With the ever increasing food and gas prices, one has to cut corners wherever possible. As Tom Kloza , who keeps track of loyalty programs for Oil Price Information Service puts it, “To Americans, saving money on gasoline is like finding dollar bills on the street.”

One good way of finding this money is to take advantage of the numerous grocery and gasoline card programs made available by many grocers. Kroger, for example has 2,500 grocery stores in 31 states and they offer their customers a program called Central fuel. People who enroll in this program can earn ten cents a gallon off at participating Shell stations, up to a total discount of $1 per gallon. So if a customer collects 500 points, they get a fifty cent discount on their gas purchase and 1,000 points will earn them $1 discount. Points can be tracked by viewing the lower portion of the receipt for their previous balance. Points can be used through the end of the following month at which point they start accumulating again. If a customer buys a gift card which they can use themselves for groceries or give as a present, then the points they get towards gasoline are doubled. So for a $50 card, they earn 100 points. Customers also get 100 points every time they have two prescriptions filled or refilled at Kroger Pharmacy. So there are a lot of ways of saving.

Safeway stores offer their customers a similar program. Safeway Club Card members can accumulate points by making purchases at their store . There is a savings of tens cents per gallon for every $100 dollars spent in the grocery store. Unfortunately, not all Safeway stores are participating in this program, so one has to check for the shelf tags in the store and store signs stating that the store is participating in the program.

Acme Fresh Markets, a chain located in the Midwest, and Circle K gas stations partnered up to offer their own gasoline rewards program. Acme customers can earn money instead of a discount towards gas purchase at any Circle K pumps. Acme gives anything from five cents to $20 towards fuel purchase when customers choose from the over three thousand products that have fuel money connected with them. Obviously, the more expensive items, like patio furniture, have larger amounts of fuel money connected with them. Unlike offers made by others, the value on the Fuel Rewards Card does not expire. When customers use the Acme cards to do their shopping at Acme stores, the Fuel Rewards Card gets money loaded onto it electronically which can then be used at Circle K.

Not to be outdone by anyone, Giant has teamed up with Shell to bring its trusted customers savings on gasoline. For each 100 points earned by shopping at Giant stores, the customer can save 10 cents a gallon on gas from Shell stations. The points have to be used up by the end of the month, as the cycle starts over each month. There is a limit of $2.20/gallon redemption in a single fill up.

One can sign up for the Giant Card online or at their stores. The online account allows the customer to keep track of reward points, get load-to-card offers, or select frequent buyer rewards. By buying specially selected items, it is possible to earn extra points. Just take the list of participating items displayed at the store front every week, then look for the corresponding Gas Rewards tags located in various spots in the store and use the Giant Card to earn extra points.

Minnesota Rainbow Foods also offers a discount of ten cents a gallon for every $50 purchase at Rainbow. They give their customers a plastic discount card with a computerized ID number. BP stations has partnered with Rainbow and has set up smart gas pumps which read the ID numbers and transmit the information electronically to the Rainbow database center. The database corroborates the discount size and the pump automatically decreases the price per gallon. People really enjoy the bonus they get on their gas, because everyone has to eat so that money has to be spent anyhow!

Not all stores of a given chain always participate and the same stores in different states have different offers available, so one has to find the participating stores that are closest to where they live to start the savings.