Thursday, September 10, 2015

I Love Me Some Fuel Perks

You might not know this about me, but I am very frugal. I am so frugal, in fact, that one time I paid for every meal out on a trip to naples with multiple bags of change I exchanged at the bank. More recently, I left my entire computer/study setup at Panera in Wexford so I could run across the street to Market District and buy a Panera gift card before buying anything to eat at Panera. If you don't believe me, check my twitter. 

I love to save money and work a
savings program. You could call it a hobby; a type A person's hobby. Let's just say, I get where extreme couponers are coming from. One way I do this is by buying gift cards at the grocery store for things I'd already buy; like restaurant gift cards for date night with Rob, a Dicks Sporting Goods gift card for a foam roller I recently got, or a Best Buy gift card for my super cool, new fitness watch that I will definitely be telling you about later.

So how am I saving money by buying gift cards? A: Fuel Perks. Basically you do your grocery shopping at Giant Eagle/Market District, and for every $50 you spend you get $0.10 off per gallon of gas on your next fill up. The maximum amount of gas you can purchase at the discounted price is 30 gallons. So for every $50 you spend at the grocery store, you get back a guaranteed $3. That's 6% back. That's more than the best grocery cashback credit card on the market (considering there's no annual fee for fuel perks). And that's not even including the occasional promotions where you can get more off on gas than the minimum $0.10.

I know it all probably sounds like a lot of juggling. That's because it is. I actually really enjoy working out the best ways to save the most money, and when it stops being fun, I will stop concerning myself with it.

Now here are three considerations:

1) Market District's prices are higher than other grocery stores. (If you're going for the lowest grocery prices, Aldi is the place to be.) I have accepted this. I buy for one and regularly shop sales to keep grocery prices low.

2) In the last 5 months I've spent an average of $120 a month on groceries, which won't get you a lot in the way of fuelperks. This is where the gift card spending comes in!

3) I drive a Prius with a 9 gallon gas tank, so I will never use 30 gallons at a time. This is why I made the decision to invest in gas cans.

My Beautiful Fleet
I was hesitant to purchase gas cans at first because they can be surprisingly pricey. I started thinking about buying gas cans for a few months before I actually did because of their cost. Eventually I found 6 gallon cans for $13.95 apiece plus shipping. Trust me. This is a great price.

Hypothetical Savings
Then I wanted to know approximately how long it would take me to make up for the cost of the gas cans with my savings. As you can see above in my hypothetical table, it would take me a little over two fill ups before I actually saved money on gas. Then once the cost of the cans is covered, the savings really starts to add up.

A few other considerations:

1) The weight of 1 gallon of gas is approximately 6 lbs. This means that one can can hold up to 36 lbs. When combined with the weight of one can (3.1 lbs) this is a potential weight of 39 lbs per can. I can definitely lift one up into my car, and I can carry two at a time with my arms at my sides. Thanks CrossFit.

2) 5 gallon cans would have been cutting it close. That's why I was sooo happy that the 6 gallon cans I found were cheaper than any 5 gallon ones I saw. Also, this way I don't have to wait until my car is all the way on "E" to go for a fill up.

3) I used data from my budgeting history to figure out approximately how often I was filling up my tank. 30 gallons is a little over three full fillups for my car so I took my average time between fillups (13.8 days) and multiplied by 3 to figure out how long each fill up would last (approximately 6 weeks).

4) Fuelperks expire 2-3 months after they're earned so considering I will need to fill up approximately every 5-6 weeks, I shouldn't need to worry about them expiring before I can use them.

Actual Savings
It's been 6 weeks since I started using my gas cans at GetGo. This is the same table updated with data from my GetGo visits on July 31st and September 9th. I'm actually saving at a better rate than originally predicted. So far I am $2.75 away from covering the cost of the cans. I also used gas at a faster rate this week because Rob and I had a lot going on in his neck of the woods and I also started going to CrossFit at a gym that is a little out of the way.

On the left is the pump from my July 31st fill up and on the right is my fill up from this Saturday. I made one mistake and hung up the pump before I was done, so I lost .5 gallons of cheap gas. I will get over it one day.

So that's fuelperks. I am not affiliated with Giant Eagle, Market District, or GetGo in any way. I am not receiving any type of compensation for writing this post. I just love to save money!


  1. Girl, you are amazing! Master of spreadsheets! And saving $, apparently.

    1. Thanks, Cassia! You would lose it if you saw some of my spreadsheets of the past. Maybe I'll post some of the crazier ones for you.