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How I Save Nearly $1 per Gallon of Gas.

Updated on November 24, 2013

Shop These Grocery Stores and Get Gas.

I don't like to give my money to other people. It takes too many long hours at work to earn those dollars, so why give them away easily? I have always looked for sales, coupons, or good deals. I have been clipping grocery coupons off and on for the last few years. For me, serious couponing began when the economy problems hit our personal budget hard. I do not believe what I do is extreme couponing. Nor is there a room in my home stocked with an excess of non-perishable items. I have never purchased hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for only $20. But, I am excited to inform you, I am able to save 70 to 90 cents per gallon of gas through the use of grocery coupons. I'm able to do this several times a month. Because my partner drives a full sized pickup for work, and I drive a Jeep for love and fun, I am always happy to buy less expensive gas. I am here to share with you my not-so-secret secret.

Free Gas - Gas station discounts using grocery store promotions.

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Pretty Coupon Wallets - Purse to Cart style

Keep your coupons in your purse. Then attach them to the cart for ease. One way to always remember to have your coupons on shopping day. One of the challenges for me has been to remember everything for every shopping trips. Reusable grocery bags. Check. Store discount card. Check. Current coupons I intend to use. Check. I have found that the best way to train myself to remember my coupons is to use an envelope that can fold and be slipped into my pocket (I do not carry a purse generally). Now that I am accustomed to using coupons during each shopping trip, perhaps I could remember to carry a coupon wallet. The next problem would be deciding which pretty wallet to choose.

Seriously, I save money on gas while buying groceries.

Sharing our couponing habits.

During a recent slow period at work, one of the ladies was sharing her extreme couponing strategies with the rest of us. She was explaining how to find coupons online and in the local Sunday papers. How she organizes coupons with binders and plastic sleeves. And the best way to use the coupons; including stacking. Finally, Ms. Extreme Couponer spoke of gas points. That was the only area that I was able to add something helpful to the conversation. I hadn't known about stacking coupons. However, I had known about and used gas points.

I chose the gas points program at the Giant food stores in our area. Giant and Shell gas stations are in cahoots with this gas point program. There are other grocery and gas stations that have similar programs. But due to location and convenience, I use Giant and Shell. The things I do to earn gas points would probably be similar with the other programs in your area. You would have to do some research of your own to ensure that you are getting the most savings from that program.

Taking advantage of grocery store fuel programs.

How I save money on groceries and gas:

OBTAIN STORE MEMBER CARD. It is very easy to obtain and important to have with you every time you shop. You can get one from the store customer service desk or request one online with Giant. First of all, if you don't have the card, you miss all of the sales. Secondly, the card is how you collect and use your gas points. I never shop without using my Giant card.

BE AWARE OF PRICES IN GENERAL. I tend to watch the prices of individual items over time at my local groceries. I think Giant's regularly priced items, often, are more pricey than many of the other chains. But when I watch the sales and use coupons for the items on sale, the cost is less. It would make sense that they are more expensive on some items. After all, they have to fund this gas program somehow. And because of this, I try to stay very aware of competitor's prices.

BUY ONLY THE ITEMS NORMALLY USED. When I started clipping coupons, I would often buy items that I didn't want, didn't like after all, didn't need, or shouldn't add to my waistline. I began to notice that sometimes the store brands were still cheaper than the brand names with coupons. Currently, I don't buy items just because I have the coupon or because it's a great sale

FINDING THE COUPONS. After a long period of time, I noticed that the weekly, in-store grocery circular is not always the same as the circular that comes out in the newspaper or the free papers that are delivered willy-nilly at any noticeable mailbox. So, I always find a copy of both circulars for that week. Search them for special gas coupons. I gather the manufacturer coupons from the weekend paper inserts. And I gather printable coupons from internet sites.

ORGANIZING. Oh goodness, how I hate the organizing. Initially I used a little plastic index card file that worked fairly well. And probably works well for many people. But I found that I overlooked some of the coupons I had planned on using when I got to the store. Then I changed to a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves, such as baseball card holders, to better display each grouping of coupons. And I could see each individual coupon; or at least a large portion of each coupon. That system worked a little better but I didn’t like to carry a 3 ring binder into the store. What works the best for me is to not carry many coupons into the store. Currently, I sort out what coupons I will likely use (by seeing what is on sale this week), putting them into an envelope, and writing on one side of the envelope the specifics of the coupons (i.e. two Brand Name X salad dressings, size 9 oz or larger). Of course I use my own version of short hand to save time. I feel like this system helps keep me on track while shopping.

SPECIAL POINTS OFFERS. As you purchase your items, every 100 dollars of purchases equals 100 points which equals 10 Cents worth of gas savings (per gallon). That doesn't add up as quickly as watching for the special gas offers. Each week there are items that if you purchase a certain amount of items, you earn an extra few hundred of points. For example, buy any 3 of the listed items and earn 400 points. I take advantage of these offers when the listed items include things I normally purchase. Of course, I also try to have a matching coupon for these items so I'm saving while I'mm earning extra points. Total gas points are shown on the end of your store receipt and they roll off after 30 days if unused. Does it sound difficult? It's really not.

SPECIAL GAS POINTS COUPON: Giant publishes coupons in their circular giving you, for example, 300 gas points for purchasing $50 of items. Yes, any combination of items as long as it totals $50 or more. Between the amount of gas points for my total bill, the special points offers, and the special gas coupon of 400 points is how I total 800 to 900 points. These special gas points from this coupon are added to your running total in the system immediately, but do not show up on your receipt at that transaction. Instead, you receive a second "receipt" for these points.

PURCHASING THE GAS. Initially, I was afraid of the actual act using my points at the gas station. But it turned out to be an easy thing. I learned that Shell stations have cheaper gas on Tuesdays. It seems that there is a limit at each fill-up, but the limit is less about the number of points and more about the total gallons. I've used 900 points (90 cents off per gallon!) in one transaction many times. When we filled the truck, during several of our visits, we began to notice that the pump clicks off after a certain number of gallons. But most folks don't have a tank that large. Or drive that far on "E". I don't think most people will get to the shut off point. The jeep has never reached that limit. At the pump, you only need to have your Giant card or know your card I.D number. Then you pump gas in the usual manner.

FINAL THOUGHTS. As I said, I'm not the best at couponing. I'm certainly not a coupon queen. I would recommend diving in and giving it a try, to learn what works best for you. My advice is to get tips from the more seasoned couponers. Whether that is talking to people in person, reading blogs on the 'net, or purchasing books, your investment of time (and possibly dollars) will be worth it.

Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

Summary:

How the station gave me $11.20 of free gas today.

Just this morning I filled the Jeep tank. I go on Tuesdays. Tuesdays is our local 5 cents off day at the Shell station. That sale brings the price down to the same as neighboring stations (like Giant, I find that Shell is higher priced most days; again, I guess they have to fund the program somehow.). Then I used my gas points by pushing the "gas rewards" button and entering my I.D. number. It's that easy. Then you hit debit or credit button and fill your tank as always. However, this morning, the gas pump didn't read the set price of $3.37 per gallon (local prices being $3.37 to $3.39) It read $2.57. I'm not good at math but I know that 80 cents x 14 gallons (rounded off to make it easier for me) = $11.20 saved today. So I filled up for $37.28 instead of $48.48. As much as I hate pre-planning and grocery shopping, getting these savings definitely make it worthwhile. And, while it sounds confusing, it's really not that bad. Come on, give it a try. If I can do it, so can you. And you can do the happy dance at the pump with me.

My Photo Gallery - (all photos by Dawnraeb)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Special offer: 3 items for 400 gas points. I had coupons for the laundry soap.7 items for 400 gas points. I always buy biscuits and cereal anyway.A 3-ring binder, dividers, plastic pockets, and coupons.the extra special gas coupon.  spend $50 and receive 300 gas points.Store member/discount card. Don't leave home without it.How i carry my coupons into the store so I don't forget to use them and don't waste time sorting through a large bunch of coupons.The special gas points earned receipt and a sample of a store receipt; gas points circledMy gas receipt showing .80 cents off per gallon. Woohoo!
Special offer: 3 items for 400 gas points. I had coupons for the laundry soap.
Special offer: 3 items for 400 gas points. I had coupons for the laundry soap.
7 items for 400 gas points. I always buy biscuits and cereal anyway.
7 items for 400 gas points. I always buy biscuits and cereal anyway.
A 3-ring binder, dividers, plastic pockets, and coupons.
A 3-ring binder, dividers, plastic pockets, and coupons.
the extra special gas coupon.  spend $50 and receive 300 gas points.
the extra special gas coupon. spend $50 and receive 300 gas points.
Store member/discount card. Don't leave home without it.
Store member/discount card. Don't leave home without it.
How i carry my coupons into the store so I don't forget to use them and don't waste time sorting through a large bunch of coupons.
How i carry my coupons into the store so I don't forget to use them and don't waste time sorting through a large bunch of coupons.
The special gas points earned receipt and a sample of a store receipt; gas points circled
The special gas points earned receipt and a sample of a store receipt; gas points circled
My gas receipt showing .80 cents off per gallon. Woohoo!
My gas receipt showing .80 cents off per gallon. Woohoo!

Some tools to make saving money easier.

The more organized you are with this venture, the better you do. I am only partially organized. My highly organized friends are able to earn even more savings than I do. However, the good news is that if can save these amounts with my hit-and-miss approach, you can save too. Learn about how others get organized and find the way that works for you.

Ultra Pro 9-Pocket Silver Series Pages for Standard Size Cards
Ultra Pro 9-Pocket Silver Series Pages for Standard Size Cards

These "baseball card" sleeves are very helpful.

 

Do you coupon?

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First Update: - Links listing some participating programs.

I've received some feedback that many people do not have gas rewards programs in their area. So i searched for a few helpful links. I can't stand the thought of folks missing out on this program. These links are for the United States. However, I did see a link for a Canadian gas rewards program also. I sincerely hope that there is a gas rewards program in your area.

Second Update:

Shopping and Saving in the New Neighborhood

It is several months later and I'm adjusting to a move from one neighborhood to another. My grocery store is now slightly farther away. So I attempted to test the theory that I pay more at the store with the gas rewards program. After all, they have to pay for the gas somehow, right? It has to be by increasing the price of the groceries exorbitantly, right? I shopped at a few groceries in my new neighborhood. I found that I spent the same or more than at the gas rewards grocery. With a combination of the meets being more expensive, less variety in their store brands, or no store savings card at all, I seemed as though I paid more. I came home with fewer groceries for sure. So, I will continue to shop at my Giant, buying only the things on sale, using my gas coupons, and buying only the things I know I will use.

Third Update: - I am still focused on my gas. I wish I could remember to take photos or save receipts to show you every time I fill up. But I did remember to t

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Just this week, I had 600 points in my gas rewards account.  As usual, I checked neighboring stations for their price: $3.33.The per-gallon cost at the gas rewards station: $3.37.  That means it is .04 cents more expensive for regular folks. But I am not regular, am I?My final cost, $2.779 per gallon. Of course, I filled my tank.  I don't grocery shop at the old neighborhood as often now. It is worthwhile when I go.
Just this week, I had 600 points in my gas rewards account.  As usual, I checked neighboring stations for their price: $3.33.
Just this week, I had 600 points in my gas rewards account. As usual, I checked neighboring stations for their price: $3.33.
The per-gallon cost at the gas rewards station: $3.37.  That means it is .04 cents more expensive for regular folks. But I am not regular, am I?
The per-gallon cost at the gas rewards station: $3.37. That means it is .04 cents more expensive for regular folks. But I am not regular, am I?
My final cost, $2.779 per gallon. Of course, I filled my tank.  I don't grocery shop at the old neighborhood as often now. It is worthwhile when I go.
My final cost, $2.779 per gallon. Of course, I filled my tank. I don't grocery shop at the old neighborhood as often now. It is worthwhile when I go.

Advice from others in the form of the written word. - (learning from others is always helpful)

Please stop by and say hi.

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I don't know if I have ever seen this. I need to check it out when I move to California since gas is pricey there.

      Voted up.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 3 years ago from Vermont

      I love my Price Chopper and Giant gas points programs. I also buy my gift cards there, to go to Sears, Lowes or Home Depot and they earn gas points too.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      These will keep coming back as the economy goes through its ups and downs. My wife makes sure I use them. I'm too much of a slacker to look for and clip them myself.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      Shell has a program with area stores here too. I make sure i am signed up.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I also try and save by using less gas, keeping the car junk free, driving conser actively and keeping the tires properly inflated, as well as planning journeys carefully. It works well.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      We've been doing the same thing only at Safeway. My husband loves the savings on gas.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      This is a good promotional program I must say. Both consumer and seller can be benefited from this, no doubt about that :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I shop at Smith's and some days they will give 4x fuel points for gift cards so I will get some for the stores I know I'll be shopping from anyway like Lowes. All it takes is a little planning really and then I get a good discount on gas :) Love your lens!

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 3 years ago

      We run around looking for cheap gas but this may be a viable option.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 3 years ago from Canada

      Here in Canada, I usually save about 30 cents per gallon We used to save more a few years back, but the companies have cut back on the coupons.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 4 years ago

      I'm definitely going to check this out. I'm Canadian. I don't really get it but gas is way more expensive here. It costs me over $80. to fill my tank. As far as I know, the government takes a fair chunk of it.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Good! I'm glad you have the program too. I should have kept track over time how much I've on gas. Thank you for the visit and comment!

    • klbhokie profile image

      klbhokie 4 years ago

      Great information! I never thought of looking for coupons for gas, but I am definitely going to start looking now!

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @klbhokie: good! it's a good deal if you can find it. My friends and I at work are now texting each other when we are saving on gas...because it's such a good thing.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I'm able to do this here in California through the grocery store Vons. For every $100 they give a 10 cent per gallon discount next time I fill up on gas. I've saved a lot on gasoline through their program.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @sandykc: Thank you. :)

    • profile image

      sandykc 4 years ago

      Kroger grocery stores in the southeast have the gas deal going too. ;-) Great lens!

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @SavioC: Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      I guess this requires some amount of planning & organizing. And you are doing both very well. I am sure many will take advice from your lens. Every dollar saved is A dollar earned. Unfortunately we do not have any such things here in India (as yet). A well thought of lens.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @sybil watson: Good news! It's not so tricky to figure out. Good luck to you and happy gas savings! Thanks for adding your comment.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I live way out in Hawaii and even we have Safeway gas rewards. You've inspired me to figure out how much I've earned and use it!

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you for kind comments! :)

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      Just have to say that I have 90 cents off per gallon on my Giant card. I have got to use it this week. WooHoo!!!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I would love having gas point bonuses. I'm not aware of a good program in my area. I do get minimal savings on gas with my grocery store member card. Appreciated what I learned here. I never thought about the temperature in relation to when I fill my tank. I'll keep that in mind in the future. Nice bonus learning that here. Thanks!

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @anonymous: Thank you for the kind comments and for visiting. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      informative and useful. Recommeded!

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @razelle09: Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @Pat Goltz: I am glad you found something useful in my lens. That's awesome. And i agree about the nuisance. And i have to watch carefully to not spend more with the coupons. One more thing about gas... We have local stations that have really good prices for "cash only". I often go to those stations when i don't have my gas points.

    • razelle09 profile image

      razelle09 4 years ago

      discount coupons are really cool, I've used a lot of them

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      Hi. I discovered that because coupons are on more expensive products to begin with, I don't save anything. And they're a nuisance to mess with, and I forget to use them. We have one of those gasoline programs here, but I don't shop at that store anymore, because they promote bogus charities. I enjoyed the lens and it showed me a couple of additional ways to save on gas if I wanted to do it that way.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @RinchenChodron: Thank you for reading and commenting. I haven't shopped Kroger's for a long time. So glad to hear that they are doing the 10 cents for every $100 at least. Keep an eye out in case they start doing the special gas coupon in the circulars that come to the home. good luck! i hope they start making the gas coupons!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I have never seen a gas coupon! At King Soopers (Kroger) they give you 10 cents per gallon for every $100 spent. If I could get gas coupons, I'd LOVE it.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @SteveKaye: Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I LOVE your lenses. I did not know that about stores and ingredients. Will have to research that some. if i had my way, i'd be self sufficient and grow all of my own food.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Great lens that should save many people money.I used to collect coupons. Then, when these major food stores donated huge sums of money to prevent people from knowing what's in their food, I stopped shopping from them.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @mel-kav: thank you for commenting! :)

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      Great lens! Awesome tips for getting more gas for your buck. I always check the fliers for Giant gas points.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @Coffee-Break: Thank you for your visit and comment. Now I'm wondering if gas rewards are only a regional thing. I'll have to check on that.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great tips for savings. There isn't a similar program where I live, but my wife religiously checks the weekly circulars, and we also buy only what we need. We rarely buy something just because it's on sale.

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @opatoday: thank you for stopping by.

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      great lens, thanks

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @SusanDeppner: I wish you did too! :) it's so exciting to save money at the gas station. thank you for the comment and stopping by.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wish we got gas points for grocery purchases. Cool program!

    • profile image

      jimporsche86 4 years ago

      @DawnRae64: Yes it does work, minimal but it works. :)

    • DawnRae64 profile image
      Author

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @anonymous: Hi Jim. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I have heard that i shouldn't pump gas in the heat of the day. But I always wondered if it was a myth. Nice to hear that someone else believes it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I try to get my gas when the temperature is cooler, you get more gas per dollar.