Save on Moving Costs Without Busting Your Budget

Settle into your new home with money to spare

(Image: File)
(Image: File)

If you’re moving this summer, you’ve probably noticed how quickly costs add up. From renting a truck to purchasing cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, there’s no shortage of moving-related costs designed to bust your budget.

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Apply these six strategies to help cut costs and get settled into your new home with money to spare.

1. Look for Freebies. Many grocery or appliance stores have cardboard boxes they regularly throw out. Instead of purchasing boxes from a moving company, pick up boxes for free from a retailer and save them from being trashed. It’s a win-win for both your wallet and the environment. Likewise, rather than pay loads of money for packing foam or sheets, you can find free or heavily discounted alternatives. An old bed sheet from your own closet or a consignment shop, for example, is a useful alternative to a formal packing sheet. Use old newspapers to wrap up dishes and other delicate items instead of bubble wrap.

2. Look for Discounts. Check for discount retailers. Packing tape, bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts might be pricey at a moving store but cheaper on Amazon.com or another online retailer. Purchasing items from the most obvious or convenient sources, like the U-Haul store, is usually more expensive. Shop in advance, so you don’t have to pay top dollar for convenience or speed.

3. Be Conscious of Your Consumable Purchases. Perishable items tend to get thrown away during a move. A month prior to moving, start minimizing purchases of perishable food, drinks, coffee, shampoo, soap, moisturizer, and other items with limited shelf life. You can reduce waste by “shopping your pantry,” or eating whatever is in your cupboard, and using whatever products are already on your shelves. In fact, you might find that this scaled-back approach to personal items is a habit that sticks, and helps you save in other areas as well.

4. Look for Group Discounts. If you’re renting a moving truck, ask the rental company if they offer any type of group discount. Your employer or membership with a local nonprofit group, or another affiliation, could qualify you for a special rate. If you’re an AAA member, for example, you might be able to get an AAA discount through major moving truck providers.

5. Think Diesel. If you’re moving a significant amount of items, you might want to consider renting a diesel vehicle rather than a gasoline-powered vehicle. This approach can reduce fuel costs, particularly if you’re making an out-of-state or cross-country drive.

If you’re moving multiple vehicles, it could also be more cost-effective to tow a vehicle behind your moving truck. Driving multiple cars, especially on a long trip, might cost you more on gas.

6. Reduce Clutter Before the Move. The more stuff you need to pack, the more expensive your move will be. More items require more boxes, packing materials, hours on the clock for movers, a bigger truck, more fuel to power that truck and more hours on the other end when the movers unpack those boxes. Conduct a massive cleaning of your home before you move. Donate unused clothes, games, appliances, kitchen gadgets and anything else you haven’t used in the past six months to a year. Unless an item is an heirloom or otherwise highly sentimental, remember that you’re not going to miss what you don’t use. You’ll be glad when there’s less to unpack.