Brownstown Township man sells his plasma to pay for gas

The $2 of added costs that drivers are paying per gallon is adding up to hair-raising numbers that some are seeing at the pump. For those with long commutes or who own SUVs, it's not out of the ordinary to see triple digit dollar signs. 

But while the costs have risen, the wages needed to offset them haven't followed. The imbalance is forcing people into impossible positions. 

"I'm spending $150 a week easy on gas," said Diarra Drummond. "That's before Wednesday and Thursday."

"I sometimes go to the plasma center to get extra money for gas just so I can make it."

Drummond is from Brownstown Township in southern Wayne County. His construction job forces him to commute Waterford, in northern Oakland County every day. A drive like that is about 50 miles one-way. And if Drummond is making the commute five days a week, it's 250 miles just to get to and from work. 

There was more than one construction worker at the Marathon gas station in Allen Park Friday morning. A gallon of gas was actually about 20 cents cheaper than the Metro Detroit average for those paying with cash. 

Some drivers are making more frequent trips to the gas station just so each cost is a bit more manageable. Others are picking and choosing when to do most of their driving.

"On the weekends, I try not to drive that much so I can have at least close to half the tank when I wake up Monday morning and have to go fill up again," said Antonio Jackson. "I try to save something."

The mental gymnastics over when and how much to fill up one's tank may put minds at ease - but the costs aren't going away. The record-high prices of gas are another expense that is burdening an already stretched budget for many.

RELATED: Could gas prices start to fall soon?

According to the most recent report from the ALICE Project, 1.5 million Michigan households are struggling to afford the basic necessities. That's 38% of families that are grappling with how to pay for housing, child care, food, technology, health care, and transportation. 

Gas would be included in transportation, but the report, which was published in 2021, doesn't reflect the gas prices that are now bearing down on residents. Inflation has also pushed prices higher, while shortages among food and other products aren't helping the costs either.