Author Topic: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person  (Read 939 times)

StartingEarly

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Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« on: June 17, 2021, 08:38:25 AM »
So I work as a professional gambler and a large part of my job is travelling. I currently drive a 2002 Honda Insight Manual so I do ok in the mpg department, average around 55, eventually wanting to go PHEV with it when the lithium conversions are ready for prime time. I put on probably 75k miles a year, the nature of my work probably won't lower that and might raise it as maximizing income generally dictates more travelling to maximize freeplay offers, etc.

I'm wanting ways to reduce waste mainly. One of the main things that bothers me is bottled water (rarely drink soda or energy drinks) and coffee cups. I'll usually end up with a trash bag full or greater after a month when I have time to clean everything out, trying to throw it out at every gas stop now but don't always have time. I don't like that I'm generating that much waste but I'm not sure of a good way to have reliable clean, safe, good tasting water while on the road like where would I keep getting the water from. All the solutions on the road ultimately end up being from jugs or bottles. Is there a way I could have a compact solution (since my car is so tiny already) to filter a decent amount of water in my hotel rooms?

Most of my food and lodging is covered by the nature of my job, the casinos believe I'm good for their business (lulz) so they give me free rooms and food usually. I probably have to pay for a hotel room less than 1 in 10 nights. I do pay for food and coffee and whatnot on the road.

So the things I need that have to be very compact are a coffee maker. I think one like they have in the hotels could work where you just pour in the water you need at the time so it doesn't hold water and have potential for spills but I'd like one that had refillable grounds if possible so I'm not making more waste. My home Keurig I fill from big bags since it has the refillable k cup. I'd need some kind of water filter and I'd need some kind of water storage that holds up. I'd also need for food something like a 12v cooler or something so I'm not constantly getting ice. I've seen them where they have coolers that have their own compressors and batteries so you use your 12v socket while on the road and then it keeps things cool about a day when you're parked.

So basically those three things and any other things people can think of I figure people on here might use some and have recommendations on ones that are small, reliable and maybe not too expensive but if they're really good stuff then I'm willing to pay more.

ericrugiero

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 08:51:54 AM »
We have a Berkey water filter for our home use.  It filters out much more than the little filters you fit in your fridge.  They make smaller filters that could work in a hotel room and allow you to drink that water.  I don't know how much of a headache it would be to pack up and take every time you move.  The filtration is top notch.  https://www.berkeywaterfilter.com/product-category/berkey-purifiers/

You could look into some type of pour over coffee maker.  Those are small and light but you still need a way to heat water.  Maybe a small electric kettle could work for that.  I don't have any experience with the smaller ones. 

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2021, 08:56:41 AM »
To add more detail. Since I moved into my house I ended up traveling so I'm currently still in a lease until the beginning of August. I'm planning on not renewing that lease since it's pretty expensive (2200 a month and likely to increase, it's a fishing property and I got it when there was nothing to do during the pandamic, I know, I know). I'm planning on travelling the country and figuring out what the best place to live is and currently I get my rooms always paid for and that has been a thing for several month and unlikely to stop. I'll probably try to travel with about a month of clothes so like 4 pairs of short 4 of pants and then a month worth of socks and underwear. I can just use a laundromat or the hotel laundry services when my stuff starts getting low unless someone has other suggestions. I'm mainly focusing on maximizing my work income since I finally have gotten it pretty well figured out and made about $250k before expenses last year.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 09:02:05 AM »
Eric, for coffee I like the ones that don't hold water. They're just little tiny compact Keurig types so I could probably get a reusable k cup and just tap it out on an on ramp since it's just coffee grounds. They're 120v but I could get an inverter or maybe one of those batteries that have a 120v plug and charge from your 12v socket. Those are single cup makers, just pour in the amount of water you want and it heats it and brews it through a k cup (I like reusable). I figure I'd see who knew which of those are the best to get for travelling. I don't think there's a 12v option since I would imagine that would burn out the fuse in a cigarette lighter socket.

Malcat

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 09:08:57 AM »
For travel coffee, nothing beats an Aeropress with a metal filter.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 09:31:11 AM »
Wouldn't something like an Aeropress require I boil water before using it?


Malcat

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2021, 09:42:19 AM »
https://www.amazon.com/Keurig-K-Mini-Single-Serve-Coffee/dp/B07GV2S1GS/ref=asc_df_B07GV2S1GS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312190122188&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13220533587441002697&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030163&hvtargid=pla-573189929243&psc=1

I was thinking of something like that, I would still have to give it power though

Well, yeah, you are going to need power and a way to boil water no matter what, unless you want to start doing cold brew.

If it were me, I would use a small kettle and an Aeropress. The kettle then has multiple uses.

windytrail

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2021, 09:49:12 AM »
As @Malcat mentioned, people who are hardcore into coffee love the Aeropress for its simplicity and ability to produce superior tasting coffee. Combine this with a good manual coffee grinder (like the Hario: https://www.amazon.com/Hario-Skerton-Ceramic-Coffee-Mill/dp/B001802PIQ/ref=zg_mw_14092841_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=118WRX07Y5Q5VZ1NKD7D) and a stove/pot (https://www.amazon.com/Odoland-Cookware-Carabiner-Stainless-Backpacking/dp/B01MS07XPL/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=backpacking+stove&qid=1623944595&sr=8-6), and you can have world-class coffee wherever you are.

For water filtration, many backpackers use the Sawyer Squeeze (https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Products-SP131-PointOne-Squeeze/dp/B005EHPVQW/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1CW1O4EP23YPR&dchild=1&keywords=sawyer+squeeze&qid=1623944665&sprefix=sawyer%2Caps%2C236&sr=8-4). Compact and makes great tasting water pretty quickly.

If you need to store a lot of water on your trips, go with 5gallon containers that you can reuse such as these (https://www.amazon.com/Scepter-Durable-Portable-Storage-Container/dp/B07HQZWH5P/ref=sr_1_12?dchild=1&keywords=5+gallon+water+storage&qid=1623944807&sr=8-12).

CrustyBadger

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2021, 09:53:50 AM »
I don't have any personal experience with this portable coffee maker, but I remember seeing it on shark tank.  It seems like it would meet your needs:

https://allsharktankproducts.com/shark-tank-products-food-and-drink/brumachen-brewer-portable-coffee-maker


chemistk

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2021, 09:54:06 AM »
I don't have any experience with living on the road, but your question made me do a quick google search and I found this - I think this might fit 100% of your coffee needs.

https://www.homedepot.com/pep/Makita-3-Cup-18-Volt-LXT-12-Volt-MAX-CXT-Lithium-Ion-Teal-Cordless-Coffee-Maker-Tool-Only-DCM501Z/309327779?mtc=Shopping-B-F_HDH-B-HDH-29_28_SMALL_ELECTRICS-MULTI-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Coffee&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_HDH-B-HDH-29_28_SMALL_ELECTRICS-MULTI-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Coffee-71700000049316323-58700006711925733-92700060791135830&gclid=7588337256b2167bd91253b938b463ee&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=7588337256b2167bd91253b938b463ee

It's kind of pricey but you wouldn't need an inverter for your car, could carry 2+ batteries for up to 6 cups before you need to recharge, and best yet it claims that it has a permanent filter meaning that you could just use bagged coffee.

I think it would pair well with that Berkley water filter posted above. I wouldn't rule out a compact Brita-style filter though if you need to save $$ or space, but you're probably being more wasteful than something that's designed for a much longer life.

I also think windy trail's suggestion of getting a few gallons' capacity water tank just to keep around and refill bottles from. 

Honestly, if you haven't' looked into it, you might be best served by stuff usually sold to truckers.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2021, 10:31:28 AM »
I was really excited looking at the shark tank coffee maker but the reviews tell a story of a company that doesn't deliver and is in trouble so I think I'll be passing on that. I will have to see if there are other options similar. I was pretty surprised the 12v can handle a coffee maker albiet one that's slower so that makes sense I guess. Would save a lot of money and hassle over getting an inverter installed, but I probably want one for other stuff anyways.

Rubic

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2021, 11:51:13 AM »
I've been traveling almost non-stop for the past year, living out of hotel rooms.  In the past I've used the Aeropress that @Malcat recommends, but I now prefer the Clever Coffee Dripper:

https://www.amazon.com/Clever-Coffee-Dripper-Baristas-Choice/dp/B07RV3JJBG

Either is suitable for travel.

I also prefer to buy whole beans and carry a Hario hand grinder:

https://www.amazon.com/Hario-Mini-Mill-Coffee-Grinder/dp/B001804CLY

In addition, you'll want the usual accouterments such as a thermos
mug. Initially I brought along an electric kettle, but almost every office
or motel room has a microwave oven, so I use that to heat my water. 

Overall, it's been a pretty satisfactory experience.

Tester

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2021, 01:04:18 AM »
For boiling water you could just get one of those camping stoves.
Don't know how cost effective they are but they can boil water quickly.
I am talking about the small ones, not the ones with two burners.
That and an aeropress should do the trick?

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2021, 06:24:13 AM »
I'd really like to avoid having any kind of gas or propane or anything of the sort inside of my vehicle, it's extremely small so even a small leak could be really bad.

Malcat

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2021, 07:13:56 AM »
I'd really like to avoid having any kind of gas or propane or anything of the sort inside of my vehicle, it's extremely small so even a small leak could be really bad.

Okay, so you are actually specifically looking for suggestions for how to make coffee in your car?

If that's the case, then just start making cold brew and keep it in a car cooler.

former player

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2021, 08:03:12 AM »
I'd really like to avoid having any kind of gas or propane or anything of the sort inside of my vehicle, it's extremely small so even a small leak could be really bad.
World's smallest roof rack?

PMG

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2021, 08:32:00 AM »
Bodum a has travel french press in stainless or plastic.  Could do cold brew and could still use it for refills at gas stations etc, and do regular french press coffee when you have access to hot water. 

https://www.bodum.com/us/en/11057-01bus-travel-press

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2021, 10:42:45 AM »
I suppose I could learn to do cold brew since it's summer time. I would want to have hot coffee for winter so then something like the Makita would be best.


Malcat

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2021, 11:35:39 AM »
I suppose I could learn to do cold brew since it's summer time. I would want to have hot coffee for winter so then something like the Makita would be best.

The yeah, you will need some sort of method for heating liquid in your car.

I still think finding a way to use a kettle would be optimal since it would have multiple uses. There are battery operated camping kettles.

windytrail

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2021, 11:49:16 AM »
The Makita looks very inefficient and overbuilt for the function it actually brings. Weights 5.6 pounds and only brews 15oz of coffee on one charge. Requires a separate battery charger as well.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2021, 01:48:18 PM »
No need to re-invent the wheel - over the road truckers and the Van/RV people have faced many of the same challenges.  There are a number of 12 volt appliances that can heat your water for coffee and many other things.


StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2021, 06:48:11 AM »
https://www.officesupplyhut.com/Products/Hamilton-Beach-Commercial-Single-serve-Coffee-Maker---500-W---8-fl-oz---1-Cup(s)---Single-serve---Black__CFPCOFFMK1HB.aspx

So that's what one of my friends was able to come up with so there are ones that are only 500 watts which is low enough that I can run it off a small inverter and not overtax my electrical system. The DC-DC is functionally a 70amp alternator, this would be putting some load on the battery with everything else for the car on but nothing alarming and not for a long time, I could probably shut the lights off since I'd be brewing coffee while stopped, I normally run with headlights on so my tiny car is more visible. It would be nice to find one that had some sort of reusable filter though, this one would still create some waste but at least I'd have coffee whereever and it's small enough to take to the hotel room. A lot of rooms don't have coffee makers lately.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2021, 07:31:08 AM »
What do people do for the coolers usually like a battery powered or 12v one, preferably one that you can run off the 12v in the car and then have some charge to keep cool for a while with the car off without running down the battery.

GreenEggs

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2021, 09:28:56 AM »
What do people do for the coolers usually like a battery powered or 12v one, preferably one that you can run off the 12v in the car and then have some charge to keep cool for a while with the car off without running down the battery.




I bought an Iceco VL60 for our travel van.  It's a compressor type fridge/freezer and has 3 modes for battery protection.  Hi cut off level for using in a vehicle with only the vehicle's starter battery.  Med cut off level for vehicles with an AUX lead acid type battery.  Lo cut off level for vehicles with Li AUX battery.


They offer smaller models for cars.  https://icecofreezer.com/  They're having a 20% offer until 6/22

ToTheMoon

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2021, 10:09:59 AM »
I think your best bet for road coffee is to look to backpacking gear:

A white gas stove.
A small kettle or pot.
An Aeropress.

The stoves pack up tiny and only take a minute to set up once you have done it a couple of times. The white gas is inexpensive, and the only way it will leak is if you do not put the cap on properly. The contents are not under pressure so you will not have that slow leak it seems you are worried about.

You can get backpacking kettles and pots if space is at a premium, but if you will be using it daily I would look for a good quality small pot with a lid. At least then you can heat up meals/leftovers on the road as well.

Aeropress is easy to use and even the paper filters are reusable multiple times before you have to toss them.

ETA:
What we do for "ice" for long road trips is take 2L (1/2 Gallon) milk jugs that we freeze ahead of time and use as ice blocks. As they melt you have fresh water to drink/use. If this was for long-term use I would find some thicker-walled plastic containers with more reliable lids but would operate on the same system. The bonus is you never find your grocery items floating in the yucky cooler water. :/  Pop one in the fridge/freezer of your hotel room and back into the cooler when you leave. If this proves too much of a pain, at that point I would maybe consider one of the 12v cooler systems, but from my research, the only ones worth buying are $$$$.


« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 10:21:33 AM by ToTheMoon »

flyingaway

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2021, 10:44:33 AM »
Do casinos provide rooms and foods for poker players?

Otherwise how does a professional gambler survive by playing against casinos?

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2021, 09:56:22 AM »
I'm generally provided rooms, food, freeplay, other comps. I've gotten gas cards before, grocery cards before, random gifts which are usually useless but some have been interesting like the smart phone controlled wall outlet. I make a lot of money doing my work and my overhead is actually pretty small.

I may just look into a coffee maker with an unbreakable carafe to make coffee in the hotel room and use a thermos. My thermos I always used for hunting would easily hold a whole pot of coffee and keep it warm the whole day. I think it actually held 2 quarts and this was in winter it was still warm. I frequently end up in hotels that don't have coffee makers so that would also solve that problem and I'll have an outlet in there. Maybe it won't be quite as fresh but I doubt the little coffee makers do as good of a job as a full fledged coffee maker, a lot of the reviews mention as such.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2021, 10:10:58 AM »
Those look like really cool fridges, ba dum tiss, and they don't use that much power so I wouldn't be stressing the electrical system. A fridge freezer could be nice in the summer for ice cream. I would just need a power bank and make sure I'm not parking in the sun.

StartingEarly

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Re: Reducing costs and waste for a constantly traveling person
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2021, 10:12:54 AM »
Actually, looks like it can be adapted to 120v so I'd probably just bring it into the hotel room. I'd want a small enough one that it would be easy to take in and out frequently. I don't really need a super large one. Just need to cool a few drinks at a time and maybe some sandwich stuff, etc