Automotive Finances & Money

I fell for the Giant/Shell Gas Promo!

I fell for the GiantShell Gas Promo!
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 🙂

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Clever Dude


  • I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Giant of Pa and they run a gas promotion also. I saved 50 cents a gallon just yesterday b/c they had a coupon that gave you 30 cents a gallon off when you spent $50 and I already had accrued 20 cents. I probably spend about $300-$400 a month on groceries for our family of 4 and most of it is at giant. I can see how these promotions don’t work if you shop at a lot of stores, but it adds up for us. Shopping at one store is more convenient for me b/c I usually have 2 kids in tow.

  • It’s easy to fall for clever marketing ploys like that I suppose. I know many people that would drive 20 miles out of their way to save 5 cents on gas!! haha


  • Thanks for this. I spent $98 at Giant and was about to go spend the required $2 more when I read this. So I checked on-line and 1) the nearest Shell Station to me is not participating, and 2) the closest one that is has gas for 20 cents a gallon more than what I pay if I just go down the street. So I’m throwing away my Giant receipt!

  • What a bummer! I’d be interesting in hearing stories for you (or your followers) on other places you have been “trick” at?

  • We thought we would try it as we regularly shopped at Giant and had over 300 of these points. However we were ripped off at the pump as my 34 mpg civic suddenly only made 19 mpg and the pump magically put more gas into the car than the capacity of the gas tank ! Actually cost us money rather than saving. Stay away from these gimmicks.

  • Yes. It can be tricky. This Shell station I went to today was priced $.10 more per gallon than other gas stations, plus when I entered my number (I have 300 points) it did lower the price on the pump but rejected the entire transaction! Could not gas there, but needed gas anyways. (Empty tank)… Did not gas there, drove another 2 min. and got gas for $.14 cheaper per gallon! Same grade!
    And yes, Shell gas stations are not everywhere, not all participating, and many of them have broken pumps. Shell should take advantage of the BP issue and upgrade their services in a nice way!

  • I have a family consisting of my three beautiful daughters, my wife and I and we’ve been Giant shoppers nearly all of our lives. I filled up my Explorer 2 days ago for $.50 cents a gallon! NOT $.50 CENTS OFF…$.50 CENTS A GALLON! I think it was $2.75/gallon. We spend a ton on groceries so we can avoid paying a $50-$100 tab every time we go out to eat. This promotion may not be for everyone but usually with these types of promos, you must read the fine print to get the most bang for your buck. Find the loopholes and you may actually find it to be a winner.

    1) Maybe wait til your fridge is nearly empty and make your first purchase a big one so when it get’s close to the 30 day mark where your points will expire you should have at least 2 or 3 big shops on that one card.

    2) If you have a family that uses multiple cards…organize! Everyone can use the same card as long as the promo is going on and rack up some major points!

    3) You can fill up to 26 gallons at one time. BRING 2 CARS! Most cars have between a 12 and 16 gallon tank. You can have one person pump and the other move the cars…just dont put the pump back on the handle and complete the transaction before filling your 2nd vehicle.

    Just a few pointers for this particular promo. I enjoyed what should have been roughly $2.75 x 26 = $71.50 turning into only $.55 x 26 = $14.30!

  • PS There are also sites to help you find the cheapest gas by station, by city. I live in MD and it’s Just do a google search to find one for your state.

    I think all of those complaining about this particular promo should have taken the time to read and understand it first. Since Giant employees are union they usually are more helpful than at most other grocery chains. Just ask and they’ll inform you of details and give you the brochure. Geez, 5 minutes of research would have saved a buch of headaches, it seems.

  • I’m not exactly sure what you fell for. Spend money at Giant and get a discount on gas. That’s all. If Giant is 1 out of 6 markets that you frequent, why would you think that this program would be for you. I saved $.80/gallon yesterday. If I had been thinking I would have told my wife to follow me to the gas station and she could have filled up right behind me.

  • I have saved $$$ with this promotion. It is easy to spend $100 on groceries. Just keep tabs on when each of the points run out. Sign up on the giant website and you can keep track.

    Last week we added a 300 point coupon to our points and got 50 cents off per gallon.

    The most we have had is 70 cents off per gallon.

  • This Gas promotion by Giant is awesome !!!
    It saves us so much money on gas every month.
    We have six person family (mom, dad, 4-kids) and shop at Giant, Whole-Foods, Sams, Target for groceries each week . . about a fourth of $300 per week at each .. so $75 per week at Giant. The points add up fast so we save about 30-cents times 35-gallons = $11 per month . . . we fill both cars up at one filling so we get the max use of 35-gallons.
    We shop at Giant anyway for convenience and good prices on certain items . . it costs you nothing to get free points .. even if you never use them.

  • Like anything else, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it – simple as that. I like it, and use it to the max. Giant is on my way home from work. They regularly have extra credit – but $50 worth of grocery and get an extra 30 cents off per gallon. By going several times in last few weeks, I saved $2 per gallon for a total $70 savings – can’t beat that.

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