The pain at the pump is increasing, with the national average price of gasoline cranking up to over $3.00 per gallon this month. The Energy Information Administration reports that the national average price of all grades of gasoline hit $3.013 per gallon back on 12/6, rising to $3.037 on 12/20.

The primary cause is the rise of the cost of crude oil, which crested the $90 per barrel mark yesterday. America imports a whopping amount of oil, with over half of our trade deficit due to oil imports.

We are at the mercy of the markets … and the markets are merciless.

The cost of gasoline eats up a considerable amount of the family budget. If you sit down and tally up the amount you’re spending on gasoline each month, you might be amazed … and disgusted.

The good news is that you can take control of the situation. It’s not impossible to cut your gasoline costs once you become accustomed to driving less while driving with a light foot. And when the time comes to replace your current ride with something new, you’ll want to compare gas mileage by car to find the most efficient vehicle.

Swapping out of a gas guzzler into a more fuel-efficient vehicle can slash your gasoline costs in half. The good news is that the auto manufacturers are releasing new models that are both good on gas and enjoyable to drive. The Ford Fiesta, Chevy Cruze, and Volkswagen TDIs prove that you don’t have to buy a hybrid car to get 40 miles per gallon on the highway.