Can you believe Gas is at $4 a gallon or even higher in some areas? It definitely makes couponing and sharing in The Coupon “High” a bit more challenging. After all, it’s not really saving money if it costs you more in gas.
However, the rising gas prices make it essential to save in other areas and coupons definitely provide a means for that. So what can a person do to make the most of coupons, but not see the savings disappear into their gas tank.
I’m going to share some of the changes I have made and then offer some other helpful tips. I would love to hear your tips too.
- Group your shopping trips with other errands you have to run – This is essential for me since the closest store is 10 minutes away. So there really aren’t quick trips. I have to take my son to pre-school which happens to be near stores. So I try to do my shopping while he is in school or right after picking him up. So he’s not complaining of hunger, I will often pack a lunch and have it for him after school.
- Go to Stores that are all in the same area – For me this has made the biggest change in my drugstore Coupon “High” trips. I used to frequent CVS and Walgreens quite often. However, these are at least 15 minutes further then my son’s pre-school. So my main drugstore shopping these days takes place at two Rite Aids that are within 5 minutes of the school and close to my local Giant Eagle.Another change I’ve had to make to my drugstore shops is going one day a week, versus multiple trips. This just requires planning, so you have all the coupons you need and perhaps doing more then one transaction.
Another store that has been put off to the side is Target. There has to be some stupendous deals or some other errand that takes me to that side of town for me to go into Target. It’s not worth getting a Free Box of Granola bars if it cost me a gallon of gas or $4 to get there.
I also used to Frequent Sam’s Club, but haven’t been there for quite some time since it’s on the other side of town too. Fortunately, my husband’s work is near a Sams Club, so if there is something that I need – like protein drinks – I will ask him to pick them up on the way home from work.
- Go to Grocery Stores with Fuel Perks Programs – Fortunately for me, my local Giant Eagle is near my sons school, so I’m not going out of my way to a store for Fuel Perks. At Giant Eagle you get 10 cents off/per gallon for ever $50 you spend, plus they often run extra savings opportunities.Many other stores offer Fuel Savings Programs too. I know that Kroger and Shop N Save do, and I think Meijers does as well. Do you know of any that I missed?
- Shop online and take advantage of Free Shipping – I used this a lot at Christmas time. You can even get grocery items online from Amazon and will get free shipping with Amazon Prime. I haven’t actually gotten into buying groceries from Amazon since my grocery store is by where I have to go anyways, and I think I can save more with coupons. However if the store is far from you, Amazon offers some great deals.
Here’s some other ideas to Coupon while not breaking the Gas Bank.
- Split Shopping Trips with A Friend – If you have a friend that loves to coupon, you could share shop. You could do stores on one side of town and your friend could shop at the opposite side of town. You would just have to meet ahead of time to tell each other what you need (want) and give them the coupons and then meet again after your shopping to split the items and payments.
- Car Pool with Friends – If you’re not up to Slip Shopping, you could car pool. One Friend drive to the stores one week, and the other the next.
- Use Public Transportation – Many stops are near shopping centers
- Pay with Cash – In some areas it actually costs more to pay with your debit or credit card. It will also keep you mindful of how much you are actually spending.
Finally, before you stop at the gas station, check GasBuddy.Com for the lowest price in your area, but whatever you do, don’t drive way out of your way to get that price.
So do you have any great Money Saving ideas for Saving Gas Money while Couponing. I would love to hear them.