How To Save During Your Next Big Move

Blog | May 29th, 2019

No matter where you are in life, moving is time consuming, stressful, and expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Regardless of what you spend on your next move, these simple tips can help you save money.

Average Costs of Moving

Most of the costs associated with moving largely depend on how far you’re going and how many physical items you need to actually move. Balancing mortgages and other miscellaneous costs will also enter the equation.

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of moving is $989, with numbers ranging anywhere from $500-$1500.

Moving out of state is costlier than moving locally, as interstate and cross-country movers will typically charge per load as opposed to charging by the hour as local services do.

Although there’s no way to avoid these costs entirely, there are several ways to reduce them.

Re-Use and Recycle

Most of the companies that rent moving trucks and vans also sell premium moving supplies such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and paper. Unfortunately, they also charge a premium price, but the truth is, there’s no need to spend big bucks for moving supplies.

When you re-use packing materials, you can save money – plus, you’ll reduce your impact on the environment at the same time.


Most chain stores like Walmart, Target, and Sam’s Club receive the products they sell in boxes, and they’re happy to let you take those cartons off their hands. If possible, stop by late at night, since clerks often restock shelves after peak business hours.

Find a cashier, explain that you’re moving, and ask if you can have a few boxes. Most of the time, he or she will show you to a back room piled high with flattened cartons.  

To make moving with recycled boxes easier, keep these tips in mind:
  • Sometimes you can get really large cartons from retailers. Use them for light-weight items like blankets and pillows and save smaller boxes for heavy items like books and dishes. Otherwise, their weight will be unmanageable.
  • If boxes haven’t already been flattened, consider doing so. Yes, you’ll have to open them back up and tape their bottoms, but you’ll be able to fit more of them in your vehicle.
  • Look for boxes that don’t have awkward hand-holds or other cutouts and avoid grocery store boxes that have been used to transport fruit. They’re often sticky inside or may have leftover stuff that can stain or damage your belongings.


When you pack your dishes, glassware, and other breakable items, you’ll want to wrap them up to help protect them from breakage. But don’t spend on fancy moving paper. Instead, make your sheets and towels do double duty.

Wrap plates and bowls in pillowcases and use smaller dish towels to protect glasses and mugs.

If you need additional wrapping material, save the grocery store flyers that show up in your mailbox each week, and ask neighbors to keep theirs too. It’s the same type of paper that you’d get from a moving company, and it’s free.


While it’s true that you can’t re-use tape, you can still save money by shopping discount stores. A forty-yard roll of packing tape costs about a dollar less at Walmart than the same quantity from truck rental and moving supplies stores.

Pass it On

When your move is complete, don’t forget to take your boxes and wrapping paper to the recycling center, or pass them – and the savings – on to someone in your new community!

Cutting Transport Costs

Though potentially expensive, moving boxes and tape represent just a small fraction of the cost of a move. The most significant expense is transportation, and that should come as no surprise.

Whether you hire a moving company or rent a truck you’ll drive yourself, spending a significant sum is usually unavoidable. Here are some ways to minimize the expense.

Borrow from Family

If you’re moving locally and you’re lucky enough have friends and family members who also happen to own trucks and SUV’s you might be in luck. Ask your loved ones for help but be sure to thank them generously.

An after-move party with pizza and beer will cost a lot less than renting a moving van, and it has the added benefit of turning what’s often an exhausting and frustrating effort into an opportunity for shared memories and fun.

Related Story: Buying a Home? The Essential Checklist

Shop for Discounts

If you’re moving a significant distance or can’t recruit your loved ones (really? They all drive Minis?), you’ll want to compare your options and get the best deal you can.  

Whether you’re looking for a truck rental or a full-service moving company, you can find coupons and other discounts on the internet. Just search for “discount moving company,” “discount moving truck rental,” or “moving truck rental coupon.”

You’ll usually find several different sites that let you compare rates from various companies. Just submit a simple online form to indicate when you need to move and where you’re going, and you’ll receive anywhere from three to six quotes, via email, in minutes.

Alternately, you can take advantage of other circumstances that may apply – many companies offer discounted rates for
  • Military Veterans
  • AAA Members
  • Senior Citizens
  • Students

Pro Tip: Ask about discounts in the off-season. People often move at the end of the school year, or just before the beginning of the next year, so if you can, schedule your move in late fall or winter. Then ask if the companies you’re considering offer a discount for non-peak times.

Read Those Reviews!

Before you hire a moving company or rent a truck, read reviews from others who’ve used their services. A lower rate won’t mean much if your belongings are damaged or destroyed along the way.

Your Next Big Adventure Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Sooner or later, everyone has to move. But whether it’s out of your parents’ home, across the country, or around the world, you can save money – and reduce your carbon footprint – by recycling moving materials.

What’s more, you some great deals on moving services and equipment rentals may be available. If you shop around, weigh your options, and ask about discounts, you can save money on your next move – which means more money to explore your new home town.