At the fuel pump

According to GasBuddy.com, the national price for gasoline this Thanksgiving will average $3.27 gal, a whopping $.16 gal less than last Thanksgiving, and $.05 gal cheaper than 2011.

Black Friday consumers have about $1.93-billion more to spend on items other than fuel this November thanks to savings seen so far this month. The savings versus 2011 is an equally compelling $1.5-billion, but November fuel costs project to about $2-billion more than in the same month of 2010.

The East and Gulf Coasts will see fuel costs costs quite similar to last year.

All of this additional money saved makes getting the family to Grandma’s house easier this year. The average minivan driver can go an extra 29 miles on $100 worth of gas, compared to 2012. Meanwhile, the more typical auto driver can go even farther with that $100; they’ll get an additional 34 miles closer to friends and family.

For those who think flying is the better bet for getting home, think again. Booking a last minute round trip flight from New York to Boston on Thanksgiving this year can cost up to $350. The same trip on the road costs the average motorist just $70 round trip if unleaded regular gas is used, saving the family $280, or about the cost of a digital tablet as a Christmas gift.

All in all, although the gas prices are currently trending a slow upward tick, drivers across the country are seeing much more money in their pockets this year over last.

A major factor in cheaper fuel prices this year is the ongoing U.S. oil production boom.