Gas prices have been stubbornly high this year and that's driving an increase in the Consumer Price Index, which rose 0.7% last month, the biggest increase since June 2009, according to the Labor Department.
The gasoline index alone was up 9.1%, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the overall increase.
The national average retail price of regular gas hit a four-month high of $3.784 a gallon toward the end of February, according to Energy Information Administration data, up almost 15% from the start of the year.
But prices have eased a bit since then, settling back to $3.70 earlier this week, according to AAA. That figure is 12 cents more than one month ago, but it is five cents less expensive than one week ago and ten cents less than the average price one year ago.
The national average dropped nine cents to begin March, which is counter to the trend that motorists may remember from the same stretch in recent years, AAA said. The price increased by 17 cents and six cents during the same periods in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Not just gas
It's not just energy that's more expensive. Food prices were up 0.1% in February. Vegetables, fresh fruits, meats and eggs all cost more.
New cars, clothes and airline fares were all down a little but that was offset by increases in food, shelter and healthcare.
Although consumers haven't cut back their spending yet, many economists worry that they will, since most wage-earners saw their paychecks shrink in January, as a temporary reduction in payroll taxes expired.