put no thought into how long a propane tank should last. I only remember using one in the states for a gas barbecue and remembered that about every 6 months we had to get it refilled.
We moved into our house in David in October of last year using the remainder of what previous owner had used. We ran out in February so we needed to get a new tank. The cost is always $6.00 to get a new full tank when exchanging it for an empty one. At that time, I just figured it would be a monthly concurrence since we did use it daily for cooking and drying our clothes. So I also figured $6.00 a month for gas was way cheap and very affordable. So I put it in my budget as a monthly expense.
Boy, was I WRONG. Two weeks ago on 9/24, we finally ran out of gas. OKAY can anyone do the math. We used the same tank from February until September 24th, that is 8 months, folks. Eight months of cooking and drying clothes on the same tank of gas. HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!
So, $6.00 divided by 8 = .75 cents a month for gas. Now I am happy to report that I had to redo my budget.
Propane Mix in Panama
I could not find what the mix is for the propane used in Panama, but I know that is is a mix of other gases. Sometimes after cooking with the propane you will see a blackish substance on the bottom of your cooking pots. Whatever the mix is, it definitely makes the propane last a long time.