SACRAMENTO, CA - Soaring prices at the pump have left many like Mike Kaufman feeling helpless.
"It is what it is," Kaufman said. "I mean, you got to pay it. They know it. We know it, so I mean you can't fight the system. You just got to go with it."
The prices are no longer just an inconvenience. They're changing people's lives.
"My grandma has a motor home, and we were actually going to all go to Disneyland this year, and we cancelled that because of the gas prices." Tanya Aikens said as she pumped gas into her car.
"Just try to drive a little less," Ray Ranciato said pumping gas at the next pump. "That's all I can do."
But others said they can do more than just do without. Hunting for the right price can pay off big if you're willing to wait as much as 15 minutes in lines that stretch around the corner like drivers at a Sacramento Costco, who saved nearly 50 cents per gallon.
Others like Marty Meyer insist a smart strategy can make all the difference.
"Just planning a lot more, try to get all our errands done in one shot."
Some are even leaving the car behind completely. Light rail riders said it's felt a little more crowded lately.
"I have to get up two hours earlier just to get to work, but it's just so worth it," Jonathan Maldonado said as he prepared to take his bike onto a train. "I mean I save money doing so."
Once gas gets to a certain price, experts said it can substantially change consumer behavior.
"I think $4.50 is the point, is the breaking point," Kaufman said, "Anywhere from $4 to $4.25, okay, you know we got used to it, but now, it was a quick jump too."
By Gabriel Roxas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Gabriel Roxas