Thrifty Moving Ideas?

I am making a permanent move to San Diego this August. I'm saving my pennies so that I have enough for the move and at least 3 months living expenses. I'm a single woman in my 50's so I'll be making the trip alone by car with my Golden Retriever.


I will be selling/getting rid of almost everything except the few items I can't part with. I plan on driving my Honda with a small sport trailer so I'll just have the space in my trunk and the small trailer. The dog will need the entire back seat (she needs to be able to walk from window to window, depending on the view).

I'm a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do right now. I've started to go through some of my things thinking I would declutter. However, I don't want to Freecycle, give away, or trash something I can get even a quarter for (it will all add up). So I need some suggestions about how to organize this stuff without just putting it right back where I got it from.

I could also use some help with thrifty travel ideas. Since it will be August, I don't want to stop at restaurants to eat, because I won't be able to leave the dog in the car. My thought is that I should take my small cooler and pack it with hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit, and power bars. Then I can stop at parks, picnic grounds, or rest areas where the dog and I can both get out, stretch and I can eat a bite. Then I was thinking I would stop at Denny's or Bob Evans and have breakfast for dinner since those meals are usually cheaper.


I plan on staying in Motel 6 all along the route. I'll plan the route and make the reservations ahead of time. I made notes of other suggestions having to do with what to have in the car (water, oil, WW fluid, Fix-A-Flat, Tylenol, etc.). I will have my cell phone and have a charger for the car.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Anything to make the move as stress free and thrifty as possible.

By LoriB from DC

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March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wow, what an adventure you have before you; thank goodness you'll have your darling dog as a traveling companion! I'm with you about trying to sell as much as possible before your move; you'll need as much $ as you can get. Try selling things individually on Craig's list, or put similar things together and sell as a group (kitchen utensils, pots and pans, craft magazines, etc.). It sounds as if you've planned ahead really well. Don't forget to have AAA or some other emergency car number in case you run into trouble on the road.


Try to stop at motels/hotels that serve Continental breakfasts; they usually have fruit, so you can take a small plate and put it in your cooler. If you dog eats canned food, don't forget to pack a can opener; otherwise, dry food can be transported pretty easily. Make sure you take water in a gallon jug and then a bowl you can pour it in for him. Lastly, take a book of encouraging messages to read at night. You have a big challenge ahead of you, but it's very do-able, and you sound very capable and motivated! Good luck!

March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'd suggest a huge moving sale and have 25 cent, 50 cent, $1 tables etc. to make it easy on yourself. Have plastic shopping bags available to use for each shopper for each table.


You will blow out your extra stuff plus make money. Have a few friends lined up to help. You may even have more than one sale as people love these sales! Good luck!


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March 3, 20101 found this helpful
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I used to live in SD, so I know you will love it!

Selling on CL is tricky, as there are now spammers who ask you if you still have something and when you tell them yes. They have your address and email you with the wordage..."don't sell your precious things, click on my link for a great business opportunity blah blah blah".

I hate them but there is nothing you can do but put them in spam. Now, advertising your sale is great on CL and if you live in a complex, you can put flyers up in the laundry room, etc.


Put like things in boxes marking .25/.50 etc. Keep this in mind "is it cheaper to buy it when I get there or ship it now". I did that when I moved from Salem OR to Va, so you can figure that one out.

Do make sure your hotels accept dogs. I think your choice does.
As for food, I have traveled so much I am a culinary expert! I make baked chicken breasts dusted with lemon pepper spice from the dollar tree (before you bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes on each side). It keeps well, and you can eat and drive at the same time if you want to keep rolling. Keep napkins, plastic utensils and paper plates handy, and yes, a can opener is great, too!

I also have dips and cut up veggies. Fruits like cut up melons and berries, seedless grapes and such are also eat and drive "friendly".


I would keep a mini recorder if you have one, or at least a note book and good pen for notes along the way. I assume you will be stopping once in a while to give yourself and the pooch a rest? Good, don't forget photos!

If your car has a good sound system, take uplifting music and sing along!! Nothing better than a shower or a car to let loose!

Do take duck tape. Take some spark plugs, a fan belt and a soda can and two hose clamps and either snip it open on the top and bottom and down the side before you leave, or take the snips with you. Believe it or not, that fixed a hole in the muffler and lasted another 1200 miles!

Take a set of tools, and keep a penny, dime, nickle and quarter in with them. Make sure you have a pliers for them. They can be emergency screwdrivers for those places you can't get a long handled one in like an idler screw hose clamps, etc.

Make sure your battery has water if it is that kind, and distilled is best. Clean the terminals with some old tooth brushes and baking soda. Put coolant in your radiator according to the directions on the bottle. You might need a charge on the AC unit. The heat of August is no time to need it where the mechanic might charge you extra.

Check the tread on you tires. If you stick a dime in them, you should not see all of the pressure; anything less is not a good idea. I once had 4 used tires on my van, and traveled too long during the days heat and by the time I got home, had all four blow out on me. Give your car a 1/2 hour rest for every 4 hours you travel. Trust me on this one.
Take extra oil with you and steering, brake and transmission liquids, after you top them all before you leave. If you don't know much about car maintenance, google it or have someone you trust show you the basics and write them down. In fact, visit this site for a good downloadable bit of info.

It's the address for all the sites you will need.

Do not carry cash! Put your money on your banks debit card. Keep your purse out of site. A belly bag is a wonderful thing for when you have to stop of a potty break, etc.
And, keep a spare car key in it or hooked to the loop. If you lock your keys in your car, you may stress the doggie and pay 80.00 for a pop a lock!

Take a mace can with you, on a key ring or such. If you have a dog with you, you are safer, but not totally safe. No one can be, but it's a good thing to always be prepared.

Once all the logistics are taken care of you can relax and enjoy the trip. Good Luck!

March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi: Just wanted to give you some food ideas. Pre-made sandwiches are great ideas. Pack an ice chest with some waters or other beverages that you can refresh every night with the ice machine from the hotel and if you have made several days worth of sandwiches, they will stay fresh in ziplock bags. Vary them from peanut butter and jelly to some sort of meat like bologna or turkey breast with veggies.

The hotels with continental breakfast will help out a lot. They have yogurts and fruits you can possibly take with you on the road as well. Lots of cut up fruits and veggies will work great on the road, as will crackers and pretzels. Nuts, trail mix, cheese and crackers, granola bars...lots of healthy foods you can eat while driving without going to the junk foods like chips and pastries which will quickly pack on the pounds while you sit behind the wheel.

Sounds like others have given you good advise as far as discarding your personal items. Don't forget to get donation receipts for things you give away, as you can use that for your taxes. May as well get a benefit out of all of this in the end, right? Best of luck to you. Post later and let us all know how it goes for you okay. God Speed!


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
March 2, 20100 found this helpful

Have a garage sale when the weather is nice. Be ruthless in eliminating your possessions. If they haven't sold in your sale, donate or dispose of them. Don't get bogged down in holding on to items you think are worth a quarter--they are holding you back from getting organized. Try to look at the big picture.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
March 2, 20100 found this helpful

Do you have a place to live when you get to CA? Do you have a spare tire for the car and trailer? Do not drink any water on the trip except your water, it made me sick. We fixed 2 loaves of bread into sandwiches, as you know there's not very many places to eat at going to CA, long roads without anything, take a credit card,you may get robbed,have a gun(with permit) or a big stick to protect yourself in case you have trouble,will your dog protect you?

August is a very hot month to be on the road,maybe you can go when it's cooler,maybe you can get a dummy doll to set in car with you Coffee or tea will help keep you awake, top at least every 2 hours, stop before sundown to find a room to sleep in. Take 2 or 3 gal of water in case you need it for the car, have car & hoses checked before you leave, cell phone may not work in some places, good luck.

March 3, 20100 found this helpful

Make sure to carry a roll of duct tape, it can be used if a hose springs a leak until you get someplace to get it replaced. You could have a garage sale to make some money. Good luck


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
March 3, 20100 found this helpful

Can you find a consignment store or a small auction house that will take your items on consignment?
Check the hotels first--some do not accept dogs, others require they be in a carrier and others charge a higher rate and a deposit.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 180 Feedbacks
March 6, 20100 found this helpful

Check with your vet to see if constipation might be a problem with so little exercise. You might need to modify his/her diet, or stop every couple of hours for a water, exercise, pee stop. Good luck on the trip and I hope for you a great life ahead.

April 6, 20100 found this helpful

I'm from San Diego of 30 yrs, now I'm in Colorado. We go back home at least once a year to see family. What we do as far as snacks go whenever we drive to San Diego is we generally pack an ice chest with cheese sticks, water, pretzels, trail mix, grapes, enough for a lot of miles. Every now and then, we would stop and get refreshed with Gatorade. Be careful and watch your surroundings, and enjoy San Diego.


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