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Gas prices lead to smaller gas purchases

Gas not the only rising holiday cost
May 26, 2008 3:19:18 PM PDT
The summer travel season has arrived, but gas prices threaten to derail many plans for long, driving vacations.Gas prices in the Chicago area have also forced many to shorten their trips for the first holiday weekend of the summer, and there are no signs that prices will be dropping any time soon.

On Memorial Day, filling up the gas tank is going to hurt, but Chicagoans are starting to get used to the high prices.

"I feel it's to prepare you to be in 4-dollar-range. I remember when we hit $3, and we were yearning for it to go back to two. So, I just think it's going in that direction," said motorist Jimmy Tran.

"It's kind of shocking, but it doesn't affect me as much because I work at home. It's surprise when I do get out, but I know I'm lucky," said Jennifer Young, another driver.

Virtually everyone at the Chicago pumps Monday said they spent part of their time thinking about how much more they spent this Memorial Day for a gallon of gasoline. There was restaurant owner Manolis Alpogianis, not-entirely proud owner of a gas-guzzling Lincoln Navigator.

"I need it for work, so I feel I'm caught up in the profits of the oil companies," he said and added that he's only getting 10.4 miles to the gallon.

And Kendall University student Michelle Celestino will buy only so much in the high-tax city. She bought $10 worth.

"That's to go eat and get back to the suburbs and I'll fill up there," she said.

And then there was Mike Smith, who saw the $4.25 a gallon price at a BP station and bought a whole $5 worth.

"Just ride around the neighborhood, go to the family house and barbecue and that's it," Smith said.

According to the latest numbers from AAA, the average price for gas has increased 10 cents per gallon in the last week. In Chicago, the average price for regular unleaded is $4.19, and in Illinois the average is $4.11. Indiana's average price is $4. The national average is $3.93.

But to make yourself feel a little better about gas prices, compare them to the price of some Memorial Day barbecue staples.

Catsup now costs $11.52 per gallon, while mustard and barbecue sauce cost $21.76 and $19.20 a gallon, respectively. After all the barbecue, you might need some Pepto Bismol, which costs $52.48 a gallon.

So, if given the choice between gas and barbecue sauce?

Driver Tonya Scott told ABC7 Chicago, "I'd rather give up barbecue sauce to get gas."

"Definitely [give up] barbecue sauce. You need gas," Tran said.


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