Getting FREE gas at Stop & Shop used to be the best part of shopping at Stop & Shop until recently. In the past it was easy to obtain so much free gas you had to give it away to people at the pump but the changes that went into effect in August have made it so you can no longer get a free surplus of gas but the program does still have it’s benefits.
UPDATE: Stop & Shop now requires you to spend $25.00 to earn gas points. They are really killing the gas point love.
Understanding Stop & Shop Gas Points
Gas points can be very confusing if you are just starting out and just like couponing it requires a shift in thinking.
Are you ready to shift in order to save lots of money?
Here is how Gas Points work at Stop & Shop
You earn points for buying a certain number of select gas point items each week. Doing so earns you points and points are redeemed for money off gas. (EX; 400 points are equal to $0.40 off a gallon)
You want to look for the items that cost you the least out of pocket cost to make the most of this program
One week Jones’ sausages were part of the gas points buy 7 earn 400 points / .40 off a gallon
The sausages were on sale for $1.66
There was a $0.75/1 coupon that doubled to $1.50 making the sausages cost just 16 cents a box.
When you bought 7 at 16 cents each you spent $1.12 oop and earned 400 points which is equal to $8.00 when you get the maximum of
per fill up of 20 gallons. This is what we refer to as a gas point money maker. $8.00-$1.12 = $6.88 gas point profit. This virtually makes the sausage free in gas point terms and a $6.88 gas point money maker.
The most money you can save per fill up is $.1.50 per gallon and that would be equal to 1500 points
You can buy 10 sets of gas points items per promotion
You can get 20 gallons per fill up
So, if by some chance gas goes down to $1.50 per gallon we will be filling up for free.
If gas at your station is is currently $2.25 per gallon and you got 20 gallons you would pay $75¢ per gallon ($2.25-$1.50= 75¢)
75¢ per gallon x 20 gallons = $15.00
vs. the rest of America that’s paying approximately $2.25 x 20 gallons = $45.00
That’s a savings of $30.00!
*(Gas point guidleines updated 8/2016 and we can no longer get 35 gallons for free)
The reason you want to get 20 gallons is to maximize your savings
If you were to get 10 gallons and used your 1500 in points 10 gallons at 75¢ a gallon it would cost you $7.50 and save you $15.00
Or you could redeem the same 1500 points and get 20 gallons of gas, pay $15.00 and save yourself $30.00
Saving $30.00 is better than saving $15.00
“But I don’t drive an Army tank so how am I going to get 20 gallons per fill up “
If your car doesn’t take 20 gallons which most don’t you have 2 options
1. Bring empty gas cans with you and fill them up
2. Bring a buddy and fill their tank up as well.
Do not hang the pump back up in between either one of these options because it will reset the pump.
YMMV on if the station allows you to fill up gas cans or use the buddy system. My best advice is to pay at the pump with a credit card that way you will not need any cashier intervention and lessen your chance of being told “you can’t do that”.
“Saving money is great but I won’t eat the food that is in the promotion”
I hear this all the time and a lot of times I don’t want the items either but it doesn’t stop me from buying them. The way I look at it is if the food blows out the windows on the way home I still haven’t lost anything and will still save tons of money at the pump.
It’s not always about what you are getting it’s about what you are saving.
Look at it this way..
If you and your significant other are using a tank of gas a week and for the sake of simple math lets say your tank holds 10 gallons each for a total of 20 gallons. If that was the case you would have to buy 20 gallons of gas for the two of you.
20 gallons of gas x 2.25 per gallon is costing you $45.00
If you have to buy gas , you have to buy gas and $45.00 is what you are going to pay no matter what, right?
So if you can get that same 20 gallon of gas for $15.00 buy buying a bunch of items you won’t eat.. why wouldn’t you?
Anything you get that you won’t eat can be given to someone that will eat it. And as we all know there are so many people in need right now. Give whatever you won’t eat to a senior in your neighborhood, a struggling friend, neighbor, or food pantry. It won’t go wasted.
Slow down and think about this for a minute
You can save $77.00 on the cost of gas and get items that you can eat or donate to friends family or neighbors basically the free.
Going back to the Jones’ scenario;
70 boxes of sausage cost $11.20 out of pocket after coupons
For buying 70 boxes I earned 4,000 in gas points = $4.00 off per gallon of gas (but I can only redeem $1.50 at max per fill up. The balance rolls over)
By spending $11.20 in sausage it saved me $90.00 in gas!
Make sense yet?
Even weeks that the gas points do not work out to be money makers buying anything that breaks even is like getting the item for free. If you are saving $14.00 on gas buy spending $14.00 in food its breaking even. But you would be paying for your gas anyway so buying the food and paying the same for the gas is really like getting the food for free. And if it’s free take it!
Gas points expire 30 days after they are earned so be sure you can use them before you go over board earning them.
Keep an eye on your points by logging into www.stopandshop.com and clicking on My Stop & Shop to review your balance
Time to rework your budget
If you have been following my system and charting what you spend by budgeting your grocery cost every week you know can take your grocery budget and add it to you gas budget. Figure out what your family spends on gas each month then add it to your grocery budget and watch how much money you save by combining the two.
If your grocery budget happy number is say $25.00 per week x 4 weeks = $100.00
If you are filling up to cars per week making your gas budget $459.00 per month or insert whatever your true number is.
Add the two together for a monthly budget gas / grocery budget of say $559.00 per month
Now start earning gas points buy buying whatever works out the cheapest whether you want it or not.
If you stockpiled gas points by buying things that work out the cheapest like the Jones’ sausage you will spend approximately $151.20 per month on gas vs. the $459.00
That’s a monthly savings of $307.80 you can use that to add a nice cushion to your grocery budget when needed or put in on a credit card bill or save up for a rainy day.You will also have a big stockpile of gas point food items that you can store away or donate to someone in need. It’s a win -win/ save- save!