4 New Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Move

A coin is placed inside of a piggy bank by a person

We all know how expensive a move can get. Last week, we talked in detail about ways you can save money on your move. If you missed the first installment of our two-part series, you can find that right here on our website. Here are just a few essential tips that we shared in part one:

1) Collect free boxes and other packing materials from your local stores and online marketplace.

2) Always move in the off-season if you have the option.

3) Check for moving specials and ask if there are any available discounts.

4) Don’t forget to turn off the utilities.

This week, we will discuss four other ways to cut costs on your next move. As the old saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Even the smallest of discounts or savings can be helpful when tackling an expensive life change like a local or long-distance move.

Skip the Moving Truck

Renting a moving truck can get costly and quick. You will be charged a fee based on the rental period, but you will also likely be charged additional fees based on mileage—not to mention the exorbitant gas prices to keep a truck filled up. Once you add up all the costs, exploring other options that provide more flexibility for the money could be beneficial. A portable storage unit is a great way to move your things locally or long-distance. The best part is you don’t have to drive a big moving truck yourself!

Declutter First

If decluttering is wrong, we don’t want to be right! We are big advocates of downsizing and decluttering before a move. Most people have a lot of stuff that isn’t being used. We all tend to keep things that we don’t necessarily need because we may feel like we might use them in the future. Sometimes, we just keep procrastinating because who really wants to tackle the mess in the garage or attic.

Unfortunately, the more stuff you have, the more money you may need to spend on your move. More property means you need more boxes, more moving help, and extra space in a portable storage container. It could even increase the cost of your professional moving help. Take the time to complete this important task before you move. You can donate the items you don’t use or even have a rummage sale to make extra cash before relocating.

Pack Your Stuff Yourself

Hiring a professional moving company that will help you get your stuff packed can be great if you have room in the budget. Unfortunately, this service can cost a pretty penny. If you need to cut some high costs in your move, consider packing your stuff yourself. If you use a portable storage container like Zippy Shell, you can take as long as you need and pack and load at your own pace. We also have a lot of resources and guides that can give you the confidence you need to get your house packed and moved right.

Meal Prep Before You Start Moving

Food is an unexpected cost that most people don’t consider when making a budget for a move. If most of your kitchen supplies are packed up, and you are working long hours to make sure you get your things packed and moved out, it will be challenging to cook meals for you and your family.

Most people eat a lot of take-out or delivery because it is the easiest thing to do when you have so much going on at once. One way to save money on eating out is to prepare some easy meals and quick bites before you pack up your kitchen and things start to get busy. You can make some delicious casseroles in disposable aluminum pans that can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to cook them. There are also a lot of good recipes for freezer slow-cooker meals—all you need are some Ziploc bags, a slow-cooker, and some time to prep. Keep plenty of snacks and easy-to-grab foods available for your family and anyone helping you pack and move.  

Zippy Shell Is Here for You

We hope that these tips are helpful to you as you begin the planning stages of your move. We know that moving is not always easy and can be an expensive undertaking. That’s why Zippy Shell provides an affordable and stress-free option for storage and moving. Our secure shell is perfect for packing at your own pace, and when you are done, we can store it at one of our facilities for as much time as you need, or we can deliver it to your new home. So whatever your storage and moving needs are, Zippy Shell has an option for you. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, call us at (888) 947-7974 or contact us online. We would love to help you get started!

Tricks to Save Money on Your Next Move—Part One

A piggy bank with change laying around sits next to a small house figure

As you probably already know, moving can be a costly process. There are a lot of different expenses associated with moving, and they can add up quickly. Even a local move can get pricey if you are not careful. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save money on your relocation. If you have a local or long-distance move coming up, keep reading! In the first installment of our two-part series, we will discuss four practical tips to help you save money on your next move.

Collect Boxes from Your Local Stores

One of the easiest ways to save money during a move is to collect used boxes and packing materials from your local stores or an online marketplace. Grocery, liquor, and home improvement type stores will often have an abundance of used boxes after every delivery day. Give them a call and ask them to hold boxes for you instead of sending them out to recycling. You can also check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for free boxes, bubble wrap, newspapers, and other packing materials.

After someone moves, they often want to pass on the boxes instead of putting them in the recycling bins. However, we highly recommend securing your boxes and packing materials several weeks before you intend to pack up your home to ensure you have everything you will need. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get enough boxes, and you will have to purchase them. A few boxes will not cost too much, but if you need to buy enough boxes to pack up your entire home, you may be shocked at how much you will need to spend. If your boxes are still in good shape after you unpack and settle into your new home, pass along your free boxes to the next moving family!

Move In the Off-Season If Possible

Like vacations and weddings, there is an offseason and peak season for moving. May through September is a hectic time for moving companies. Not only is the weather more pleasant during that time, but it’s also easier for families to move during the long summer break while the kids are not in school. If the children are changing schools due to the move, it is typically preferable to allow them to finish the school year in their current school and start the new school year in the fall.

Like booking a vacation during peak travel time, booking a move during peak moving season can cost more money. If you cannot move in the off-season, we recommend reserving your dates as soon as possible. This will help ensure the best prices possible, but the dates fill up fast, and if you don’t book far enough in advance, you may not be able to get the moving dates you need.

Check For Moving Specials

When you start comparing prices between moving companies, don’t forget to check for moving specials. You will often see offers advertised on their website or even their social media pages. You are more likely to find coupons and moving specials during the off-season. If you are a veteran or active military member, you may find additional discounts. Even if you do not see any advertised offers online, calling and speaking to a customer service representative never hurts. They may have an available discount that will allow you to lower your moving costs. After you build quotes with a few of your preferred moving companies, remember that some companies will price match with comparable services.

Don’t Forget to Turn Off Old Utilities

One of the most common moving mistakes we see is forgetting to turn off the old utilities. Unfortunately, it is just one of those things that get overlooked in the chaos of moving. It may not seem like it could cost that much money to make that mistake, but it adds up fast if the meters are left running. For instance, leaving the thermostat on as the heat or air conditioner runs nonstop or if a water line breaks while the water is still running to the house—these are just two ways that leaving the utilities on can cost you up to hundreds of dollars!

You can schedule your utility shut-offs in advance, so it doesn’t get lost in the myriad of moving tasks on your list. Don’t forget to notify all your services: water, gas, electric, trash, internet, cable, phone, security, and any other home service you may utilize. At the same time, you should schedule a turn-on date for the utilities in your new home. This will also save you some money because many companies will charge an extra fee for same-day or next-day turn-on requests.

Zippy Shell Is Always Ready to Help You Move

We hope these tips are helpful as you get ready for your next move. Don’t forget to check out part two of our Saving Money Series in the coming weeks. If you are looking for a moving partner, give Zippy Shell a call at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. We would love to share more information on how we can provide an affordable and stress-free move. Call today for your free, no-obligation estimate for your local or long-distance move!  

5 Easy Ways to Save Money When Traveling

Traveling to new places can be fun and exciting but the expenses themselves can quickly rack up. Some costs are going to be unavoidable, but you can lower your total price if you use some of these strategies!

Be truthful to yourself when booking a room

When booking a room, you will quickly learn that there are many options to choose from. Most hotels offer countless amenities that seldom get used. Consider what resources you will actually need during your stay. If you are barely going to be in your room all day, consider opting for a smaller room with a less-impressive view. Also, decide if you are going to be using your hotel’s pool or gym. If you are not, try finding a hotel that does not offer one, which may lower the price of your room overall.

Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities

Your hotel will most likely offer a complimentary breakfast, so check to see if they are serving one. On top of that, try out the coffee in your room to save yourself the time and money it would take to go out and buy a fresh cup of coffee at a café. “Dining in” will allow yourself to get fueled up early in the morning and have more time to explore where you are traveling. If you have leftovers from any of your meals, keep them in your room’s refrigerator to use as a “free” snack later.

Book at a central location

If you are going to be sightseeing around the city, consider booking your hotel in a central area of town. This should place you within walking distance of more places. See if there is a subway, bus route, or if your hotel has a shuttle as a cheaper alternative to calling multiple taxis.

Check for free activities

There is almost always going to be a free activity in the area that you are traveling to. If it seems there isn’t, consider merely going on a stroll through the new area you are exploring and take in some of the sights and views it has to offer. Often, cities will offer free outdoor movie showings, museums, fireworks, and so much more, so make sure you search to see if any activities are going on where you are traveling and what days they are available.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)

If you are planning a long day of exploring the city, make sure to bring snacks with you. This is even more important if you are traveling with children. Having snacks with you will quickly add up savings from not having to buy vendors’ snacks. This will also help you make it through the day with three solid meals versus having to continuously purchase munchies along the way. Pack waters with you as well to stay hydrated and avoid overpaying for a single bottle of water.

8 Tips to Save Water in Your Home

Save money and energy by limiting your water consumption, all while helping out the environment!

  1. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

It may not seem like a long period of time for the water to be running while brushing your teeth, but if you continue to have it running every time you brush your teeth, this adds up to a lot of wasted water.

  1. Defrost naturally

Defrost your frozen items by moving them into your fridge or let them sit out for a couple hours to naturally defrost instead of running them under water.

  1. Don’t use your toilet as a trashcan

It can be tempting sometimes to just throw your trash into the toilet and flush it.  This is a huge waste of water as well as unsafe for where the trash will end up after being flushed.

  1. Limit your shower time

Every once in a while everyone needs a long relaxing shower, but often try to limit the time you spend in the shower.

  1. Reuse leftover drinking water

Instead of dumping out the last little bit of water left in your cups after a meal, put all of the water into a pitcher.  Use this leftover water to water your plants or boil it next time you are cooking.

  1. Use your dishwasher when you can

If you don’t have to hand-wash your dishes, don’t.  Dishwashers use significantly less water by washing multiple dishes at once.

  1. Compost

Instead of using your garbage disposal, try composting your trash.  This limits the water used to flush your food down the drain.

  1. Strategically time when you water your lawn

Try to water your lawn when it is cooler outside, so in the morning or evening.  This will prevent water loss due to evaporation.  Also, don’t water your lawn when it is windy out so you don’t lose water from it being blown away.

How to Save Electricity During the Summer

It’s hard to try to limit your electricity usage in the summer, especially with all the heat we have seen this season! Here are our favorite tips to help you cut back!

1. Natural Light

During the day, open your curtains and blinds to light up a room without turning on a single light.

2. Turn off Unused Lights

When leaving a room, make it a habit to turn all the lights off. Even if you are going to be going back into that room in a short amount of time, all these small savings will add up!

3. Unplug

Even when your electronics are not in use, but are still plugged into the outlet, they are still using electricity. Unplug all chargers, appliances, etc. when they are not in use.

4. Run the Air Conditioner less

When you’re not home, turn your air conditioner off, or turn it up to a much higher temperature than what it is on while you’re home. This will reduce a massive amount of energy used to produce cold air when it is not needed.

5. Use your Windows

On a breezy day, consider turning off your air conditioner and open your windows instead to get natural air flow.

6. Reduce kitchen heat

Try making less meals that require frequent usage of your oven, stove, or microwave. Try grilling or making no-bake foods instead.

7. Wash laundry in cold water

Using cold water instead of warm or hot water will reduce the energy it takes to heat up the hot water.

8. Smart refrigeration

First, try to not hold the fridge open for multiple minutes at a time while deciding what food to eat. Second, make sure the fridge is set at its recommended temperature.

9. Air-dry

Air-drying your dishes on a dish rack versus heat drying them in your dishwasher can save you money. You can also apply this tip to your clothes by hanging them up to air-dry instead of putting them in your dryer.

10. Naturally defrost

When cooking something from the freezer, naturally defrost it. Let it sit out for a couple hours until it is not frozen anymore. This will help you save the energy you would have had to use to defrost it in the microwave. This will also allow it to defrost to its natural texture, instead of possibly being cooked unevenly in the microwave.