CLEVELAND - Driving long distances in her car while gas prices were close to four dollars a gallon put in dent in Maria Ritchie's budget.
On West 25th Street, finding the Gas and Go station pumps dishing out $3.11 regular fuel near MetroHealth Medical Center on one of her rounds, Ritchie couldn't have been more relieved on the horizon of holiday shopping season.
"I'm on the road a lot of the time, so I really appreciate the lower gas prices," said Ritchie.
National economists are expecting prices to drop below $3.00 a gallon soon nationwide. Maria is not sure the price drop will last, but she's taking in full tanks while it lasts. She keeps a close look out on the road for the best deals.
"They seem to fluctuate. Sometimes in the morning you see one price, then in the afternoon when you go back home it's a different price, so let's hope that it continues to be lower," added Ritchie.
Just a couple miles north of Gas and Go's $3.11 price was a Road Mart gas station displaying their regular gas at $3.09. The savings at their pumps have spiked sales inside their convenient store. Working behind the station's counter, Maya Noriega said feedback of their low gas prices borders on the ecstatic end of the verbal spectrum.
"They love it. They are all filling up their cars, actually," said Noriega. "When prices are this low, it not only helps the gas prices, but inside it also helps. People come in and they buy more stuff. It's good for everybody."
AAA Motor Club reminds drivers that being diligent with maintaining their cars, as well as planning out trips to shorten the miles on their vehicles will easily be seen in consumer's budget black column lines. AAA's safety Advisor Lori Cook says the drop in gas prices is due to many variables surrounding our economy differently than in 2012.
"The refineries are running at a little higher capacity, about 10 percent higher now this year than we were at the same time, for a couple of reasons. There haven't been any hurricanes in the Gulf (of Mexico) to affect production. Oil and crude production is higher so refineries are increasing their capacity in order to make more gasoline. And around Sept. 15, we started making winter-blend gasolines, the refineries did, and that costs about ten to fifteen cents a gallon less to produce because as opposed to what we drive and use in the summertime, it doesn't require as stringent air quality requirements. So it's cheaper to make," said Cook.
MetroHealth worker Revelle Rivers said she's not concerned why, just keep it up.
"I'm loving it. I appreciate it a whole lot. Just keep on droppin'," said Rivers.
Not many consumers except perhaps those deeply invested in oil companies will disagree with that.