APPLE VALLEY (WCCO) — A new survey found the typical household will have spent more than $4,100 dollars on gas this year — that’s a record. But with gas prices hovering around $3.15 a gallon, we still think we’re saving money.

Paul’s gas station in Apple Valley has had a steady stream of traffic recently. Drivers are obviously seeing the posted $3.12 for a gallon of regular unleaded as an incentive to fill up.

“I’m a struggling college student. So, I don’t really want to spend a whole bunch of money on gas to get anywhere,” said Micheal Rainey, who was filling up his gas tank.

It was only 7 months ago, in May, when gasoline almost hit the $4 mark, making it seem like drivers are saving big.

“This past year, we were kinda toying with that $4 mark, so anything below that feels pretty darn good. And $3.12 is in that range and looking pretty comfortable for us,” said Gail Weinholzer of AAA.

In reality, we’re paying more. Gas was below $3 this time last year.

“People have fairly short memories, especially when it comes to gas prices,” said Weinholzer.

This year, the typical household will end up spending a record $4,155 fueling up their vehicle, according to the Associated Press and AAA.

“That’s, like, really expensive. Like, I can’t imagine spending that much money on gas,” said Rainey.

Unrest in the Middle East throughout the year drove up the cost of oil. It wasn’t until Labor Day that prices saw a steady decline.

“It is nice relief. It’s higher than previous years, but still a really nice relief from earlier in the year,” said Weinholzer.

Now, nearing the lowest point of 2011 the timing couldn’t be better.

“This is nice, right before I go Christmas shopping,” said Beth Johnson, an Apple Valley resident.

According to AAA, 2010 was also likely the last year gas prices would dip below the $3 mark. Demand and future market projections help determine price and that’s pointing to $3.12 to be the new normal.

Comments (16)
  1. Exp says:

    The oil corporations plans are complete: raise prices to a painfully insane level, then back off to only a moderately insane level so that we feel like we’re getting a break.

    Classic Stockholm’s syndrome if I ever saw it.

    1. insignificant says:

      @exp…yepperoo…they raise the price for gallon so high ,people think they are getting a deal@ over a buck a gallon over where it should be,eh?…and with the way the economy has been,they didn’t help matters ,did they?

    2. Phid says:

      What exactly has Obama done to help us? Weren’t liberals blaming Bush when gas prices spiked under his presidency? Then why don’t they blame Obama for the sustained high prices under his watch?

  2. Cheryl says:

    I don’t have a short memory. B. H. Obama had spent billions on green energy. Also known as paying back campaign fund raisers with billions via the tax payer. While committing these felonious acts, he makes every move to stop oil flow and refinery updates.

    1. Mike says:

      Cheryl, the facts are; The number of oil rigs in production in the U.S. has reached a 24-year high, according to oil field services company Baker Hughes. In 2011, domestic production was 1.89 billion barrels. This year, experts say, production is expected to surpass 2 billion barrels.

      1. Simon says:

        What about drilling in the golf and off the North Slope?
        One of the oil companies gave up on getting permits because they have been trying (and paying for them) for years) only to have the EPA step in to impede the process because of some bogus air quality regulation. The EPA is part of the OBAMA administration.

        1. Simon says:

          Sorry .. It’s Gulf (Spell Checker got me).

        2. Tom says:

          @ Simon

          According to the experts even if we started to handing permits to start drilling in the Gulf or anywhere for that matter it would take years before we would see anything from it. And when we do they say we would see about 3 cent change at most.

        3. insignificant says:

          the EPA is part of a globalist conspiracy to put so many regulations on coal,which the U.S. does have plenty of,to the point of power black-outs ,like happened in Texas around the super bowl…i have no beef with green technologies,but keep yer hands off what we do have until the technologies allow everyone to use affordably…it is becomming apparent that this “green”movement is a huge fraud ,,,gas companies didn’t help people during this economic crises by jackin’ the prices up

    2. Tom says:

      @ Cheryl

      Would you say then that Bush was repaying the Oil Companies for their help during his campaign when he gave them tax breaks? And at hearings months ago big oil was defending those tax breaks and that they still need them and they even had the GOP coming to their aid when the Dems tried to end them.

  3. mo says:

    The US is exporting record numbers of oil. Why don’t we get to keep any of this oil? Instead we rely on foreign oil.

  4. PS says:

    I would like to see an article on what the median; income and the median number of family members are. What the median; mortgage amount, gas, electric, phone, homeowner insurance, car insurance, food, daycare, school expenses, medical expenses, and all other needed expenses. What is the average amount of debt for the middle income class? How much MORE can be squeezed out of the middle class? I am going to pitch it again; We need to reform our healthcare system and start taxing the top 10% of earners (a wealthy tax). They need to feel the pain as the middle class of America does. If the middle class is tapped, they seem to be the only logical choice of raising taxes! Also, we need business to pay for their fair share of property taxes, and they federal government needs to put a nationwide stop to companies holding the tax payers hostage, by threatening to move their corporations to a state that will provide them a break with our paid taxes. The vikings should not be asking for money from the tax payers to build their stadium. Have you seen their ridiculous salaries? I am part of the middle class, I can not afford $400 to take my family of four to see the Vikings play. Why should my earned money go to pay for their stadium? That is like asking the poor person to fund a home for a wealthy person. Let them feel the pain of our economy, such as the middle class has suffered. We need to put an end to corporate greed in this country.

  5. Be Heard says:

    The US neglects to tap into their own supply, big oil companies are making well over 100% profit per gallon, and the consumers that fuel their gargantuan industry are the ones bending over and taking it in the shorts. The only solution is for the people to unite. Imagine if there were to be a nationwide boycott of gasoline, the oil companies would eventually cave and give in to the consumers’ demands for reasonable prices. A GALLON OF GAS SHOULD COST NO MORE THAN A GALLON OF MILK!

    1. a barrel full of money for a gallon says:

      speaking of which…milk is way too expensive per gallon,too!

  6. Bill says:

    When Obama took office, gas was $1.86 per gallon.

    1. Be Heard says:

      That doesn’t matter Bill. Everybody will still blame Bush.