This week some of our dearest friends are leaving us to move to other parts of the country. As a result, I have moving on the brain. Here are some ways we've saved money while moving...
Don't Pay for Boxes--This can be a huge money saver; it can also be a rather tedious task, especially because a lot of grocery stores no longer give away their boxes. If you have advanced notice, start saving boxes immediately. That makes collecting them much easier. I've had my best luck saving paper boxes or boxes from book orders from schools where I taught, so ask people to save them.
If that's not an option & you can't get them at your local grocery, look to less obvious places. Libraries, local office buildings, liquor stores, & video stores. I was once in need of boxes & happened to go to Blockbuster on a Tuesday (the day new DVDs are released). They were more than happy to part with the boxes & they were 100% free. Also don't hesitate to look on Craigslist or Freecycle.
Save Newspaper--If you don't have a subscription ask around for them. Plastic bags can also be used for extra padding, as well as towels, sheets, & other soft items.
Stock Up on Tape--Unless you have a coupon or find an amazing sale, your best bet on tape is to buy it at a big box store in bulk. Chances are you'll need several rolls, & if you have extra clear tape always comes in handy.
Truck Rental--Shop around & well in advance. Use the same tactics you use when booking a flight. Is moving on a week day cheaper than a weekend? Is the company running a special? Do you get a discount for being a member of a professional organization? If you pay in cash will they lower the fee? When we moved from Indiana to Arkansas we used a discount from my teacher's union, paid in cash, & saved ourselves several hundred dollars.
And most important...
Enlist Help--Let's face it, moving is a horribly stressful experience that 99% of us have gone through at least once in our lives. Everyone can commiserate & as a result, friends & family are more than willing to help out. All you have to do is ask...well & buy pizza & beer.