Making a successful living on the road is easier when you utilize the tricks of the trade, truckers often say, especially when it comes to saving money and time. There are several ways drivers can pinch pennies and still live a comfortable life. Here are Greatwide’s best tips for saving money on the road:
- Eat your own food for every meal of the day. Veteran drivers say they don’t like the money or the health risks that go along with eating food on the road. Not only are the options typically loaded with grease and fat, but they’re also not cheap. For a quick meal, pick up a loaf of bread, low-fat deli meat, and a piece of fresh fruit. Snack on nuts while driving to stay full. If you have to eat out, grab a fresh salad from the grocery store salad bar. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stave off hunger.
- Set up automatic bill pay. While on the road, you may forget to pay a bill or two, which is understandable. Setting up automatic bill pay takes a couple of minutes, and most banks and utility companies will allow you to do this for free. You can avoid hundreds of dollars in fees a year with this useful service.
- Sign up for a truck stop rewards card from a company you frequent or a fuel discount program. The loyalty cards will reward you for fuel and food purchases as well as truck maintenance. You may get cents off on the gallon, a free shower, or a free drink. Greatwide offers a fuel discount program for owner operators and company drivers at participating Pilot Flying J locations. Check out our fuel discount blog for more information. Truckers can save up to $3,000 a year!
- Link up with a business partner to help with costly items like taxes. Through our Greatcare program, drivers can take advantage of companies like ATBS for tax services.
- Invest in a good GPS. Navigation systems will help you avoid traffic snarls and take you through the shortest route possible to maximize fuel efficiency.
- Ask about CDL discounts. These aren’t often advertised, but some restaurants and hotels will give you a discount if you flash your CDL.
- Pack plenty of clean clothes. If you don’t want to spend the several bucks it takes to launder clothes, you’ll want to bring along lots of clean clothes.
- Be wary of items you buy and always check the return policy. Unfortunately, some companies try to sell cheaply made products with limited warranties to truck drivers. Always look over the policy to make sure you can return it in case of flaws or defects.
- Keep track of free WiFi signals. WiFi isn’t free everywhere yet, but some spots like Starbucks and Panera offer free Internet. If you know where these spots are, you can grab a coffee and sit down for an hour or two and take advantage of the service.
- Go for the gas station coffee. Coffee is getting mighty expensive. Sometimes it’s even $3 or $4 for a steaming cup of joe. But gas stations across the U.S. are now offering gourmet coffee at fairly cheap prices, much cheaper than that chain we mentioned above.
- Hook up a power inverter in your truck. Then you can use a small grill, microwave, or coffee pot in your own cab. With these items, the sky is the limit on how much you can save.
- Keep track of all receipts, including meals, fuel, and tolls. Keeping an organized log of your expenses will help you create a budget and adhere to it. If you see how much you are spending daily on food, you are more likely to buy fresh, cheaper food from the grocery store.
What are some of your best money-saving tips? Please let us know below!