Drink This, Save Money

Sometimes the biggest and easiest savings are right in front of our noses (or mouths).

If you’re really in a financial pinch or simply want to push your personal savings rate in to the next gear, why not simply drink only tap water?

A few years back, I crunched the numbers on the cost difference between bottled water and tap water and discovered that:

“4,787 bottled waters could be filled with tap water for $2.10! So every time you buy a bottle of water for $1, you are paying 2,279 times what you would if you filled that same bottle with tap water.

If most of what you drink is bottled water, assuming you drink 64 oz. of water per day, you’d consume a little under 3 – 20 oz. bottles of water per day. Those 3 bottles per day would cost you $3/day or $1,095 per year. That same 1,095 bottles filled with tap water would cost you $0.48 PER YEAR.

Another way to look at it is that as soon as you buy your first bottle of water, you’ve already spent double what you would for an ENTIRE YEAR of tap water.”

Pretty shocking.

By the way, you can’t tell the difference (and many bottled water distributors simply use tap water).

Sadly, despite bottled water being an absolute ripoff, it is usually still the cheapest form of bottled beverage that can be bought. We often buy other beverages that are much more expensive than that – namely soda (pop for you midwesterners), processed tea, milk, juice, coffee, beer, and wine – typically in that order from lowest to highest priced.

But what if we didn’t?

tap water savingsJust one alcoholic drink per adult per day would range from $2 for cheap beer to $6 for a modest half-bottle of wine in a 2-person household. That’s a savings of $730 – $2,190 per year from simply going alcohol-free.

I homebrew the majority of my beer for significant savings versus store bought. Wine? I’m not giving up, however, I’m not exactly in a pinch for savings.

Soda, processed tea, or juice (I’ve cut the latter to about one jug per month, which I use in smoothies)? You’re basically flushing your money down the toilet (literally and figuratively).

The benefits of juice can be replicated in a multi-vitamin or a healthy diet – without all the sugar. Milk benefits can also be replicated in a multi-vitamin and/or a healthy diet. Without all the sugar, stomach ache, and doubt about whether it’s gone rancid (fear of that last one is why I haven’t touched a glass of milk for about a decade).

With coffee, I stopped drinking almost entirely, save for special occasions, once I realized going without my morning fix resulted in the worst headaches imaginable. Whatever health benefits were not outweighing the cost. Your results may vary.

If you’re looking for some diversity, here are two great additions to your wonderful tap water:

  • a squirt of lemon juice and ice
  • tea bags: can be purchased for less than $0.09 per bag, in bulk – and in my opinion taste even better with cold water than hot

Human beings went without anything but nasty, mucky-ass, parasite-laden water for millennia (and many still do). Tap water is an incredibly cheap luxury that every one of us can fall back on, especially in tough times.

Drinking Only Tap Water Discussion:

  • Have you gone for periods with only drinking tap water?
  • How much do you estimate you could save by making this move?
  • What cheap additions do you add to your water to add some taste diversity?

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