Cost per gallon of gas up by 36 cents across America
Wayne Hatch looked puzzlingly at the display on the gas pump as he tried to fill up at the Safeway on Horizon Drive on Friday.
He cupped his hands over his eyes, fruitlessly pushed a series of buttons, and even quizzically looked around before finally clicking the pump handle to fill up his tank for the long drive back to Highlands Ranch.
The source of his confusion Friday stemmed from his presumption that he would get an automatic 3-cent discount just by swiping his Safeway club card — a program the supermarket chain discontinued at the beginning of the month.
“I thought maybe there was something wrong,” Hatch said, after a reporter informed him of the change.
With gas prices climbing across the country, drivers everywhere seem more eager than ever to pinch their pennies when it comes to filling up at area gas stations.
Cars and trucks were lined up at the gas station adjacent to the City Market on 24 Road on Friday, with many drivers taking advantage of the automatic fuel discount program the supermarket still offers to its value card holders.
Howard Oatman swiped his City Market card and filled his pickup truck, plus an extra tank he had mounted in the bed. He said he usually gets between 20 cents and 60 cents off, based on how much his most recent grocery bill is at the City Market store.
“I live in Fruita, and I drive the whole way down here,” he said. “I’ll spend a hundred dollars, easy.”
Another truck owner, Elaine Sadler of Loma, also was using her value card to get a 10-cent fuel discount on Friday.
“We have three pickups and two semis, so (a change in gas prices) affects us a lot,” she said.
Both Safeway and City Market still offer fuel discounts based on grocery purchases by club card members. Neither returned calls seeking specifics about their customer loyalty and discount programs regarding fuel purchases.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, national retail gas prices have risen for seven straight weeks and are up more than 36 cents since July 2. And while Colorado has held pretty steady over that same time, even declining a bit, gas prices are generally up from a year ago, according to AAA Colorado.