October 9, 2013 -

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- According to AAA it's been more than 1,000 days since the national average for gas prices has dipped below three dollars per gallon. However in Springfield, drivers are happy to be "below average" when it comes to fuel costs.

For the first time in many years motorists aren't necessarily breaking the bank at each fill up.

"It's hard enough getting to work as high as gas prices are, so any drop is good, says busy parent Zach Crosswhite.

Many stations around town are selling gas for about $2.98 per gallon. That's about eight cent below the state average, and .37 cent below the national average. Truck driver Charlie Newsom has traveled extensively and knows just how good we've got it here in the Ozarks.

"Missouri is on the low end. The east coast and west coasts are higher by a lot. I saw a sign for diesel fuel the other day in northern California the other day for $4.26 so that's quite a bit higher especially when you buy 300 gallons at a time like I do," Newsom.

Still, he admits the feeling is bittersweet.

"It's nice that its below $3 but it's kind of funny that we're excited about it being below $3, that's the new norm," Newsom explained.

And the good news is this trend is expected to continue into the upcoming holiday season. Fuel experts at AAA say sufficient supply levels, a flat demand and the cheaper costs associated with refining winter-blend gasoline are all contributing factors.

"It probably will make a little of a difference if it stays this low on the ability to go to the movies or buy some treats or something that you wouldn't necessarily be buying," said Newsom.

Drivers say they're saving between 10 and 20 dollars per tank on each fill up, thanks to these lower prices.

"If anything we will be able to travel more. We have 3 kids so we're always running  so now we will be able to help them out a little more with their other activities," said Crosswhite.

Fuel prices in Missouri have gone down by 50 cents from what they were at this same time last year.