5 Ways to Get Free or Discounted Gas This Summer

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Supermarkets, retail chains, and cereal manufacturers are trying to attract customers with perks everyone seems to want while gas prices remain high: discounts and freebies at the pump. Here’s a look at five promotions promising free or discounted gas, including how much you could save, as well as how much of a hassle each program is.

Kellogg’s
Now and through the end of 2011, Kellogg’s is awarding $10 gas cards to consumers who clip 10 UPCs from Kellogg’s cereal boxes, fill out forms, and mail it all in postmarked by December 31. There’s a limit of five cards per household.
POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $10 to $50
HOW MUCH YOU MUST SPEND TO SAVE: Depends on how cheap you can buy the 10 boxes of cereal (10 oz. or larger) needed for each gas card.
HASSLE FACTOR: Depends on how much cereal is eaten in your household, and how much it’d bother you to stockpile and eat possibly stale cereal over the next couple of years. Also, if you’re the type who loves the idea of saving but forgets to send in forms and rebate requests, this probably isn’t the promotion for you.

Kroger
The supermarket chain’s fuel program knocks off 10¢ per gallon at Shell stations for every 100 points accumulated on a Kroger loyalty card. $100 worth of groceries equals 100 points; two prescriptions equals 100 points; and $50 of certain gift card purchases equals 100 points. Customers can redeem no more than 100 points—and get no more than a dime-per-gallon discount—each time they fill up.
POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $1.50 on a 15-gallon fill-up
HOW MUCH YOU MUST SPEND TO SAVE: $100, most likely, though potentially less
HASSLE FACTOR: If you already shop at Kroger, no hassle at all. But the savings isn’t significant enough to warrant special trips to Kroger.

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Publix
This grocery chain’s current weekly ad includes a coupon for $10 off a $50 gas card, so long as the customer spends another $25 or more buying groceries.
POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $10
HOW MUCH YOU MUST SPEND TO SAVE: $25
HASSLE FACTOR: Minimal, though Publix’s gas card promotions are typically short-lived.

Stop & Shop
Like at Kroger, Stop & Shop’s gas savings program discounts the price of gas 10¢ per gallon when the customer accumulates 100 points (probably by spending $100 inside the store). But Stop & Shop customers can save much more than that. Compile 200 points on a Stop & Shop loyalty card, and you’ll save 20¢ a gallon, 300 points equals 30¢ off per gallon, and so on, maxing out at a discount of $2.20 per gallon.
POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $33 on a 15-gallon fill-up
HOW MUCH YOU MUST SPEND TO SAVE: $2,200, though you could also spend much less ($100) and get less of a discount on gas ($1.50 off 15-gallon fill-up)
HASSLE FACTOR: If you shop regularly at Stop & Shop, nonexistent. But in order to save a substantial amount, you must spend an astronomical amount.

Walmart
Now through September 18, when you pay for gas at a Walmart or Murphy USA station with a gift card, MoneyCard, or Walmart credit card, you’ll get 10¢ off per gallon. The offer is valid only in 18 states in the South and Midwest.
POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $1.50 on a 15-gallon fill-up
HOW MUCH YOU MUST SPEND TO SAVE: Nothing besides the cost of the gas.
HASSLE FACTOR: While no separate purchase is required, a trip inside Walmart is necessary if you’re getting the 10¢ discount via reloadable gift card payment—and as with any trip inside Walmart, it’s always possible you’ll wind up at the cash register holding more items than you’d planned on buying.

(MORE: Walmart’s New Loss Leader: Cheap Gas)

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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