Monday, September 26, 2011

Frugal Trucking


Well, the truck finally is finished in getting maintenance. This is a
double edged sword. We love having Joe home, but when the truck wheels
are not going down the road the family doesn't make any money. So, we
are now on our way to OKC to take Joe back to the truck so he can get
rolling again.

We were talking today about the canning that I do for his meals on the
truck. I began doing that about nearly 5 yrs ago. At that time, Joe
was driving truck and spent $600 a month on food & drinks while on the
road. Unfortunately for truckers, eating at truck stops is not cheap.
While you might find some foods at a reasonable price, overall the
expense is high. I started canning pint size jars of homemade soups and
stews for him to take with him. We were shocked to realize that just
this simply thing cut his food/drink expense down to $150 a month.

Now, I send Joe out with at least a month's supply of meals. He has 4
dozen jars of soups, stews, meats, and sometimes desserts. He also
takes with him 2 gallon baggies filled with sandwich baggies of homemade
"instant" oatmeal packets. We make them using rolled oats, brown sugar,
cinnamon, slivered almonds, chopped pecans, and raisins. I measure out
the oats into a baggie and he then adds the rest to satisfy his tastes.
He then cooks the oatmeal in his cooker on the truck and has enough to
share with his student also. A single serving is 1/2 cups of the rolled
oats, but I put in 1 cup so that he has plenty to share.

Sending Joe off with the meals is a blessing also in times when he is
stopped at a place where he cannot buy a meal or when money is tight due
to truck problems. I never have to worry that he is getting enough to
eat. I can rest assured that he is eating well. We also know that he
is not eating foods filled with sodium or other additives that are not
healthy for us.

One thing that Joe does on the truck is make his own coffee. How do you
do that on a truck? You take a coffee filter and place it inside a
funnel. Add your coffee grounds and pour hot water over it. This works
just like a drip coffee machine but goes straight into your thermos or
large 54 ounce insulated mug. I learned this trick years ago. Even
with a stove top coffee pot, I still prefer to use this method. I just
make the coffee to drip into an insulated carafe and have coffee hot
most of the day. Making his coffee on the truck like this saves Joe a
lot of money each month when compared to the cost of buying coffee at a
truck stop.

These simple things that we do are just another way that we are able to
live a frugal and more simply. They are ideas that anyone can use.