Fuel costs can add up in a hurry.

Whether you like to admit it or not, transportation may be your biggest expense when it comes to heading up to enjoy the mountain. There's simply no skimping on four-wheel drive and good snow tires. But when it comes to gas, the less spent the better. That's why new competition from low-price box stores selling gas and/or partnering with gas stations is a good thing.

The most significant fuel partnership for travelers heading up to Mount Hood is between Fred Meyer and Shell. For every $1 shoppers spend at Fred Meyer stores, they receive one fuel point. For every dollar they spend on Fred Meyer gift cards, they earn two points. And for every prescription they fill at a Freddy pharmacy, they earn 50 fuel points.

Given how many Fred Meyer stores there are in Oregon, those fuel points can add up quickly. You can track them by reading the bottom of your receipt. Once you get more than 100 points (a penny a gallon), you can redeem up to 1,000 of them when you fill up and save up to a dollar a gallon. See the details here.

You can redeem Fred Meyer fuel points at 50 gas stations within 45 miles of Government Camp and the mountain resorts. That's because they are also valid at Shell stations. The only thing is, you need to remember to tell the Shell attendant your rewards card number because Shell stations don't have Freddy scanners.

Fred Meyer and Shell aren't the only companies partnering to bring down gas prices in exchange for customer loyalty. The Safeway club card also earns shoppers fuel points at Safeway and Chevron gas stations. There are 20 Safeway/Chevron choices within 50 miles of the Mount Hood resorts, including the Chevron in Govy.

The details on the fuel deal with Safeway and Chevron are pretty much identical to what Freddy's and Shell offer. Again, you need to remember to show your Safeway card to the attendant or recite your card number.

If you don't use reward cards for your grocery shopping and just want to find the cheapest gas on your way up to the mountain, navigate to and punch in a zip code.

If you don't have a car and need a ride up to the mountain - or if you are looking for a ride partner to share fuel costs, check the Rides section of the Shred Hood Classifieds.