Saving money is often about using lots of different tips and tricks. And, of course, we would all love to save as much as possible, when it comes to our regular, necessary life expenditures — including filling our gas tank. (Luckily, the drop in gas prices has helped tremendously. I don’t miss the days, when it cost around $40 to fill my tank.) This week, I filled my gas tank (12.211 gallons, to be exact) for just $3.90. Here’s how I did it:
It was a combination of promotional offers at King Soopers. First, I purchased gift cards on January 23, when the grocery store offered 4-times (4x) the fuel points on all gift cards. However, I didn’t purchase just any old gift cards to get the offer. I purchased gift cards for stores I knew I was going to spend money at anyway, including Target, Amazon and Starbucks. (I don’t recommend spending money on gift cards for extra fuel points, if it’s not in your budget.) With my regular grocery purchases, I quickly accumulated 1,000 fuel points — worth $1 off each gallon of gas.
Next, I have the King Soopers/U.S Bank credit card, which offers a bonus 25¢ off per gallon (when you redeem, at least, 100 fuel points) for the first three months. Combined, I earned $1.25 off per gallon of gas. Of course, I wanted to maximize the savings, so I waited until the gas light came on and, even then, I still drove for another 25 miles or so. (Let’s just say, my car was running on fumes, when I pulled up to the gas pump. Why fill up a partial tank, when I could fill up a full tank and save more money, right?)
Here’s the final breakdown: Regular unleaded gas was $1.56 a gallon minus my $1.25 discount equals 31¢ a gallon. (To be precise, it was .319 per gallon.) Now, I come from the school of “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it”, which means I pay off my credit card in full every month. Therefore, I understand that many people will be unable to use my methodology. As a self-proclaimed “smart shopper”, I’m compelled to remind readers that credit card bonus offers are not bonuses unless you pay the balance in full every billing cycle. (The interest you’re paying each month basically nullifies any perceived “perks” because, in the long run, you’re paying for them anyway via the fees.)
The point of sharing my “gassy” experience is that you should always look for ways to double-dip on promo offers (when possible) and maximize any rewards you’ve earned. (Plus, I like being a show-off. Look, I saved more money than you!)
Have you ever earned big savings, thanks to combining promo or discount offers? How do you maximize any rewards you’ve earned through credit cards or loyalty programs?
I look forward to our next chat. And, remember, there’s always a deal, you just need to look for it. :-)