Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Saga of the Gas Points

We have a local grocery store chain here in town that offers you 10 cents off your gas for every $100 you spend in groceries.  While I love Wegman’s, gas prices are so high that I can’t help but go spend money at said chain and get some kickbacks towards my gas.  You earn 1 point per dollar spent and 100 points per $100.

The way it works is that you can accumulate all the points you can in a 30 day stretch and then the points expire after that 30 days.  You can use them as you earn them, providing you have a minimum of 100 points.  Regardless, either after using them or 30 days has passed, your balance is supposed to go back to zero and you start earning again.

About 8 weeks ago, I was at 257 points.  I took Penny to the store and told her we HAD to spend 43 dollars because we were planning to drive up to Northern VA and I wanted to get 30 cents off my gas.  Well, despite our best efforts, we only spent about 40 dollars.  Imagine my shock when I looked at the receipt and it said I had 320 points!  I was not going to argue with it, so we went to the gas station and got our 30 cents off gas and I was so happy.

The next time we went shopping, I spent enough that I thought I’d have 100 points again.  But somehow, this time, I had 460 points!  I was afraid there’d been a mistake, so I jumped in the car, ran over to the gas station, and sure enough, I got 40 cents off my gas.

This has been on going.  The day of my Gerber party, I went through the line and after picking up snacks and so on, the tape told me I had 520 points. I had forgotten something and when I paid again (not having left the store, mind you), my points dropped to 480 points!  I did our family grocery shopping the very next day and was up to 580 points.  In no ways did the totals reflect what I was spending.

Over Thanksgiving, I was getting close to 700 points.  Mike and Lesley needed some groceries, my dad needed things for Thanksgiving, and we needed odds and ends here and there.  Sure enough, I was up to 800 points by the end of their visit.  But the weird thing is, Mike and Lesley checked out their groceries and the clerk gleefully exclaimed that they had 800 points and 80 cents off.  They handed my key tag to my dad and he only had 750 points.  Again, I never left the store.

At the end of Thanksgiving before my dad left, I ran to the store to grab our weekly groceries, and I suddenly had 1000 points!!  I told my dad to go fill up his car quick, as he’d get a dollar off.  When he got there, however, he only got 10 cents off per gallon instead of the dollar I was expecting.  Last night I went to get gas there just to see what would happen, and despite the fact that I had not grocery shopped at all, the machine endowed me with 80 cents per gallon off.  I haven’t paid more than $2.20 for gas in 2 months, and I haven’t paid more than $1.89 per gallon in a month.

Today I went to pick up some sodas and the receipt has informed me I have a mere 50 points at present.  I can’t help but wonder if that’s going to change when I grocery shop this weekend.  I don’t know what’s going on with their system, but I hope it stays weird.  I’m enjoying the hell out of my savings!

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