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Gas prices fall below $2 a gallon in Jacksonville

Traffic anchor Crystal Moyer has scoop on where to find cheapest gas in town

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Around the country, gas prices continue to drop, falling below $2 a gallon in some places.

Nationwide, prices at the pump dropped about six cents a gallon since last week.

In Florida, the average price per gallon is $2.19. In Georgia, the average is $2.17 per gallon. That's more than a dollar less than prices were at this time a year ago.

As the traffic anchor, the No. 1 question I get from viewers is "Where's the cheapest gas?" So I hit the road Tuesday morning on pump patrol to find the cheapest gas prices in town.

Searching the area, I stumbled upon the Welcome Food Stores gas station on the Westside at Wilson Boulevard and Jammes Road. It had the cheapest gas I've found so far: $1.97 a gallon.

"I jumped on it," driver David Mapp said, laughing.

"Just down the road it was $2.03, too, and I saw it and was like, 'Just a couple blocks down the road it's a lot cheaper,'" Vann Kirkland said.

According to AAA, the average price of oil per barrel is a little over $45. That's $1.57 less than last week.

A spokesman for AAA said supply is up and demand is down, which is helping to keep prices low. And as another plus, the cost to produce gasoline will get even cheaper as refineries shift to winter-blend fuel.

Economists expect oil prices to continue to decrease and remain low through the rest of the year.

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Oscar Thomas owns a lawn service company and said the high gas prices were really hurting his business. He fills gas cans once, sometimes twice a day, and that really adds up.

"You can't go up on the price when you're doing people's yards just because the gas goes up," Thomas said. "The gas is down now, so we'll be able to profit and save and help pay our own bills."

Thomas said the lower prices are a boost not only for his business but the nation's economy.

"Now I can get out and put in bids and try to bring my work relationships back up," Thomas said. "With the price of gas, I couldn't afford it, because people call you and they're 20 miles away from you and you spend $20 just to go to them. Now you can get away with $4 to $6 to get to them."

Other consumers said the low prices at the pump give them more confidence to splurge a little.

"I'm happy that the gas prices are going down because I take my grandkids to school and shopping," Mapp said. "I hope it's this low all over."

And customers are not keeping Welcome Food Stores a secret.

"I'm going to text a couple people and let them know where it's at," Kirkland said.

"I told my brothers, told my sister (and) all my friends," Mapp said. "This is where I come get it at the Welcome Store."

"They need to do their best to keep it down about $1.50," Thomas said with a laugh.

With prices changing all the time, you don't have to take a journey around Jacksonville like I did to find the cheapest gas prices. Just check http://www.gasbuddy.com