Gas Pains: Cutting back and speaking out
Readers write-in on how they cope with rising gas prices...and to vent a little too.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - There's been no let-up to rising gas prices, which have shot up 25 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, to a national average of $2.91.
Drivers in some places are paying well over $3.
Hundreds of CNNMoney.com readers wrote in during the past week to gas email@example.com to say they're already feeling the pinch. Some wrote to say how they're cutting back; others to offer saving strategies to fellow drivers. And quite a few had some choice words for Exxon and the rest of Big Oil.
Sara B., Landenberg, Penn.: Biking is out of the question where I live, but I have invested in a little Camry to replace the hogwagon I'd been driving. Blaming others isn't going to drive gas prices down. All we can do is be responsible with what we have. The gas pedal is right under our own feet. Buying locally and driving minimally is the only way to stop wasting fuel.
Kevin K., Tampa, Fla.: We traded in our minivan for a hybrid over the weekend. I don't mind sacrificing a little elbow room and the power sliding doors when we are getting 45 MPG rather than 18 MPG. Plus, I'd rather my money go to a the car company that is making the effort to do their part versus the big oil companies.
David G., Providence, R.I.: I've stopped driving anywhere except for when I have to go to a remote worksite (about 50 times a year). I work from home when I can, ride my bike or the bus to my office when I can't. With the money I'm saving on gas, I plan to buy a scooter for those trips that are just a bit too far for a bicycle, and in a few years I'll trade in my Accord for a plug-in hybrid that gets over 100mpg.
Rona: To pay for gas to get to work, I now make the kids keep our lights off most of the time. I will no longer buy coffee and donuts in the morning and I won't go on vacation this year.
Bryan: At the current rate, I will have to take on one or two more jobs. However, if gas prices continue to go up, I might just have to take myself out of the job market because I won't be paid enough money to pay for gas to get to work.
Big Oil backlash
John M., Hagerstown, Md.: I have stopped buying coffee for my morning ride and no longer use my personal trainer. Also, we have stopped eating out and going to movies. But we are happy to know we were able to contribute in some to the $150M retirement fund for the ex-ceo of Exxon.
Anne L.: I'm considering boycotting Mobil/Exxon to send a message. Every time an SUV drives by me on the road, I cringe. I hate what has become of America. When will the gluttony stop?
Wade: I think they should file criminal charges against the big oil companies! I have worked in the oil business for 17 years and know all too well what's taking place! Hell will be running over with executives from Enron to Exxon! Thanks for letting me rant!
Brian M.: This price gouging is out of control! Why haven't the energy companies taken steps to avoid this by introducing alternate sources for fuel? Are we expected to suffer and starve so the super wealthy oil execs get richer. I am a delivery driver, and working for tips, I have also noticed that price increases have dropped the average gratuity people are willing to give - I'm getting it at both ends now.
Tom W.: Prices are higher here in New Hampshire and my Mini Cooper likes to sip only the finest vintage. I am amazed at how little this is affecting the drivers on the highways! I drive 100 miles a day and have cut my speeds down as far as I dare to (any slower than the speed limit and you're taking your life in your own hands). I get looks all the way to work - "Stupid little car, get outta my way!" Those people are showing the oil companies that they can handle the price hikes and can probably take more! They're wasting their own money and helping to keep prices high. Way to go!
Everett P.: I changed vehicles from a Chevy van at 17 mpg to a Chevy Prizm (like a Toyota Corolla) getting 40 mpg if I do not go over 60 mph and avoid drive-thrus. In a little over 4 years I saved over $5,000 compared to the van. Until the U.S. vehicle fleet makes a broad shift in vehicle type we have no one to blame but ourselves.