Frugal Move

Moving isn't cheap- in fact, it is pretty darn expensive when you consider all the things you'll have to buy or put money out for. When I look at our numbers for moving- even though they are the cheapest they can be...I'm still shocked. Despite the fact that moving is expensive, it is the best choice for my family- so I can look past the cost and consider all of the positives of this HUGE move.

In my research, I've stumbled across a few lists of frugal things you can do to cut costs. Believe it or not, they were things I was already doing, BUT for the sake of this blog- I will post them anyways, because they will probably be helpful to someone else down the line.

Frugal Moving Tips:
  • Move Yourself. It takes more time and energy on your part, but you can save between $400-$2000 (if not more!) if you don't hire professional movers. You'll need to gather your friends and learn how to properly pack a truck- but it will save you BIG money in the long run. A truck rental costs between $200-$300 *give or take, it depends on the company* and you can rent it for however long you need it for.
  • Free Boxes. Having matching boxes is really nice...but it is also quite expensive. I haven't spent a single dollar on any of the boxes that we have for moving. I put a post on Kijiji asking for free boxes, I went to Safeway and picked up some apple boxes and then a good friends Dad brought a TON over. All I had to buy was packing tape. I'm also going to be paying-it-forward after our move and giving all of our boxes to a friend who is moving in April.
  • Rubbermaid Containers. Relatively inexpensive and totally worth it down the line. They can be used over and over for numerous things. Not only are they pretty cheap (approximately $7 per bin) but they are handy for moving and storing things. Now I'm not suggesting going out and buying 50 bins...that is NOT frugal, but 4 or 6 is. I packed all my Christmas stuff in 2 bins and then all our clothes into another 3 bins. I also had a few from previous moves that we were able to use again. It's handy for me, and it saves me having to recycle extra boxes...
  • Feed Your Friends. You need to feed the people who are helping you move. Pizza and Beer are classic moving food- however, that's pretty expensive. For moving day #1, we will get the $5 Pizzas from Little Caesars...because it's cheap and easy. The following day, I made a HUGE batch of chili that people can enjoy when they help us unload. The total cost for feeding a small army? $40- that includes, pizza, pop, chili and buns. Totally affordable. And totally an expense that I am ok with- these people are helping us out, so the least I can do is give them a little food.
  • Donate/Sell/Trash. De cluttering is an awesome way to save money on a move. Getting rid of all the extra crap that you have is not only save you time when you move, but it will also ensure that you aren't on the show Hoarders in a few years time. Sell what you can (I made over $200 selling random items), donate what you can't sell, and trash all the other crap that you don't really need. I'm really proud that we were able to get rid of so much stuff this time 'round. We are moving into a much bigger house but I don't want to fall into the trap of needing to fill all the extra space. By getting rid of unwanted stuff NOW- I won't have to pack it or unpack it AND it saves me space.

The list above offers the most cost effective way to move. Now- for some this won't be practical...but for us, it works. We have a lot of great friends who are helping out here and in Calgary, and it is greatly appreciated.

The countdown is on- 8 days until the BIG MOVE...so I must leave you now and go pack...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

OH- and if anyone else has any other frugal moving tips- please leave a comment! I'd love to hear how you save money on a move...


  1. Go to places like Tim Horton's and McDonald's- they are often more than happy to pass along their boxes to you, and they are often super sturdy and durable. All my moves have been in McDs boxes! lol
    As a sidenote, I also fill my cooler from McDs in the summer, as long as you are polite and don't do it too often, they are happy to give you a cooler full of ice!

  2. You can claim the cost of your move on next years income tax b/c you are moving for school.

  3. I would also recommend using ABF freight movers. We used them and they were great. They have everything you need on the website to download. The bill of lading is the total weight of the truck before and after it is packed. Cheaper to book the truck during the week or not on a holiday. Packing it, make sure to have a few blankets and know that the truck does not have air shocks. Cost us about 2300.00 packing ourselves and moving down south from up north. We packed up a three bedroom house in one truck. Very smooth transition and communication. You may need to notify police if truck will be sitting on street for a day or two while you get ready and pack.
    I believe ABF gives you two or three days before the trailer is picked up for shipping. Hope this is helpful.