TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The average gas price may be climbing - some places getting close to $3 a gallon - but it doesn't mean you have to give up planning that summer road trip.
By using fuel reward perks at gas stations, drivers are finding foolproof ways to save at the pump.
"It's as easy as anything. I mean, it's big savings to me," said Jeri Barker.
From apps, to coupons, to gift cards, some local residents are finding big savings. Like Jeri Barker, who, since January, has saved at least $1,300 with Meijer M Perks, mostly by using coupons.
"I use a $20 coupon. If you have a brand new prescription or a transferred prescription that you bring to Meijer and you have one of these coupons, they'll give you a coupon for $20 when you give them this and get your prescription and you can bring that either to the gas station or to use in the store," said Barker.
Families like the Carrolls depend on gas rewards for the amount of travel they do.
"We travel a lot. We go up to Michigan. We help out food pantries, things like that. So we're going all around the state. That's how it's helped us to budget in more appropriately and save," said Joshua Carroll.
By buying gift cards at Kroger, he's managed to save thousands with their fuel reward points he gets back from purchases.
"If I go in and I buy a $20 gift card to, let's say, Red Robin, one of our favorite restaurants, and it's four times the fuel points, we get four times that amount back on our fuel points so that transitions into a lot of savings," said Carroll.
And it isn't just Kroger he depends on for savings.
"We also go to Shell gas station. They also partner with the Kroger fuel points so you can save maximum ten cents per gallon but it won't let you go over that. Whereas here you can go up to a dollar," Carroll said.
For the past thirteen years, Thom Ovacek has been a loyal user of Speedy Rewards.
"I actually get about $100 free of gas a year by saving up the points and doing their rewards program," said Ovacek.
As of right now, he has over 100,000 points saved. And it didn't take much time or effort.
"It's free money. It's free stuff that you can get just by playing along and doing the game," Ovacek said. "I've got my son doing it and I'm just now trying to push my daughter who just started driving to do it, so if you just take a tiny bit of time, it's not even that long. It's worth it."
Here is a list of local gas stations that offer savings:
While these rewards offer big savings, there are still yet other things you can do to spend less on gas.
Gas station apps or websites can help you find the gas station with the lowest prices. GasBuddy, AAA, Fuel Finder and Gas Gurur are some helpful resources.
It is also important to check prices in different states you'll travel through. Prices can vary significantly from state to state because state gasoline taxes are different.
You should also think about the best way to pay for your gas.
Some stations offer a lower price if you pay with cash instead of a credit card. The difference between the cash and credit price usually ranges from around ten to 15 cents a gallon.
Another option is to pay with a cash-back credit card. While the card price may be higher than the cash price, the reward you receive could make using the credit card a better deal.