Moving can be exciting, but it can also take an unexpected chunk out of your budget!  Many times we end up spending more than we anticipated. If you keep a few handy ideas in mind before the big day, you will cut the stress and cut the cost!

1. Get boxes for free!

Boxes can become one of those “burden expenses” that’s hard to control when packing and moving. It can be difficult to estimate how many boxes and which sizes you’ll need to complete packing your home. There are a few ways to get boxes for free! Even if you have to buy some new boxes, obtaining a few for zero dollars will definitely help. One way is by asking your local stores. Every store gets their inventory each week packed in boxes. They break them down and recycle or throw them away. If you ask a manager, most times they will agree to save the boxes for you if you pick them up by a certain day and time in which they need them gone.

Another way is to ask your friends and family to be on the lookout for any boxes. I have even used diaper boxes to pack my household items! Lastly, check your basement or garage for any leftover boxes you may have from previous big purchases. If you’re going to buy them, try to consider a few plastic bins. They will be a better investment and can be used for future storage needs.

2. Move on a weekday

If you do need to hire a moving company, check to see if their weekday rates differ from the weekend when they would be more in demand. As with anything, the “off season” is always cheaper, so be sure to ask questions and shop around.

3. Collect the Sunday paper and plastic grocery bags

When you’re collecting packing materials, you will need something to cushion your items within the boxes. I like to use old newspaper. Save your newspapers, and ask friends and family to do the same. This way you will not need to buy packing peanuts or bubble wrap to safely stow away your breakables! I have found that an abundance of plastic grocery bags also work well.

4. Reap the benefits of changing your address online with the postal service

If you head to the U.S. Postal Service website you can quickly change you address. When you do this, they will send you new coupons to places like Lowe’s, The Home Depot and even Bed Bath & Beyond.

Related: Selling Your Home? 6 Cheap Home Staging Tricks that Really Work!

5. Have a yard sale!

Before you begin packing, let go of some clothing, furniture or anything else that you may not want or use any longer. No sense in moving more than you need to. In addition, you can put any profit towards the necessary moving expenses.

6. Clean on a dollar

It’s inevitable: you will have to clean the house you leave and then clean again at your new place. Cleaning supplies can become expensive. Dollar stores will be of great help when you can grab mops, buckets, gloves, dusters, sprays and more to clean and sanitize your house.

7. Be frugal with the items you may need for your new place

It’s easy to get carried away when you land in your new home. New rugs, kitchen towels, decor or even a new trash can will end up on your shopping list. Make sure to scour your local second hand shops or even browse the clearance aisles of your favorite stores. Don’t rush on these purchases. Find the better deal to save you more.

8. Research your new grocery store

Moving can be overwhelming and confusing. When you need something in the midst of the move, it’s hard to plan a couponing trip to the store. To help with this, visit your new grocery store in advance if you can, and sign up for their savings card or any other promotional programs that they may have. Then load their eCoupons, grab their store coupons, and print out any manufacturer coupons that you may need the week of the move. Lastly, store them somewhere safe such as a specific slot of your binder or even an envelope you keep in your glove compartment. This way you can grab it on the way to the store and shop with confidence knowing you did your homework early!

9. Grab intro specials when signing up for utilities

One of my favorite things about a new move is the awesome “new customer” pricing specials that cable and Internet companies have. Always ask for these when calling to start your new services. Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not any of your utilities require a deposit and when you may get it back. For example, my gas company required a $150 deposit for new customers, but after the first six successful payments you were credited it back. At first I was taken back by the added fee, but six months later it was nice to have that saved to pay my bill!

This is a guest post by Amber S. from Waynesboro, PA.