3 Unexpected Ways to Save on Gas This Summer

Surprise! Find gas savings at your grocery store or pharmacy

June 9, 2014 — -- intro: Wait-a-second! It’s June? How did that happen? Did summer sneak up on you, too? My family road trip is coming up and I’ve got to get prepared. According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular is $3.65 — and I can tell you prices are solidly above $4 here in the nation’s capital where I live. To help you hit the road for less, here are three stores that offer you different kinds of gasoline discounts.

quicklist:title: Walmarttext: The megastore is once again offering its “Gas Rollback” program. This deal is good at more than 1,000 participating Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations. You can save 15 cents per gallon when you pay with a Walmart credit card, MoneyCard or with Walmart’s Bluebird by AmEx card. Or, if you don’t have a Walmart credit card, you can save 10 cents a gallon by paying with a Walmart gift card. Might be worth stocking up before a trip. At first I thought, 10-15 cents a gallon didn’t sound like much, but get this: Walmart says last year its customers saved more than $98 million through the program. Walmart’s Gas Rollback program is good through September 8.

Read More: Wal-Mart CEO: Speed up Pace of Change

quicklist:title: CVStext: From now through July 19, CVS is offering its “Free Gas Card” promotion. You need to be a member of the CVS Extra Care program to participate. Then, you can earn a $10 gift card each week if you spend at least $30 on certain items advertised in CVS’s weekly ad. The required purchases are items you’re likely to need anyway, like summer picnic supplies, sun screens, and other summer personal care items. No need to pick up an old-fashioned store circular. You can spot the eligible items —they’re clearly marked— via CVS’s personalized online ad. See an example here. The $10 gift card will print out after your receipt and you have 30 days to use it.

quicklist:title: Safewaytext: This program is a little complicated but also quite generous. For every dollar you spend on groceries at Safeway you get one point. At 200 points give you 20 cents off of gas, 500 points gets you 50 cents off, 1,000 points gets you $1 off. Did I mention the discount is PER GALLON? Yes! It’s good for a single visit at a participating gas station. So far, Exxon Mobil stations are the ones partnering with Safeway in this offer. You can find a Safeway store here and a participating gas station here. Unlike the other offers, this program runs year-round.

Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

Elisabeth Leamy is a 20-year consumer advocate for programs including "Good Morning America" and "The Dr. Oz Show." She is the author of Save BIG and The Savvy Consumer. Elisabeth is also a professional speaker, delivering talks nationwide on saving money, media relations, and career success. Elisabeth receives her best story tips from readers, so please connect with her via Facebook, Twitter or her website, to share your ideas.