In the vast, ever-churning ocean of TikTok, user Gas Guy (@cheapgasguy) has managed to tap into the collective American psyche with a topic that hits very close to home for just about everyone: Gas prices. With a whopping 1.8 million views, his video isn’t just viral; it’s a PSA for anyone watching the ticker rise at the pump.
Titled “They changed the sign when I pulled up. Yo, ESPN saving money is a sport!” Gas Guy reveals a hack that turned heads, dropped jaws, and had us all wondering why we hadn’t thought of it first. The hack in question? A slick maneuver at the Kroger gas pump shows Gas Guy filling up his tank for a mere $0.66.
That’s right, 35 gallons of gas for less than the cost of a candy bar, all thanks to the strategic purchase of gift cards. The video captures a moment that feels almost like a magic trick. “So this says 2:54, but this says 2:51. It’s gonna be a good day,” he narrates, setting the stage for a fill-up that’s as much about fuel as it is finesse. “Gonna use two dollars and fifty cents off. And here he goes right there. It actually updated while I was putting my nozzle in the tank,” he says, showing the gas price sign.
But how does one achieve this sorcery? Gas Guy has cracked the code: “Do I buy a lot of groceries at Kroger? No. Do I buy a lot of gift cards? Yes.” The secret sauce? Kroger’s Fuel Points program, where customers earn points for purchases—including gift cards—that can be redeemed for significant discounts on gas. For every 100 Fuel Points, you get 10 cents off per gallon at Kroger Fuel Centers and participating stations.
The revelation has left users astounded, with comments ranging from the incredulous to the enlightened. “Imagine the face of the next person that uses the pump and sees that,” one user mused, envisioning the shock of discovering the pump reading $0.66 for 35 gallons.
@cheapgasguy They changed the sign when I pulled up. Yo, ESPN saving money is a sport! @Kroger @ESPN #gasstation #satisfying #savingmoney #happynewyear #diy #fuelpoints #gasdiscount #giftcards #fulltankofgas #2024 #fyp #viral #viraltiktok #2023unwrapped #trend #trending #winter #tennessee #cfp ♬ Funny – Gold-Tiger
Another chimes in with their own success story. They wrote, “I got gas for .04 a gallon last month with my Kroger points!” Meanwhile, another user voiced the regret many of us feel for not having connected the dots sooner. “I have absolutely no idea why I have never thought to do this,” they wrote.
Gas Guy’s hack comes at a time when Americans are keenly aware of the fluctuating cost of gas. Over the past three years, we’ve ridden a roller coaster of prices, peaking at a national weekly average of $4.99 per gallon in June 2022, amid the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and global geopolitical tensions. The annual average cost for gas in 2023 was reported to be $3.07 per gallon, a welcome decrease from the highs of the previous year, attributed to lower crude oil prices and increased gas inventories. Yet, with the cost of goods and services continuing to rise post-pandemic, every cent saved is a victory.
Kroger isn’t the only retailer offering such a lifeline to motorists. Costco, Speedway, Maverick Adventure, and many others have implemented similar programs, offering discounts on gas as a perk for shopping with them. In a brave new world where the cost of living seems to only go one way—up—these discounts are not just promotions; they’re essential strategies for stretching the increasingly stretched dollar.
Gas Guy’s viral video isn’t simply a tip for cheap gas; it’s a commentary on the current state of economic survival in the U.S. As prices for just about everything else continue to climb, hacks like these become less about beating the system and more about navigating it. In a modern landscape where “saving money is a sport,” Gas Guy and TikTokers like him are the coaches we maybe didn’t know we needed, teaching us how to play the game one trip to the pump at a time. As we all look for ways to make our money go further, it’s clear that in the game of life, a little insider knowledge can go a long way—most literally.
The Daily Dot reached out to Kroger via email and Gas Guy via TikTok comment for further information.