NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennesseans are already hit hard in the wallet by record-high inflation and are likely to see another record go by the wayside. AAA said the gas prices are just a nickel away from an all-time high.

“So, in March of this year, we hit the highest recorded average ever here in Tennessee. At that point, we were at $4.12,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA. “Over the weekend, we have seen quite a significant jump in our gas prices here in Tennessee. And we are now back up to $4.08 as our state average.”

AAA says buckle up, this summer’s gas prices will not be pretty, but predicting just how ugly is impossible.

“It’s difficult to make a prediction for the summer just because the market has been so volatile over the last couple of months,” Cooper said. “But what we do know is that taking a look at summer travel, we typically do around this time, maybe you’ll see a bump in demand for gasoline.”

Gas prices are now already $1.37 higher than just a year ago. Half of the stations in the state have prices north of $4 a gallon. An end to the U.S. Strategic Reserve release and reliance on foreign production has put the U.S. in a tight spot.

“So last week, we heard an announcement from the European Union, that they were going to ban Russian oil imports over the next six months,” Cooper said. “Once that announcement was made, we really started seeing the implications in the market of that in the form of higher crude oil prices. So last week, crude oil prices got up to almost $110 per barrel.”

AAA recommends combining errands, driving less, and trying to avoid idling traffic, plus…

“Be mindful of how you’re paying at the pump,” Cooper cautioned. “Reward savings programs are very prevalent. A lot of warehouse clubs and your local gas station likely have a savings program. And those are really great because they allow you to save every single time you fill up at the pump. And then of course maybe consider paying in cash versus with the credit card.”

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Along with a cash discount, there are many resources available online to track down the lowest gas prices near you.