Gas prices seem to be going in only one direction these days — up. With prices at record highs, you’re probably feeling pain at the pump. Need ways to alleviate the agony of watching the meter rise? We’ve got you covered.
The best part: You can save on gas while doing something most of us do every week. That’s right! Head to the grocery store and ease the sting of swiping your credit card.
By changing your grocery shopping habits, you won’t pay full price for gas — and sometimes you’ll even get it for free. (OK, you still have to pay taxes on it).
No matter where you live, here’s how to save money on gas by buying groceries.
Grocery Stores With Fuel Rewards Programs
Grocery stores in every state offer fuel rewards programs. Find out about the options to save in your region.
These national chains offer fuel rewards programs. Is there one near you?
Safeway grocery stores offer fuel discounts through the Safeway for U rewards program. For every $100 you spend on groceries you get 10 cents off per gallon.
You can stack rewards up to 20 cents off per gallon, though you can only redeem them on 25 gallons of fuel at a time. Currently, 288 fuel stations participate in the rewards program. Simply register for Safeway for U and keep track of your rewards through the mobile app.
Extra perks of the Safeway for U program include discounts on groceries, a free item every month, and a birthday treat!
In Kroger’s fuel rewards program you earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in the store and there’s no monthly limit to how many points you can earn.
If buying gas at a Kroger fuel center, you can redeem up to 1,000 points for $1 off per gallon in 100-point increments up to 35 gallons. At participating Shell locations, you can redeem 100 points for 10¢ off per gallon.
You can earn extra points when you buy certain gift cards (2 fuel points for each $1 spent) and some prescriptions (25 fuel points for non-federally funded prescriptions and 1 fuel point for every $1 out of pocket for federally funded prescriptions).
3. Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop gives you 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend.
You can stack deals for up to $1.50 off per gallon. Scan your Stop & Shop card at participating Shell or Stop & Shop gas stations to redeem your savings. These points have a shorter expiration date than most — 30 days — so plan your trips carefully!
At Albertsons, you receive 1 point for every $1 you spend on groceries, 1 point for every $1 you spend at the pharmacy and two points for every $1 you spend on gift cards. Once you reach 100 points you’ve earned 10 cents off per gallon for up to 25 gallons.
You can redeem your points at Albertsons Express stations. Rewards expire at the end of the following month — so if you earn them in June, they’ll expire at the end of July.
You can also keep track of your points and get access to additional store savings using the Albertsons app.
Bonus! If you live in Southern California, you can use your rewards for groceries at participating stores like Vons.
5. Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly locations are scattered throughout 20 states, mostly in the Southeast and Midwest. With a free Piggly Wiggly rewards card, you can receive 1 cent off per gallon of gas at participating gas stations.
Not all products at Piggly Wiggly qualify for rewards points, so as you shop keep an eye on the Pig Points shelf tags.
These stores with gas rewards programs are located anywhere from Florida through the Carolinas.
With stores in Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas, Ingles is a Southeastern staple with a handy fuel rewards program. It’s easy to rack up fuel points with the free Ingles Advantage Card.
$1 spent at Ingles earns you 1 fuel point, except during frequent bonus reward events where $1 spent can earn between 2x and 4x the fuel points! Every 100 points gets you 5 cents off per gallon at Ingles Gas Express locations. Sign up for AdvantageMail to be notified about extra savings events.
Scattered throughout Georgia and the Carolinas, Bi-Lo offers fuel savings with SE Grocers Rewards, which gives you 1 point for every $2 spent on qualifying purchases and either $1 off for groceries or 5 cents off per gallon at participating gas stations for every 100 points earned.
Register for Bi-Lo Rewards here. Bonus! Points don’t expire for a full six months after they are earned.
8. Harris Teeter
Located throughout Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Carolinas, Harris Teeter shoppers can earn 1 fuel point for every $1 spent in-store, 2 fuel points per $1 spent on eligible gift cards and 50 fuel points per non-federally funded prescription.
Every 100 fuel points earned equals 10 cents off per gallon up to 35 gallons — with a maximum of 1,000 points redeemed per transaction — at Harris Teeter Fuel Centers and participating BP and Amoco stations.
Harris Teeter frequently offers limited time promotions like 2x the bonus points for greeting cards, so keep an eye on the site and plan your card buying accordingly!
9. Food City
In Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, Food City Fuel Bucks offers 15 cents off per gallon up to 20 gallons for every $150 you spend. Gift card purchases of $50 will net you double the points and qualifying prescriptions equal bonus fuel bucks at the pharmacy.
You can only use 15 cents off per gallon each day, but on Wednesdays you can cash in 30 cents off.
Bonus! You can redeem 300 Fuel Bucks for 5% off groceries up to $100.
10. Harveys Supermarkets
Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are home to Harveys Supermarkets.
Harveys partners with SE Grocers rewards, so you’ll earn 1 point for every $2 spent on qualifying purchases and receive $1 off for groceries or 5 cents off per gallon at participating gas stations for every 100 points earned.
Register for Harveys Supermarket Rewards here.
Although Publix doesn’t offer a consistent fuel rewards program, it does run frequent gas promotions in the Weekly Ad. A recent promotion offered $10 off the purchase of one $50 gas card with a grocery purchase of $50 or more!
Northeasterners, do you take advantage of any of these fuel rewards programs?
12. Giant Eagle
Located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland, Giant Eagle’s fuelperks+ program offers 10 cents off per gallon for every $50 spent at Giant Eagle, GetGo, Market District or Giant Eagle Express.
You can use these rewards at GetGo stations up to 20 gallons of gas with your Giant Eagle Advantage card.
With your Giant Eagle Advantage Card, you are eligible for GetGo AdvantagePAY, which stacks your fuelperks+ for additional savings at the pump.
13. Price Chopper
Scattered throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania, Price Chopper stores award you 5 cents off each gallon of gas for every $100 you spend in stores.
Spread throughout New England, Shaw’s offers 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend, plus double the points on gift card purchases.
Bonus! When you sign up, you get $5 off your next purchase of $25 or more.
Redeeming coupons? You’ll get 10 points for each one you use. Bonus items throughout the store offer extra points.
Fuel discounts are good for up to 20 gallons at any Tops gas station by scanning your Tops BonusPlus card.
16. Market 32
Owned and operated by Price Chopper, Market 32 serves New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. It provides 5 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend on groceries.
From Ohio through the Dakotas, buying groceries at these stores will help you save money on gas.
17. Shop N’ Save
Located in Missouri and Illinois, Shop N’ Save offers 10 cents off per gallon for every $50 you spend — which is twice the amount many other stores offer.
Use your Shop N’ Save fuel discount at participating Sunoco stations by scanning your Pump Perks card.
18. Pay Less Super Markets
Owned by Kroger, Pay Less Super Markets in Indiana offer 1 fuel point for every $1 spent, and 100 points will get you 10 cents off per gallon.
You can stack ’em for up to $1 off per gallon at Kroger Fuel Centers and and 10 cents off per gallon at participating Shell stations. Some prescriptions earn 25 fuel points, and you can earn 2 fuel points for each $1 spent on most gift cards.
Scan your Shopper’s card at the pump to receive your discount.
Hy-Vee offers fuel perks on select grocery items that vary weekly. Hy-Vee stores can be found in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Unlike other stores, there isn’t a set reward per dollar amount spent — either check the weekly ad or browse your local Hy-Vee to see which items offer fuel rewards.
Redeem points at Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh, Casey’s, Shell and participating Kwik Trip stations by swiping your Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks card.
20. Cub Foods
You’ll earn 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent. That means you can earn up to $1.50 off per gallon — which would require spending $1,500 — on 20 gallons of gas.
The final frontier … of fuel rewards.
For every $100 you spend at QFC, you’ll receive 10 cents off per gallon. QFC stores can be found in the state of Washington and the metro area of Portland, Oregon.
Use your rewards at QFC fuel centers or participating Shell stations by swiping your Advantage card.
How much can you redeem? Stack your 10-cent discounts for up to $1 off per gallon.
22. Fred Meyer
Fred Meyer is located in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. The grocery store offers 1 point for every $1 spent, and 100 points earns you 10 cents off per gallon.
Purchase gift cards for double points and fill prescriptions for 25 bonus points. Redeem your points, which are good on up to 35 gallons of fuel, at Shell or Fred Meyer gas stations with your Rewards card.
23. Fry’s Food
Big Box Grocery Stores With Fuel Rewards Programs
If you’re a member at big box chains like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco, your loyalty can pay off at the pump. While memberships cost anywhere from $45 to about $100 per year, they can offer some serious advantages to frequent shoppers.
With a Walmart + membership plan, you can save up to 10 cents per gallon at the pump. A Walmart + membership is $12.95 per month or $98 annually.
Member prices are available at Exxon, Mobil, Walmart and Murphy stations. Membership also gets you access to Sam’s Club fuel centers.
Exclusively for Costco members, the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi gets you 4% cash back on eligible gas, up to the first $7,000 per year. After that, you earn 1% cash back. Gas station eligibility is determined by Visa and includes Costco centers.
Costco memberships range from $60 to $120 annually, but the Visa card has no annual fee.
Bonus! The Costco Anywhere card also earns 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
26. Sam’s Club
With the lowest annual membership fee — just $45 per year — Sam’s club members are eligible for a Sam’s Club Mastercard. The Mastercard has no annual fee and gets you 5% cash back on gas up to $6,000 per year wherever Mastercard is accepted. After that, you earn 1% cash back.
Similar to Costco, with the Sam’s Club Mastercard you also earn 3% cash back on dining and takeout and 1% cash back on Sam’s Club purchases.
Fuel Rewards Tips
Now you know where you can score some gas rewards — but how do you make the most of them?
Here are some tips to help you maximize your savings with grocery store fuel rewards programs.
Buy Gift Cards for Double Points
This is an easy way to rack up your fuel rewards, as stores such as Albertsons and Fred Meyer offer double points on gift card purchases.
You don’t need to actually give them as gifts — purchase gift cards for restaurants or stores you already shop at. Better yet, buy gas gift cards and use them when you fuel up at a discounted price!
Keep an eye out during the holiday season, since some stores offer special gift card promotions with anywhere from two to four times the amount of fuel rewards.
Beware of Expiration Dates
As awesome as fuel rewards are, they all expire eventually. Stop & Shop fuel rewards expire after only 30 days, but most other retailers’ points last 60 or 90 days.
Make sure to check the terms of your fuel rewards program and use your points before they expire.
Get All Your Discounted Fuel
One downside of gas rewards is that you can only use the points once, even if your tank is smaller than the maximum number of gallons you can redeem.
Try to fill up when your tank is as close to empty as possible — that way, you’ll get more gas and maximize your savings.
If your car doesn’t have a large tank, you can bring an empty gas can to fill with the remaining gallons so you don’t waste your fuel rewards. Just make sure this is permitted by your gas rewards program.
Shop On the Weekend
Now you’ll have an actual excuse to wait until the weekend to hit the grocery store. Some stores, such as Kroger, offer double fuel rewards on weekends. It will probably be busy, but the savings might be worthwhile.
Read the Fine Print
Any rewards programs will have asterisks. For instance, some will only let you redeem one time in a single day and most have maximum gallon amounts. Expiration dates vary a great deal, too. It’s always a good idea to check the FAQ section on the appropriate website to understand the particulars. You might learn about some extra perks, too!
Other Ways to Save on Fuel
Some gas stations offer their own rewards programs. Most come with a free app to help you keep track of your rewards, take advantage of in-store sales and discounts, and even pay right from your phone.
Check out our list of the best gas station rewards so you can save on fuel every time you fill up.
Contributor Veronica Leone Matthews is a North Carolina-based freelance writer with 11 years of experience writing for non-profits and higher education. She covers lifestyle topics and money-saving strategies for The Penny Hoarder. Reporting from former staffers Jacquelyn Pica and Jessica Gray is included in this report.