Local

Bay Area Consumers Rethink Holiday Shopping As Gas Prices Climb

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Holiday shopping

A man brings his holiday shopping bags to his car. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

MARTINEZ (KCBS) – Bay Area drivers recently found themselves paying more at the gas pump than they had in the past six months. It was particularly difficult news to stomach as consumers prepared to begin their holiday shopping for friends and loved ones.

In fact, some said the higher gas prices left them with no choice but to trim down their spending this season.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“It affects my whole life,” one man declared at an East Bay gas station. “Are you kidding me? Over three dollars a gallon? It’s too high of a price.”

In fact, Bay Area gas prices hovered well about the $3 per gallon mark. The latest Lundberg Survey found that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in California was $3.13. The nationwide average, by contrast, was just $2.87 per gallon.

“You’re already over $45 right now,” KCBS reporter Dave Padilla pointed out to one driver.

“Don’t remind me,” the man responded with a good natured laugh.

He added that the higher gas prices would force him to change his holiday spending.

“Yeah it definitely affects everything, holiday shopping, anything from just normal day life pretty much.”

For others, it was about crafting a carefully mapped out itinerary.

“So that I make as few stops as I can. And have it, you know, not backtracking a lot when I shop,” one woman explained. “I shop online now because I don’t want to go out and drive around.”

Others stood to cash in on their good fortune.

“Actually my husband works for an oil company so we get a discount when we use the credit card, too,” one driver revealed. “Although I’m not at the station where I’m supposed to be to get the discount!”

One man had a decidedly different view of the oil companies as he shelled out $52.30 to fill up his Jeep.

“For the refinery to be about five miles away and be spending 60-cents a gallon more than the national average is pretty absurd,” he reasoned.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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