GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- It's a sight that's becoming a bit more familiar and definitely welcome this holiday season: gas prices well below $3 per gallon.
It comes as the price of crude oil plummets. "We're talking about sizable savings," said Nick Dehaan from GasBuddy.com.
It's been more than five years since West Michigan drivers have seen prices this low.
"I think it's fantastic," said Amity Wolkow.
"I think it's kind of awesome actually," said Rebecka Lua. "It's been a while."
Prices in West Michigan are nearly a dollar lower than the same time last year. Officials with GasBuddy.com say during the 2013 holiday season prices ranged from $3.20 to $3.30 per gallon. This year's plummet at the pump actually started overseas several months ago.
"A lot of it is a continuation of a few events that unfolded late summer," said Patrick Dehaan, also at GasBuddy. "At the end of September, Saudi Arabia said that they were voluntarily cutting the price of crude oil for October, and things have just fallen."
Gas prices have dropped so much that Fox 17 found prices as low as $2.31 near downtown Grand Rapids and $2.22 in Kalamazoo. Those low prices have shoppers excited to spend more money on family and friends for the holidays.
"It's easier to keep the tank full, so that way I have extra money to get other things like buy presents," said Wolkow.
"Every little bit helps for the kids and family for the holidays," said Lua.
The good news doesn't stop there: People in West Michigan could see gas prices continue to tumble even further. The price of crude oil Sunday sat at $57 a barrel, but Gas Buddy predicts the price will continue to fall.
"I think that they may fall even further, perhaps as low as $53 per barrel, before we really see things stall out," said Dehaan, "so it's possible gas prices dip even lower. And it's not out of the question that perhaps a few stations over the next few months may drop under $2 per gallon for a brief period of time."
GasBuddy is a website and available as an app for smart phones. Pump prices are reported by consumers.