13 Car Essentials to Help you Save Money

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Car Hacks that save you money each week.

Working full-time and being a wife and mom of two, I’m often spending countless hours in my car. From going to work, picking up the kids from school, grocery shopping, running errands, I feel like I spend more time in my car than I spend at home.

This was not only consuming my time, but consuming some of my budget.
If you’ve been here a while, you already know that I like to run most of my errands and shopping during the week, to save more time on the weekends. I wrote a whole post to help you save more of your weekend here.

So, being in my car for long periods of time is just not avoidable in this season of my life. But, after realizing that I tend to spend more money on days I run errands, I had to start packing my car in a way that would help me side step the pitfalls I kept falling into.

Here are some of my car hacks that have saved me a lot of money each week.

1-Snack Bag

I’ve been keeping a bag full of sturdy snacks like pretzels, nuts, granola bars and bottles of water.
This has not only been a time saver, but a money saver.
If you have ever ran errands with kids in the car, you already know that it’s challenging when they start to get hungry.
Because I usually run errands after work, this bag offers a snack for my kids so that I don’t have to pull in to a drive thru. I no longer get asked every 5 minutes when we’ll be home and when we’re going to eat dinner. They’re full enough to wait until we get home without any complaints….80% of the time, haha.

2- Battery Cables

One afternoon, on my way back from work, my car wouldn’t turn on and needed to be jumped. This is a common thing for older cars, in my experience. But, I soon realized that it’s obviously so much easier to ask someone to jump your car if you have jumper cables, haha. At that point, I didn’t have the cables, so I had to pay for AAA to come and jump my car. That phone call can cost a lot of money. So, now, I keep jumper cables in my trunk, so I’m always prepared.

3- Facial Tissue

I bought my tissue holder and tissue fillers from the 99 cents store and it was one of the best items I’ve purchased. I’ve literally had the holder for more than 10 years. It attaches to your passenger mirror and makes it so convenient when you need to grab a tissue.

But…currently I’m running a bit low as you can see. I’ll be restocking this week.

4- Jacket… for everyone in the family

This is a big one for me. One of my close cousins literally always makes fun of me because I’m the first person to get cold but I never bring a jacket. I always forget to bring one and always regret it when it starts to get chilly outside.
With a jacket being in the car, I’m always covered….and so are my kids.

5- Plastic bags

I usually hang a plastic bag from my gear changer to act as a trash bag. I know some of you will say that it’s not good to have anything hanging from there, but I assure you that the trash that accumulates in this bag is mostly wrappers and tissue. So, it’s not weighing down on my gear changer at all. And, I didn’t want to stick on one of those car trash cans that will one day come loose and leave a sticky residue behind. This make it so that any car can easily have a makeshift trash bag ready to go.

It helps me stay organized and my car doesn’t look like a pig sty, which makes me happy.

6- First Aid kit

This is so important to have when you’re on the road and away from home. You never know when you’re going to need this and you’ll never regret storing a kit in your car.

For moms, I think this is essential. My kids get hurt at random times, so being prepared literally makes me feel calmer. I don’t want to have to run in a CVS to buy band-aids while my daughter is in the car crying and bleeding. I want to have band-aids on hand so its ready to go when we need it.

7-Stash some cash

I’ve always felt a little uneasy about leaving money in my car, but just recently, I decided to put some small bills in my center console. I have about $20 in small bills so far and I’m planning on saving at least another $20. You never know when your credit or debit card may stop working at the gas station or if you run into any situation where cash is your only option. If you’re anything like me, you don’t even carry cash in your wallet, so this little tip will help a lot.

8- A blanket

This may seem pointless, especially because a little earlier, I already mentioned that you should have a jacket for everyone in your family stored in your car. But, blankets come in handy on other levels. They can be used to sit on at the park or a child gets sleepy in the back seat and needs to cover up, etc. A small blanket that can be folded into an 8 X 10 size won’t take up a lot of room in your car, but will give comfort when you need it.

And yes, there is lint on our blanket, because we actually do use it to sit on at the park.

9-Change of clothes & flip flops or shoes

This is a big one for me. As I mentioned earlier,  I run errands after work or go to church and run errands after that. It’s important to have comfy shoes or flip flops when your out running errands. I used to have to drive back home first to change before running errands and realized it was wasting a lot of time. Now, I just leave a pair of flip flops in the car and just switch out my heels for a more comfy option.

A change of clothes is mostly for the younger kids. I can’t tell you how many times we would be on our way to an event and somehow my little one (who’s now in middle school) would get something on her shirt or pants. This also comes in handy for kids, like mine, who tend to get car sick. It’s good to just have a change in clothes in case they’re needed.

10-Grocery bags

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went grocery shopping and forgot all my bags at home. And because I’m stubborn, I never agree for the grocery store to sell me those plastic bags, so I end up putting every item in my trunk….one by one. Talk about glutton for punishment. It’s worse when you have a cart full of groceries.
Now, as soon as I empty out my bags from our shopping trip, I have one of the kids put them all back in the trunk. Now, I can’t ever forget them.

11-Over the Counter Medication

I usually keep some aspirin for a headache, since I get most of my headaches while I’m out, but I also keep Neosporin near by, because I’ve had many occasions where I’ve needed to use it. Also, I’m starting to think I should probably keep some kind of fever reducer for the kids, because we’ve had occasions where they started feeling sick in transit to an event or outing, and we’ve had to wait until we got home (or purchased a really expensive bottle from a nearby store) to give them a dose.

12-Keep a towel

Spills in a car are inevitable, even if you’re super neat. I’ve had everything spilled in my car and most of the time, I had nothing to pick up the spill. That can be stressful when you’re driving and just know that the spill is going to turn into a stain because there literally is nothing to wipe it up.

Just leave an old towel or microfiber towel in your center console. That way, you’re always prepared when spills happen.

13-Fast Food coupons

Listen, I used to be one of those people that would throw away all of the fast food coupons thinking that it would help me avoid fast food. That never worked. Sometimes there are just days where you have to get some fast food and those days I would be regretting throwing away those coupons.

Keep the coupons in your car, and don’t use them unless you really have to. If you have to spend money on fast food, then at least you can save a few bucks in the process.

I’m curious to know what items you have in your car that have helped you on the road.

Comment below and let me know! Maybe I’ll start packing it too.

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