Just a couple weeks ago, I evaluated the Giant Supermarket deal with Shell for gas discounts. In our case, I basically said the deal wasn’t worth it because we don’t tend to spend $100 at any one supermarket each month (and the dealbreaker was that you have to use the points within 30 days or risk losing them). We spread our spending across Giant, Bloom, Safeway, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club and the local farmer’s market (some shops much more than others though).
It wasn’t until after our first purchase that we found out about the 30-day rule, and that purchase earned us $33 towards the first $100. A few days later, we needed some groceries for a trip we were taking, and that earned us another $33 (about $8 of it was for flowers for my honey).
So, we’re up to two-thirds of the amount we needed to get 10 cents off, and it only took a week. Now my personality takes over. I feel committed to this endeavor, and I must see it through to the end! When we get back from our trip, we needed a few more groceries…and here’s where I get dumb.
I fell for the exact thing I warned against: shopping at Giant ONLY because you want the cheaper gas. Doing so means you’re missing deals at other stores, or worse, buying stuff you don’t even need. And we did both (yes, I’m pulling my wife into this too!).
We needed milk and syrup. That’s all. But we walked out of Giant with $38 worth of groceries, and most of it was impulse purchases (like cereal and wafer cookies, although they WERE on sale!). But we crossed the 100 point line!
The next day, I let my truck get down to about 2 gallons left (gas light on), but I didn’t make it to the Shell station when I was nearby. Unfortunately, the next day we had a picnic with friends a good distance away, and I really needed gas in the truck since they don’t have a gas station on the way there. Therefore, I did the next stupid thing on the list: I went out of my way just to get Shell gas!
The process was easy enough to get the discount. I slid my Giant card, then my credit card, chose the octane and then it showed the discount applied to the per gallon price. I fill up, knowing the whole time that I did all this just to save about $1.90. Ridiculous. I also knew that the gas station down the street from our house had gas for 15 cents less than this Shell’s normal price. I could have saved 5 more cents, but I got sucked into the marketing genius. (although I will state that the cheaper gas station is sketchy and I’m not always confident of their gas quality).
So there you go, the Clever Dude wasn’t so clever…but at least I knew what I was doing the whole time. I just couldn’t change my desire for closure on those points and I let my strength become a weakness.
Oh well. Maybe I’ll stop shopping at Giant now, just to avoid earning any more points 🙂