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May 27, 2011 11:46 PM by Matt Stafford

Gas prices hovering before holiday weekend, still high

AAA is projecting that nearly 35 million Americans will take to the road for Memorial Day weekend, and they'll be paying -- on average nationally --$3.81 per gallon of gas they buy along the way.

"(Gas prices) Kind of impacts your social budget, you know; we don't do as much stuff with the kids as we used to do, or less nights out if any," says Adam Morehead, a driver who is trying to find ways to save money on gas.

"We need gas, it's inevitable," says Anthony Hooper, another driver.

Nationally prices for unleaded and diesel have risen by more than a dollar per gallon in the last year according to AAA. (Unleaded national average -- May 26, 2010, $2.77 to May 25, 2011, $3.81 / Diesel national average -- May 26, 2010, $3.03 to May 25, 2011, $4.04) Colorado Springs and Pueblo have seen similar increases.

"I guess everybody is just kind of used to it right now; the economy is going back and forth, so you've just got to deal with it I guess," says Hooper.

But for how long?

"It's more the concern about over the summer, creeping up around four dollars (per gallon) again," says Ryan McMullen, another driver. "I think in the long run, it's not just this summer, the summer after; (we've) got to start calculating that into the budget."

People are trying what they can to save; Hooper sold his SUV to get a car with better gas mileage, and McMullen uses a phone app to find the cheapest gas.

The Department of Energy says you can save gas, and money, by keeping your speed lower while driving. They say aggressive driving on the highway (rapid accelerating and braking) could cut your gas mileage by as much as a third. Also, unloading your car can help; they say for every extra 100 pounds in the car you're burning 4 to 8 cents more per gallon (based on if your gas costs $3.85 per gallon).

For more gas saving ideas from the Department of Energy, click here.

To track average gas prices through AAA nationally as well as locally, click here.

To see who has the cheapest gas in town, check out NF5's Gas Tracker by clicking here.

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