15 Apr Money Savings Tips for Truck Drivers
While on the road, you need to save money (as well as make money). All of the little expenses of everyday life and travel add up, so here are some money saving tips for truck drivers to stretch that hard earned dollar while not giving up the little luxuries (and necessities) of life on the road.
Let’s just get right to the point…food will be your number one expense (aside from fuel). There are several ways to control your food expenses. Not only is eating fast food a leading contributor to common obesity in truck drivers, but it can really add up cost-wise. If an average meal at a fast food restaurant is between $5 and $7, and you eat out twice a day for a week, you’ve already spent close to $100 per week. Do that for a year and it will end up costing you between $4,000 and $5,000…and that’s not taking into account the times where you have a sit down meal in a restaurant and have to come up with a tip for service, as well.
Consider cooking in your cab
Eating out isn’t cheap after all. Even though fast food can be affordable in moderation; after a while it becomes costlier and much less healthy than eating your own prepared food. The average cost per meal if you make it yourself is significantly lower at $1.50 to $3.00.
Truck drivers are lucky nowadays, because there are many companies that specialize in making equipment for the sole purpose of transporting and cooking fresh food from the comfort of a cab. Purchasing food from restaurants while on the road is tempting. It saves a lot of time and energy. But preparing a meal to make and eat on the road doesn’t take much more time or energy…and it can not only save you money, but it will most likely be a healthier option.
Appliances in your cab can be your friend
Therefore, being conscious of your food choices is our most important money saving tip for truck drivers. Consider purchasing a slow cooker, also known as a Crockpot. All you have to do is throw the food into a pot, turn it on, and wait. After a few hours you’ll have enough food to get through several meals with hardly any work. Or if you’re threatened by the thought of kitchen appliances, simply buying a loaf of bread, some lunch meat, a jar of mayo, and some cheese slices for about $15 can actually get you through about five meals. The variety may not be great, but think of all the savings.
If you’re not afraid to use kitchen appliances, you can class up your sandwich with a simple hot plate. Make it a panini or grilled cheese sandwich for a little variation. You can also make use of microwaves, hot pots, electric skillets, refrigerator/freezers and even blenders made especially for use in the cab of your truck. Economically eating on the road can be easy if you’re creative and relatively organized. Whichever appliances you decide to keep in your truck, the biggest factor in your success is how much you plan ahead. If you create a rough plan for meals and snacks a few days before your trip, you can make sure you have what you need from the grocery store. This minimizes the amount of money you need to spend at truck stops where convenience items are often much more expensive.
You can also package things in the most efficient way possible to make the most out of your space. The more you cook on the road, the more tips and tricks you’ll figure out for future trips.
Fuel rewards and discounts
Nearly every company offers ‘reward’ cards now. For places that you frequent often, like truck stops, they can end up saving money for the items that you regularly purchase. Some of these places will give you free drinks or showers when you buy a certain amount of fuel. It may not be much, but you might as well take full advantage of discounts on things that would have been purchased anyway.
There are also hundreds of places that will give you a CDL discount if you ask. Hotels are known for giving out discounts for truckers, but here are many other places that do it as well. Insurance companies often have special rates or plans specifically for CDL drivers. Some places require the driver to have a code or certain documents so check online on trucking forums for details.
This is Part One of our two-part article. Be sure to check back later to read the rest of our tips!