• 50°

Gas prices continue to surge

IRONTON — Filling the tank up is going to take a few more dollars.

The price at the pump has zoomed up nearly 22 cents the past week to an average of about $2.46 per gallon in the Lawrence County market, according to AAA.

Usually hitting its peak before Memorial Day, gas prices rocketed nearly 17 cents the Tuesday after the holiday. Many stations within Ironton have gas priced at $2.65 for a gallon of regular, self-serve unleaded.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge, oil has hovered around $60 per barrel for several weeks with small changes in prices driven by the direction of the stock market and investor’s attitudes on the global economy.

“The upward swing in oil prices, coupled with the unofficial kickoff of the summer driving season on Memorial Day has trickled down to retail gasoline prices,” said Bevi Powell of AAA. “Over the past month, retail gasoline prices have climbed nearly 40 cents.”

Despite the recent increase in prices, gasoline is nearly $1.35 per gallon cheaper than it was this time a year ago. The average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded in May 2008 was $4.02 a gallon.

That difference though does not lessen the sting of filling up in a down economy when gas was listed at $1.49 a gallon in February.

“Here we go again,” said Eileen Peters when filling up her Toyota Corolla at the Speedway in Coal Grove. “It’s amazing that gas can be 25 cents more one day than it was the day before.”

Tyson Williams has a different perspective on the increase – a perspective he said was born from the $4 per gallon gas he was stuck with last summer while filling up his Chevrolet Silverado.

“When gas was $4 a gallon, I adjusted my monthly spending budget for that price,” Williams explained. “But when the price dropped a lot during the winter, I never readjusted the price back from the $4. Instead that ended up being savings to pay off a medical bill and a mini-vacation.

Williams also added that he uses the Web sites GasBuddy.com or GasPriceWatch.com to find the lowest rates in the Tri-State area.

“Saving money is more important than ever now,” Williams said.

According to the Federal Trade Commission other gasoline savings suggestions are:

Buying gas before dawn or late at night, as most stations will raise prices during the day, especially during rush hour.

Make sure the price on the pump matches the price on the sign and be sure the gas pump stats at the $0 mark.

Avoid high speeds and quick starts.

Motorists can save up to 15 percent more fuel driving 60 mph than 75 mph plus using cruise control can save even more.

Keep idling to a minimum. One minute of idling burns the same amount of fuel it takes to start the engine.

Make sure tire pressure is at the manufacturer’s recommendation. For every pound-per-inch under the tire is, a motorist loses one mile, per gallon, per fill-up.

Check the trunk to make sure the car is not carrying anything of substantial weight it doesn’t need.

Joining a rebate club offers discounts on future gas purchases.

Some credit cards will give you a percentage back when you purchase certain brands of gas.