Use These Frugal Ways to Meet Your Basic Needs As a Trucker

You drive a truck to make money. Pay attention to your living expenses while on the road so you’ll bring home more of your pay.

Plan ahead to meet your needs. Stock your cab with the right supplies, and you’ll save money on the basic human necessities listed below.


A trucker stays healthier and more focused by hydrating the body with cool water instead of soda. Without enough water, your insides and your mind feel like they’re drooping as much as a water-starved plant.

Constantly buying bottled water adds unnecessary additional expenses to your budget. Convenience-store water prices also vary widely from location to location. Public water is free, but its quality is heavily dependent on the water sources nearby.

Instead of buying disposable bottles of water or relying on questionable local water sources, bring jugs of water from home. Use a reusable drink bottle while you’re driving or pick up a filtering pitcher to keep in the cab fridge. If you’re buy a filtering pitcher, load up on tap water at the sinks of rest stops or gas stations, and then let the filter take care of any impurities.


Truckers aren’t known as fashion victims, so there’s not much risk of your spending too much of your hard-earned cash on work clothes. But you’ll save yourself hassle and extra expenses if you pack a few clothing essentials in the cab.

Throw a pair of flip-flops and a bathing suit into your bag. The flip-flops will keep your feet from directly touching germ-laden shower floors, which could send you to the doctor for a foot infection or worse.

The bathing suit will be useful when you can’t find a shower but know there’s a refreshing swimming hole or lake along your route. You should also bring at least three bath towels so you always have a fresh one to use in the truck-stop shower.

A reflective vest is a must-have to keep you visible during late-night breakdowns or stops in busy areas. Take rain gear and gloves along, and pack at least one warm coat on any trip during which there’s a risk of cold weather. If you do get caught in a cold snap or downpour, you won’t have to spend extra money buying a new coat.


Eating out is one of a trucker’s biggest financial temptations. When you’re hungry, it’s hard to listen to your wallet’s warnings to be frugal. Today, a hungry trucker can spend as much as $20 on one fast food meal in some locations.

Save yourself a load of dough by having a cab refrigerator that’s stocked with deli meat, salad greens, sliced cheese, and juice. Bring individually portioned foods from home or buy ready-made frozen meals you microwave in the cab.

With an inverter, you can power a refrigerator, microwave, and other appliances with your truck’s batteries. Many truckers even have 12-volt slow cookers in their cabs. These truckers start stew or chili in the slow cooker first thing in the morning, and then they let the meal simmer until dinnertime. Do this, and you get a “home-cooked” meal—no matter where you are—without spending a fortune.

Coffeemakers, toasters, and single-burner ranges are also helpful for cost-effective morning cups of coffee and scrambled eggs. Single-burner ranges are available in butane-fueled styles as well as electric-powered versions.


If your cab is set up right, your shelter rides with you wherever you go. Make the space more comfy by bringing along an electric blanket for those extra-cold nights. You won’t be tempted to stay in a nice, warm hotel.

A heating pad and massager are also nice truck supplies to have on hand when it’s been a long day in the driver’s seat. Supplies like these may save you a trip to the chiropractor or drug store, especially if you pack some over-the-counter painkillers in your first-aid kit.

Bring along ear plugs for the noisier sleeping and napping spots. Using a loud fan is also an option when you need to block out external noise so you can rest comfortably. You’ll save money when you don’t waste gas looking for a quieter spot to dream for the night.


In today’s society, entertainment is nearly considered a basic need. And it’s true that DVD players, gaming systems, and satellite radio systems provide you with relaxing activities after your work hours are done.

If you’re so bored that you visit local bars or stores, money tends to flow out of your wallet. When you have TV, gaming, music, or Wi-Fi capabilities, you get your fix of fun without draining your wallet.

If you need to be around people and require regular exercise, consider joining a fitness gym that has locations where you routinely drive. This way, you can exercise, shower, and talk to new people without spending a fortune. Be sure to get a month-to-month contract so you aren’t bound to a long-term commitment if your career or routes change.

Find your next great home-away-from-home with one-stop truck shopping at Arrow Truck Sales. We help you with everything from financing to roadside assistance. Contact us today to find the ideal truck for your long-haul and other transport needs.