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5 ways to save money on the road


5 ways to save money on the road

If there's one thing that truckers know all too well, it's that life on the road isn't always easy. A big part of those issues is how much drivers - especially owner-operators - have to pay out of their own pocket while getting from Point A to Point B. However, facing huge expenses on every trip doesn't have to be seen as the cost of doing business, as there are plenty of ways to save money on a daily basis.

And while none of the following tips are going to make a revolutionary change to your expenses on their own, they certainly add up over time:

1) Rarely, if ever, buy meals at truck stops or restaurants

One of the biggest expenses many people face - not just truckers - is they eat out a little too often, according to Freight Waves. A great meal at a restaurant is always nice, but the cost of that experience versus cooking at home adds up quickly if you do it even twice a week. For truckers, who spend days at a time on the road, even having one restaurant or truck stop meal per day takes a bite out of your budget.

Making food at home that can be easily stored in a mini-fridge or cooler is a better idea for your wallet.

2) Sign up for every rewards and loyalty program you can

Just about every chain at this point has a loyalty program you can sign up for, offering discounts on every purchase or the ability to accrue points that you can use to reduce your costs later, Freight Waves added. If you frequent any chains - whether it's a grocery store, gas station, restaurant or the like - consider signing up for their rewards programs to take full advantage.

3) Plan your routes better

If you sometimes have to pay out of pocket for your fuel or tolls, a little planning can go a long way, according to Fleet Trailer. Finding the right balance between driving longer distances to avoid tolls, or taking the hit on those charges to save on diesel could help you more clearly understand the expenses you face as a driver and find the route that allows you to save the most time and money.

4) Make a budget for everything - and stick to it

If you've been on the road for a few years or more, you likely have a pretty good idea of what things "should" cost under normal circumstances, Fleet Trailer advised. With that in mind, you can take that understanding and combine it with all your receipts from the past few months to figure out what constitutes a reasonable average amount to spend in a given week.

Once you have that number in your head, it becomes much easier to keep track of when you're approaching it.

5) Shop for the best deals

Along with that planning, you would also be wise to do a little couponing and financial planning at the start of each week, according to the Progressive Reporting Agency. That way, you can identify the best possible deals on the stuff you buy on a regular basis. Even if you only save 50 cents here and a dollar there, it adds up over the course of a week, month or year.

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