Stretching Your Dollar: Buy groceries, save on gas

by Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – With gas prices inching closer to four dollars a gallon, more and more of us are looking for ways to save!  That is why a program at Bi-Lo food stores is gaining popularity among the thrifty.

The program is called Fuel Perks.  It works like most reward programs, but with Fuel Perks you earn your savings at the gas pump.  Every time you accumulate fifty dollars worth of spending at a Bi-Lo store, you save five cents, per gallon of gas, for twenty gallons.  Here in Charlotte the program is with participating BP gas stations.

The fuel perks are cumulative and continue to add until you redeem them within ninety days of accruing them.  So, if gas is at $3.37 a gallon, and you spend $100 at Bi-Lo, you will have earned 10 cents off per gallon for 20 gallons of gas.  Keep in mind; the fifty dollars is money actually spent, after coupons!

You can get even bigger savings if you purchase products on their weekly Fuel Perks bonus rewards.  For instance, this week, if you buy a certain brand of dog food both dry and canned, you earn an additional 10 cents in fuel perks.  Keep in mind; these savings are per gallon, for 20 gallons.

Mary McNamara has three kids all in different schools.  "It's been a huge help to us as our situation has changed over the last year," said McNamara.  "The last time we used is we saved $1.40 per gallon.  So we spent 22 dollars and got 18 gallons of gas."

Jim Persyn, who manages a Bi-Lo in Charlotte, said the program offers deeper discounts if you buy the Fuel Perk bonus reward products. Pointing to the store's flyer, Jim said, "You look for our blue sections in the circular, here we go, ten cents off per gallon for buying five items here that are already on sale."

There are some things to keep in mind.  The Fuel Perks are good for ninety days from the day you earned them.  You have to use them all at once, in other words you can't purchase five gallons of gas with your Fuel Perk savings and go back the next day and get five more.  That's why it is recommended you build your perks to make bigger savings and then fill up your tank.  In the Charlotte area the gas must be purchased at participating BP stations.  You can click here for the Bi-Lo Fuel Perks link.

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