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5 Money Saving Tips for Truck Drivers

As a truck driver, your job is stressful. You spend long hours driving every day. You work hard and certainly look to maximize your earnings once they hit your bank account.

Here are 5 helpful tips for saving money as a truck driver.

1. Keep a Budget

The best way to keep track of your money, is to actually keep track of it somewhere. Use a fancy online program, a free smartphone app or just a good old-fashioned notebook. No matter which way you choose to do it, just make sure every dollar in and out is planned and tracked. Get started now if you haven’t already, and you can always adjust as you go.

  • Create a separate account just for driving to help streamline budgeting. Bonus, use a credit card that pays a reward on all purchases.
  • Pay all bills and taxes promptly to avoid penalties and late fees. Go paperless and use auto-pay options whenever possible.
  • Keep all receipts in a designated place to avoid losing them. Make it a habit to put receipts away as soon as you get them.

2. Be Efficient

This can go a long way to saving money as a truck driver. Planning the most efficient routes can save gas and money on tolls. Using your cruise-control consistently and effectively will save on gas consumption.

Cruise-control can also keep you from exceeding the speed limit and racking up unwanted tickets and speeding penalties. Keeping up with all maintenance on your truck can also be a great way to save money as a truck driver. Doing what you can to prevent breakdowns will help your bottom line.

3. Plan Well & Be Prepared

As much as possible, avoid buying things at truck stops or convenience stores. Food can be a BIG daily expense. If you can pack and bring food with you, you will eat healthier and save money daily. Plan your laundry out well, and you can save time and money by avoiding lines and costs of using coin operated machines.

Have a well-stocked first aid kit and personal care kit vs. having to buy these things on the road at convenience stores. Though emergencies do arise, everything you can buy at home instead of on the road will save money.

4. Participate in Loyalty Programs

If you do love a certain brand of coffee or slice of pizza on the go, join their loyalty program. It’s usually quite easy to sign-up for a loyalty card at restaurants, truck stops, gas stations and even hotels. Your purchases could turn into a future free cup of coffee, sub sandwich, a shower or even a night’s stay in a hotel as points accumulate. Additionally, ask any local restaurants, hotels or even insurance companies if they offer CDL discounts. Even a 5% savings a few times per year will help keep money in your bank account.

5. Use Free WiFi

Whenever possible, use free Wi-Fi when you’re stopped for a break, or for the night. Data plans on your phone can be expensive. Spending a lot of time away from home can help you blow through your monthly data allowance. Using free Wi-Fi at truck stops, restaurants, coffee stops to take care of things on your smartphone can shave off time against your monthly data and help avoid overage charges over time. Just look for a sign and ask for the password.

Some of these tips might seem obvious, but it can’t hurt to check and see if you’re really maximizing the savings that are available to you. Take a look at your last few trips and review your biggest expenses or where you were over budget. Tightening up on your trip preparation routines, personal efficiencies, and budgeting skills can turn into big savings at the end of the year.

If you’ve got some great tips for other truck drivers, please share them on our Facebook page here.

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Melissa Wilson and Jonathan Fish spend between $60 and $150 on groceries every two weeks.

That’s a lot less than the $245 a week they were spending on food before they started cooking in their truck drivers cookingtruck one year ago.

“It was costing us about $16 a plate for dinner and a drink, so it adds up quick,” says Wilson, who has been riding shotgun with Fish, her boyfriend, for five years. “Cooking in the truck, we have leftovers most of the time now. We’re saving a lot of money. As a result, we are able to take care of other things we need to take care of.”

And while Wilson and Fish are seeing the financial payoff of cooking in their truck, that’s hardly the only benefit they’re getting.

“Cooking in the truck benefits you iMelissa and Jonathan breakfastn so many ways,” says Wilson. “It adds a whole new dimension to life on the road. We feel better, the food is fresher and it tastes better, not to mention our risk of food poisoning has diminished.”

After a few years on the road, the couple began getting tired of the usual truck stop fare and the damage it was doing to their wallets. But they kept at it—until Wilson’s father gave them a microwave oven as a Christmas gift. “That’s when things started changing for us,” Wilson says. “We tried to eat a little bit better and get more variety in our life.”

In addition to the microwave, the couple has expanded its cooking accessory lineup to include a toaster oven, electric skillets, a crockpot, even an egg cooker for making deviled eggs. Their menu has expanded with each new piece of equipment they’ve bought, too. It now includes everything from taco pie to pork chops.

While the couple loves the money they save by cooking in the truck, the duo gets another, more unexpected reward out of the deal.

“Cooking has enhanced our relationship,” Wilson says. “It’s brought us closer. We plan our meals together. We shop together. We have a lot of fun with it.”

 

Taco Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 bag shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato or 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 small bag shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 pre-rolled pie crust
  • 1 small container of sour cream
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 aluminum pie pan with lid for storage
Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef and drain.
  2. Add taco seasoning and follow directions on pkg.
  3. Chop half of the onion and add to ground beef along with half jar of salsa. More can be used to your liking.
  4. Mix well and let simmer until onions are cooked.
  5. Keep warm and set aside.
  6. Fit crust to pie pan.
  7. Pre-heat toaster oven to 350 degrees and bake pie crust for 12 mins. Keep an eye on it, as ovens vary. The back will cook sooner in most toaster ovens, so rotate halfway through cooking.
  8. When crust is done, let cool a bit.
  9. Spoon layer of refried beans on bottom to your liking.
  10. Pour in warm ground beef mixture and spread evenly.
  11. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese and chunks of tomato.
  12. Serve with sour cream and extra salsa if you like.