Let's be honest, gas prices have been up and down, but either way when you somehow are offered a gas discount, you feel like you've won the lottery. There's just something about paying less at the pump. "Gas prices down, happiness up" is such a true slogan. But, when you actually look at the deal you're getting, 10-20-30 cents off the gallon, it's merely pennies in the face of paying more at a chain grocery store.
Last night I saved about $1.69 at the pump in total (13 gallons, 13 cent savings per gallon). It sounds like a lot more savings when I initially thought, wow 20 cents off per gallon! Now I can buy a new laptop! (Ok, no). But in reality, I could have saved a lot more than that if I would have opted for a discount grocery store instead of going to Weis.
Grocery stores really want you to be loyal. They want you to go shop in their store and hit their gas station on the way out. They lure you in by telling you how much per gallon you can save at their gas pump but it's all trickery. You're not saving that much. In fact, let's consider some alternative options.
1. Grocery shopping can cost a lot of money but it doesn't have to. You can save crap loads of money at discount grocery stores such as Aldis, Save-A-Lot, Wegman's (so I've been told), Price Rite, basically anything with the words "discount", "save", "outlet" in their title means they probably are a discount grocery place.
Here are some tips on shopping at these places.
- First off, bring your own bags. Often times these retailers save money by making you paying a few cents each for using their plastic bags, so bring your own.
- Check product labels. Outlet stores can offer deep discounts because they buy products from places that couldn't sell it as a result sometimes these products are expired shortly after they hit the shelves at the discount retailers.
- Next, it will take patience and time to fully utilize one of these stores. You have to scope out what's in your area and you have to get used to their selection. Discount grocery stores don't carry everything, in fact, they might not even have consistent things. You must be dedicated enough to go to Aldis and then hit up Giant for the stuff you missed. But often times the discount places' prices are so much cheaper than your local chain grocery store that they're very much so worth the trip.
For some, it may make the most sense to try to fill up and grocery shop at the same place for convenience and time purposes, I get that. I don't have a family, I'm less busy than many people. At any rate, realize that those discounts you're getting from your grocery stores that you use at the pump aren't as much as you think. Plus, many times the discounted rate on the gallon lasts for a very short period of time and you'll often show up at the pump not getting any discount, but not remembering if you qualify yet. They've got you right where they want you. Think about how much you're really saving by being loyal and if it's not that much (which I suspect), scope out your other options. You could save a bundle.