With limited options for where to buy food, drink and supplies whilst on shift, HGV drivers have traditionally often been forced to pay higher prices at expensive service stations or truck stops, pushing personal costs up.
With the current cost-of-living crisis and food costs remaining high, HGV drivers are being hit even harder when it comes to costs on the road.
To help support drivers in reducing the burden of these additional costs, HGV training experts, Driver Hire Training, have put together some expert tips for keeping spend down when working as a HGV driver.
- Meal Prep and Take it With You
Meal prepping can not only save you money but often leads to healthier meals as you have more control over what you are cooking, at more affordable price points.
Deciding what to eat in the moment during a shift often leads to buying overpriced meals, and fast food is frequently the quickest, cheapest option. From a health perspective, fast food will give you immediate energy, but will often see you crash and feel tired much sooner than when eating a healthier meal. This can lead to buying more snacks to keep you going, which in turn will cost even more money. In the current economic climate, this is something we all want to avoid.
Meal prepping can seem tedious and time consuming in the moment, however, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are lots of simple batch cooking recipes out there, and it will save time in the long run.
Richard Owen Hughes, Marketing Director at Driver Hire, says: “Thinking through the working week in advance and planning meals is a great way to save money on food on the road. You can batch cook simple, high energy and high protein meals such as pasta dishes or curries. Salads, fruit and even sandwiches made in advance are also good options . Forward planning can really help you to stay healthy while keeping costs down”.
- Pack Reusable Water Bottles
Especially during the hot summer months, drinking plenty of water when driving is imperative. Whilst you can buy bottled water at service stations when you stop, doing this each day will soon start to add up.
“Take a couple of full reusable water bottles with you on your shift. If the place you stop has a water refill station, you can use this to top up if you run out. This way, you’re saving money, keeping adequately hydrated and helping reduce plastic waste throughout the day,” says Richard.
- Pack Slow Energy Release Snacks
Even with nutritious meals, it’s normal to feel like snacking during the day. Especially whilst doing a job with high concentration, you want to feel energised and ready for anything on the road, and a snack, especially late morning and mid-afternoon can give you the boost you need.
“Bulk buying snacks such as fruit, nuts, protein bars and yoghurts are a great way to stay energised and keep costs low,” says Richard.
“Buying snacks individually at service stations or truck stops costs more, and the temptation in the moment will likely be something unhealthy, as it’s cheaper and more instantly satisfying. Buying multipacks from supermarkets and having slow-release energy snacks at the ready will lead to healthier and cheaper choices throughout your shift.”
- Make a Check List of Items you Need Before a Shift
Other sources of unnecessary costs whilst on shift are forgetting things like phone chargers, sun cream, and bathroom supplies. Being disorganised and forgetting the essential items you need can lead to having to pick up these items at higher prices whilst on the road. This hurts all the more if you have these items already at home, and could have brought them along for free.
“Create a checklist or even a prepared kit bag of things which are essential to your shift, in summer or winter, and make sure you have everything ready before you start on the road,” advises Richard. “That way, you will never leave without them, and can ensure you won’t face unnecessary costs whilst working.”
“Essential items vary from personal hygiene items, like flip flops for the shower, to sun cream for those hot summer days. Either way, you don’t want to be paying more for these items at service stations, so make sure you pack everything you need before you go.”