Saturday, April 13, 2013

HyVee's new Fuel Saver program

NOTE: I am not receiving any compensation for this review.

I've been checking out other loyalty programs in the area... and I shop regularly at HyVee. So, when they created their new customer loyalty program - I signed up pretty quickly.

Here's how they set it up:

1) Each week they select key items in the store to promote. If you purchase x product this week, you will earn y number of cents off of the price per gallon for gas. The more you buy, the pennies off of gas accumulate.
2) Swipe your card during check out to claim the money.
3) Swipe your card when pumping gas at a HyVee station, Caseys Convenience Stores or select Shell stations - and the cost per gallon for the fill will drop according to how much you have for your current balance.

So, let's say you buy everything on their list this week... that could be $2.00 a gallon off!  Fill your car with 10 gallons, and you just saved $20.00. Sounds good, right?

Well.... it depends.  If you spent $30.00 on ten items that you wouldn't normally buy and don't want? Not such a great deal.

AND... since you're there already - what if you usually shop at Fareway or Aldis (the local low-cost grocery stores)... and you spend another $20.00 more for that weeks groceries than you would have spent if you had stayed with the lower cost grocery stores.

For me though, it's a program I'm definitely participating in. Here's the why.

I don't tend to shop at the lower-cost options because I can't get everything I want at them. When I was younger, more energetic - I would go ahead and shop there anyway for the savings. Then I would make a second trip to the stores that DID carry everything I needed to get what the other stores didn't carry.

The problem is that I don't have that kind of energy any more. It's hard enough to make one trip to a grocery store and I'll pay the premium price to get the convenience of finding everything I need.

But, taking that in hand... it would be silly not to take advantage of a loyalty program if I'm paying the premium prices. EXCEPT... I then turn around and pay absolutely zero attention to which programs qualify for the program. I buy whatever I'm going to buy and don't include those tags into the factors. I buy the brands I want when brand names matter, the quality I want when quality matters and the most frugal option I want when nothing else matters.

I swipe my card every time I check out, since I'm not paying attention. AND I swipe the card at the gas station every time I fill completely up.... and I almost always save 3 or 5 cents a gallon. Not a huge discount, I know... but it's a savings I wouldn't have otherwise. It's definitely not (IMHO) a reason to start shopping at HyVee over a more frugal option. If, however, you are shopping at a more expensive option - Dahls, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes come to mind... you might want to consider it. I know Dahls is running a similar program (don't really know how well it compares) - but HyVee has a great selection, they are running around the middle-tier for pricing, they have great organic and Health Food options.

So, like a lot of the other customer loyalty programs I've reviewed... I'm pretty solid with using the program, but not necessarily changing the way I shop to take more advantage of the program as the payoff isn't worth increasing expenses to get the payoff.

1 comment:

M Murphy said...

I enjoyed this post. I'm a huge fan of the HyVee fuel saver program. I only have to buy gas every 2 weeks so I can earn quite a few cents off before I have to get gas. $1.12 per gallon is my record!