The price for a gallon of gas is a dollar more than last year - and consumers are feeling it

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- The price at the gas pump has been steadily increasing, up by more than a dollar a gallon since this time last year.

"It sucks. It's up a lot. It costs a lot more money. Costs a lot more money to drive," said Steve Johnson, an electrical contractor in Riverside.

The rise in cost is hitting small business owners like Johnson's bottom line and consumer's pockets.

"Making minimum wage it is hard on me. It's hard on us, you know," said Mike J.

Some drivers are adjusting to rising fuel prices by switching out gas guzzling vehicles for more economical ones.

"It's detrimental. I have had to downsize on my vehicle to a commuter vehicle," said Victorville resident Richard Lopez.

Gas prices recorded the largest weekly increase since March with Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties averaging $4.50 a gallon. In the Inland Empire, gas was slightly cheaper by about 15 cents.

With gas prices not likely to come down anytime soon there is something you can do to improve your miles per gallon, according to Consumer Reports automotive writer Mike Quincy.

"One of the number of things is to check your tires' air pressure. If the tires are under inflated, has lower pressure and has a higher rolling resistance, the tire has to work much harder to get down the road," said Quincy.

He also recommends removing unnecessary items that can weigh a vehicle down, which also includes what's on the outside. There are also apps for your phone that can help you track down the cheapest prices in your town.

But even with downsizing and utilizing cost saving apps, it's hard to make up a dollar more per gallon.

"Go about my day and try to make more money so I can pay for more gas," said Lopez.

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