Getting pinched at the pump

By By Kim West
A few summers ago I drove to Atlanta with two of my Shelton State teammates to watch a soccer game.
Before we left the city, I decided to stop for gas and was elated to spot a convenience store near the stadium that sold gas for $1 per gallon.
Teresa and Railey were horrified that I stopped there because the store had a shady visage thanks to its barred windows and suspect location. But they weren't driving or paying for the gas so I cast the deciding vote and drove away with a full tank that cost about $10.
Every time I stop for gas, which happens two or three times per week, I think about that trip when I should really be thinking about ways to cut down my mileage. I don't even look at the gas prices anymore because they defy that saying that what goes up must come down.
I think gasoline might be the most in-demand everyday product in the U.S. so does it surprise anyone that the major oil companies, which are generating billions in revenue, aren't lowering their prices?
Since my Saturn is rapidly approaching 200,000 miles, I think it's a good time to consider buying a hybrid car because according to Cars.com, the top-rated Toyota Prius averages 45 to 48 miles per gallon. The retail price for a new one is more than my annual income but I've been looking at used models, and they're much more affordable.
I feel obligated to seriously consider an American-made car – General Motors offers the Vue Green Line SUV – but it only gets 25 to 32 miles per gallon and costs more.
Plus, Saturns don't have much of what I call "get-up-and-go," and I'd like to drive a car that doesn't sound like it's going to die while ascending a hill on the highway.
In the meantime, I will just have to do my best to avoid driving over 60 miles per hour and cut back on changing lanes and accelerating from intersections.
Those things should also help me avoid the attention of traffic cops, an added bonus to the savings at the pump.

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