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Moving Cross-Country, Frugally

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Because I am a military wife, I know a thing or two about moving cross-country, and I know that it doesn't have to cost thousands and thousands of dollars to do. Here are some things you can do to cut the cost of moving to another state:

1. Ask for boxes and packing materials. Ask and ye shall receive. Ask at church, clubs, stores you frequent. You will end up with more boxes than you can use. Also ask people to save you bubble wrap, packing paper, etc. Everything given to you saves you from having to buy it!

2. Move yourself. Don't hire movers. Do it yourself. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it saves at least a thousand dollars in costs.

3. Comparison shop. Call one moving truck rental company and get their quote. They will reserve your truck at no cost and no obligation. Then, call the second company, tell them what company #1 offered you, and company #2 will bid lower. Continue this until you get a rate in the vicinity of $400 - $500, with unlimited mileage and plenty of days to make the trip. You WILL get down to that price. Just keep calling around. Don't forget to call company one back, and tell them that unless they are able to go lower, you will have to go with another company. They want your business and will lower their rates. Trust me. Works every time.

4. Don't eat at all the fast food places on the highways. When we stop, it's at WalMart or other grocery store, and we pick up fresh food. Might be a loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese, and a bunch or grapes, or muffins and OJ, or bread, lunchmeat and cheese. Anyway, it's cheaper and better for you than Mc. D's.

5. Plan your stops so that you are outside of major cities at rush hour. This will save you time, gas, and patience.

6. Don't forget to gas up the rental truck before you return it, or else they charge you something in the neighborhood of $5 a gallon for refilling the gas tank.

Hope these tips help someone in the future.

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  1. tsgal's Avatar
    I feel for you, I was a military wife too. Glad DH isn't in anymore, I was tired of moving so much. Good luck on your move, keep in touch when you get to your next area and let us know how it went for you.
  2. Liss's Avatar
    Wonderful article, thank you. I've moved across country twice myself and found that your tips are spot on.
  3. DohDohBird's Avatar
    Thanks, Liss.

    Tsgal, I love moving, believe it or not. It's one of my favorite parts of being in the military. It's a little stressful, but so exciting to get to experience the culture of new places.
  4. wilbe95's Avatar
    Love your tips! Even when we travel for vacations we also stop and stock up on the meat and cheese in the ice chest, cuts down on the stopping and expense of the fast food joints. Another thing we did when we last moved was some of the boxes that we ended up not really having enough space for we shipped UPS, it was much cheaper than trying to get a larger truck plus they held the boxes for us until we got there and we just drove over and picked them up-less stress
  5. tsgal's Avatar
    I agree with you on the experiencing new places, I loved that part to. I used to like to move just because we were going to new places. But after so many years of it, I was ready to settle in one place. I think that we have finally found that place now. I do have alot of great memories of our moves and the wonderful people that we have met. Where are you moving too?