food the most expensive item how do i save on it
(boksburg gaugteng south africa)
hi if i dont get allowance for meals and sleep outs how do i safe money i must always phone home to ask for money, is this fair im like permanent on duty
Reply from Vicki:
Thanks for asking a question through our website. Yes, it has been Mike's and my experience that food is one of the most expensive items for professional truck drivers.
While we have written much about buying, storing, preparing and eating food in our trucks over the years, this has all been done within the framework of the trucks we have driven in the USA and Canada. We have no experience with the trucks or availability of food in other countries (such as South Africa, where you're from).
You said that you always have to "phone home to ask for money" for food. In and of itself, I wonder what the circumstances are behind this, so please permit me to ask some questions:
1. How are you currently getting your meals?
2. Are you earning enough money to cover the cost of your food on the road?
3. From whom at home are you asking for money (parents, wife, other)?
4. Why is it that you don't have (or take) money with you on the road?
5. Is there at least one grocery store or other market at home -- and along your route -- where you can buy food?
6. Do you have (or can you make) space in your truck to store some foodstuffs and maybe a mess kit and basic cleaning supplies?
7. Does your truck have a 12-volt or 24-volt power connection that will allow you -- perhaps directly or via an inverter -- to warm or cook food or heat water?
The amount of money you earn, what you budget for food, what you want to eat, and the restrictions regarding what you can carry and prepare in your truck, will all have an impact on saving money.
For example, if you like products that must stay cold, do you have the means by which to keep those items cold while you're on the road? In the USA, many drivers use:
- thermoelectric coolers;
- compact refrigerators; or
- ice chests;
for keeping food cold.
If you have a 12-volt or 24-volt power supply in your truck, you may consider buying and using an appliance that has the correct plug for cooking. Here in the USA, such appliances may be a
- crock pot (or slow cooker),
- electric skillet or
- "lunchbox oven".
We have found that having a portable toilet in our trucks was necessary for both personal hygiene and cleaning up after meals. For those who don't (or can't) have one of these in their trucks, perhaps cleaning up after a meal can be done in a restroom along one's route.
Do I personally think that it is "fair" for you to keep calling home to ask for money to buy food? Let me ask you a question in reply: If you're a professional truck driver, is it professional to keep calling home to ask for money? I think that there are better ways. Given your circumstances, you may be clever enough to make something work.
If you would care to take photos of your truck situation and submit up to 4 of them through the form on the Food and Recipes page of our site, I may be able to guide you farther.
I wish you great success in finding or creating a solution that works best for you!
Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.