The summer travel season is finally in full swing. While gas prices remain high, many major retailers are taking steps to cut costs for disgruntled drivers. Wal-Mart is leading the charge, reducing their fuel prices by 10 cents per gallon for the summer months. The retail giant will offer discounted prices at gas stations in 18 states until September 30. Many other stores have followed suit with their own deals. Here's a list of other major merchants helping Americans save at the pump this summer.
The drug store chain is offering a free $10 gas gift card to ExtraCare Rewards members when they purchase $30 worth of select products. The promotion runs through August 28, so there's still plenty of time to cash in.
Kroger and Shell
The grocery chain has been offering discounted gas for quite awhile now, but their partnership with Shell has really turned up the savings. With 100 points on your rewards card, you'll get 10 cents off per gallon on a fill up at both Kroger and Shell stations. If you're not satisfied with that discount, Kroger also offers $1 off per gallon when you earn 1,000 points on your rewards card.
Do you eat a bowl of cereal every morning for breakfast? If so, you're well on your way to saving on fuel. When you collect 10 UPCs from cereal boxes and mail them in, Kellogg's will send you a $10 prepaid gas card. Submissions must be received by December 31 and there's a limit of five cards per household.
Big warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's Club keep popping up all over the place. While they typically have some of the lowest gas prices around, a fill-up still requires a membership. Joining the club can be done for around $50, so if your car guzzles gas, the long-term savings are worth it.
Gas discounts aren't the only way to save, though. Here are a few more general savings tips to help you travel for less this summer.
Gift cards are becoming a currency all of their own. Cards for popular fuel stops like Shell can be bought and sold at sites like GiftCardGranny.com. Also, with merchants like Wal-Mart reducing gas prices for the summer, a discount Wal-Mart gift card can really compound the savings.
Low Octane Gas
Unless you're driving a top of the line sports car, premium gas probably isn't necessary. Most cars on the road will perform just fine with lower octane gasoline and it'll save you a couple of bucks on a fill.
Slow & Steady
If you want to save some extra money, let up on that lead-foot for just a little while. Driving at high speeds and starting and stopping quickly burns more fuel.
Instead of waiting to hit the pump until you're down to the last drop, plan your purchase in advance. Websites like GasBuddy.com will help you find the lowest local gas prices. They even have a mobile app to help you save on the go.
A combination of frugality and going green has led to a resurgence of carpools. If you're trying to track one down, websites like eRideShare.com and CarpoolConnect.com are useful resources for both drivers and riders.
As long as you're not still in high school, riding the bus probably isn't as torturous as you remember. If public transport isn't an option, you can always dust off the old bicycle. It costs next to nothing to maintain and it'll get your blood pumping better than a cup of coffee in the morning.
The easiest way to save on gas is to just stay at home. Most shopping needs, including groceries, can be satisfied online which keeps you from burning gas outside in the blazing heat.
Andrea Woroch is a consumer savings expert. She has been featured as a media expert source on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, FOX & Friends, ABC News NOW, MSNBC, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Smart Money and many more. Watch Andrea's recent interview with BetterTV about ways travelers can cut fuel costs.