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How A Woman In Cleveland Paid 89 Cents For A Gallon Of Gas An How You Can Too.
In August of 2005 the price listed as the price for agallon of regular unleaded gas was $2.29. That same dayKellie Courtney of Cleveland paid only 89 cents a gallon. Marion Charvat paid $1.09 a gallon. Marion filled herVolkswagen Jetta for only $12.45. How could they buy gasso cheap? They did it because they are smart consumers. Here's how they did it.
The reason that Kellie and Marion were able to purchasegas at such a low price is that they treated gas like itwas any other item that they would go to a store to buy. They shopped around and they found a way to purchase theirgas at the store that they found had the absolute lowestcost. They found a frequent shopper program that allowedthem to lower their gas cost. They found it at a grocerychain called Giant Eagle.
Giant Eagle does business in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Marylandand West Virginia. Recently Giant Eagle added a newcomponent to their frequent shopper program. It is calledFuelperks. It is a program that offers discounts on gas atGiant Eagle's own stations for shopping at Giant Eagleusing their frequent shopper card.
For every $50.00 of purchases using the frequent shoppercard the consumer will get a 10 cent reduction in the priceof gas for one tank fill up. Purchase $100.00 worth; get20 cents off a gallon. Purchase $500.00 worth and get$1.00 off a gallon. Buy enough groceries and you can getgasoline for free.
A large family that has to buy a lot of groceries everyweek will very quickly earn large discounts at the gaspump. The prices at Giant Eagle are in line with most ofthe other groceries in the area and their regular price ongas is in line with other gas stations so you really aregetting a legitimate discount on gas.
You have to buy groceries somewhere; you might as well buyit a store that gives you a substantial discount on gaswhile you are at it. That is one way to beat the gaspump.
Treat gas like anything else that you buy. Look for thebest deals. Look for frequent shopper programs in yourneighborhood that allow you to build up discounts you canuse towards gas. Look for gas discounts and incentivesanywhere you see a gas pump. Look for stores that may bebranching out into the frequent shopper area or stores thatnow sell gas that didn't before.
In order to compete with the new grocery gas stations manygas convenience stores are beginning to implement frequentshopper programs that will result in lower gas costs. Butmore and more traditional stores that never sold gas beforeare realizing that discount gas is a big incentive to getshoppers. Giant Eagle is one example of a traditionalgrocery store branching out to sell gas at a discount.
According to the Food Marketing Institute, just 18% ofgrocery stores built in 2003 had gas pumps; last year, morethan 60% of new stores were built with gas stations. Theyhave seen the value of offering gas to their customers as aloss leader.
The mega retailers are another place you should look forbargains. As in many areas Wal-Mart / Sam's Club arejumping into the gas business big time. The VP in chargeof fuel for Wal-Mart says he is looking to extend SamWalton's marketing strategy to gasoline by building gasstations at every Sam's Club throughout the country. In hisview, putting in pumps should be "standard practice. Itjust fits our business model: we want to bring everything[to consumers] at the lowest price."
So how can you lower your gas costs? Treat gas like anyother item you purchase. Look for deals, discounts and lowprices. Comparison shop. Find the retailers that offerthe best program for you. Look for gas bargains at some ofthe non traditional outlets like grocery stores or megastores. Then maybe you will be able to buy that tank ofgas for 89 cents a gallon like Kellie Courtney did.
By Scott Siegel
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