Mississippians feeling the pain at the pump - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippians feeling the pain at the pump

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - That pain at the pump is getting more and more painful and as Mississippians continue to fill up, they're getting fed up.

"It is ridiculous," said Carol Longino who lives in New Hebron. She drives two hours, back and forth to and from Jackson for doctor's appointments and the trips are leaving her wallet left on empty.

"For people that are on a fixed income, that income is not going up. The gas prices are going up, groceries and everything else. Something has to be done," said Longino.

"It was easier in the past because it didn't cost nothing but $30 to fill it up. It just wasn't a problem, but $70 is like killing my pocket right now," said Devonta Balard.

In Mississippi folks are spending on average $3.65 for a gallon of regular gas. Nationwide the price isn't much higher at $3.78. Premium grades in the Magnolia State are already hitting the $4 mark. That's enough to change some spending habits.

"I'm having to buy the regular gas instead of the plus," said Renda Abercrombie. 

With oil prices around the $100 a barrel mark, some economists predict the national summer average of gas to hit the $4 a gallon mark, a level not seen since July of 2008.

With no relief apparently in sight, even the small things in life folks enjoy seem to be hanging in the balance at the pump and putting a cap on other expenses isn't always easy or welcomed.

"I'm having to cut back on a lot of things, we don't go out to eat as much as we normally do," said Longino.

"I can't eat my Snickers no more man, and I love Snickers. I can't buy Snickers no more, I gotta put it in my gas tank man, it's crazy," said Corey Archie.

According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks gas sales, American drivers bought about 2.4 million fewer gallons of gas for the week of April 1, a 3.6 percent drop from last year.

 To help ease spending in the long run, more fuel efficient cars are driving off the lots.

"We've seen an increase in sales in our Fusion, our Ford Fiesta which is a new model introduced this year. We have completely sold out of Focuses over the last month and a half," said Watson Quality Ford General Manger Cliff Marshall.

While folks may be driving a new car, driving up to the pump is still just as dreadful.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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