GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Americans love their cars, but are absolutely hating what it takes to keep them running these days. The pain at the pump has started to force many to make some significant lifestyle changes.

At one gas station in upscale Garden City, the price of a gallon of regular is $4.29 and motorists aren’t happy.

Inga Sadoyan, who lives in Queens and works in Garden City, said the price of gas was affecting her lifestyle.

“I don’t like it at all. I think it’s ridiculous. I mean, people drive every day, so it’s way too high,” she told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Sadoyan said the money she has to spend on gas to go to work has left her with less money to spend on “everyday things.”

“I cut down on just shopping and every day going out to eat. As opposed to that, I have to cook at home more,” she said.

A new poll says nearly 7 in 10 Americans feel the high cost of fuel is causing a financial hardship for their families.

A new USA Today-Gallup Poll found that in seven states where gas had passed the July 2008 record of $4.11 a gallon, more than half of those surveyed said they have made major changes to compensate for the higher prices.

“I mean I can’t go out for the weekend. I can’t drive out to the Hamptons if I want to. I really have to cut back on everything,” Amy Semmig of Massapequa said.

Twenty one percent said the impact was so dramatic, it’s changed their standard of living. The auto club AAA sees it, too.

“Cutting back on entertainment. Some, we’ve heard, are cutting back on essentials like food — their trimming the family food budget,” said Robery Sinclair of AAA.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service says gas prices have peaked, and could drop ten to 25 cents a gallon by Memorial Day.

SOUND-OFF: How Have The Rising Gas Prices Affected You? Let Us Know In The Comments Section…

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