It’s summertime, the time for heat, short shorts, tan lines and kids home from school. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of the year where we see prices on everything rise. Including gasoline, electricity and our water bill.
This post is going to cover some absolutely amazing water saving hacks that you don’t want to miss! These tips can help you save money any time of the year, so even if you’re reading this in the dead of winter, keep reading!
That is unless you are in need of new glasses. In that case, check out this post about cutting costs on prescription eyewear.
First, let’s try to figure out why your water bill is higher in the summer
If you have kids, a garden or enjoy keeping your grass green and luscious, you may notice your water bills are higher in the summer than any other time of the year.
This is because water usage goes way up and that in turn drives the price from utility companies up as well. It’s a basic supply and demand principle and unfortunately, we do the same dance every winter with our electricity bills.
So now, how can you lower your water bill?
The number one way to lower your water bill is to lower the water usage. If you use less, you save more. Get it?
Now, before I list out the world’s most amazing ways to decrease your water bill, let’s quickly check 1 thing.
Make sure you don’t have any leaks or drips.
Check pipes around the house, to make sure that water isn’t dripping anywhere that it shouldn’t be. Even a slow drip can cost a fortune in water bills and repairs.
One of the most common places to find a slow or continual leak is actually your toilet! Plus side, this one is pretty easy to check for.
Here’s an awesome tip for checking for toilet leaks:
Pour a packet of colored kool-aid, or put a couple of drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilet. You know, …that box with the round bulbs and stopper plug that’s usually behind you when you’re doing your business.
Place the colored (non-sugared) product in there and just wait. Do not flush. After 2 hours, overnight or however long you can hold it, check your toilet.
If the toilet water inside the bowl has changed colors, you know that your tank’s little flapper has a leak and needs to be fixed/replaced.
If the floor around the toilet is colored, you now have to clean that (sorry) and either fix the crack in the toilet tank or replace it.
Luckily, an entire toilet can be bought for as cheap as $100 for Home Depot, and a tank is less than that, so you won’t go bankrupt over this project.
Since we are on the topic of toilets, does flushing the toilet affect your water bill?
Simple answer- Yes, it does!
Every flush of your toilet costs you money on water. With the average toilet using 3.5 gallons of water per flush, and the average person using about 18.5 gallons a day. Low flow toilets use about half these numbers, but you can see how this adds up, especially for large families!
So how can you save money when nature is calling?
The two most obvious answers would be to go by the rule of “if it’s yellow let it mellow” or removing the courtesy flush rule.
But two simpler ways would be:
1.) Put a plastic jug full of water in the toilet tank. While most would recommend bricks, I do not. Bricks are clay, and clay deteriorates over time and can cause more harm than good. By putting a plastic jug full of water in the back of your toilet, you are stopping that 1 piece from going to the landfill and convincing your toilet that it doesn’t need as much water per flush.
2.) Install a water saving toilet flusher. These can help you to use up to 70% less water per flush and that’s just savings in your pocket
While we’re in the bathroom let’s consider other water wasters in here.
Ways to save money on showers:
Did you know that using the shower will have you wasting water at about the rate of 2 gallons per minute? That’s why showers are one of the top 3 things wasting water in your home, including the toilet and washing machines.
Shower less often
Embrace life with fewer showers, instead of taking them daily, consider every other day. Showering too much can actually be poor for your skin and hairs health. Plus, if you didn’t go anywhere, do anything and honestly didn’t leave your pajamas all day, are you really that dirty?
4 ways to conserve shower water
When you start the water to your shower, it’s usually cold- unless you have a tankless water heater. So, what happens while you wait a minute for the water to warm up to your temperature? It’s going right down the drain, and taking your money with it!
So what can you do?
Take a gallon bucket and prop it up under the faucet. Collect the wasted water, and repurpose it. Use it to fill up your pet water bowls, water plants or rinse your cloth diapers.
Turn it off
While you’re soaping up your hair and body, turn off the water. Some shampoo bottles actually say to lather and leave in for a few minutes before rinsing for best results.
Find a shower buddy
Showering with your spouse or partner is not only romantic, but also great water conserving method. One can lather up while the other rinses off under the shower head. Switch, and repeat as needed.
You can also shower with your kids depending on age and comfort levels.
I took my baby into the shower with me until I felt comfortable with him sitting in a tub by himself. I found that it was a lot easier washing him this way that it was in the kitchen sink or baby baths.
If you don’t want to shower with someone else (and just enjoy your alone time) consider:
Setting up a plan or system where you can take turns in the shower with as minimal water waste as possible. For instance some couples like getting a shower before going to work. Maybe one can take their quick shower while the other brushes their teeth or gets a few extra minutes to lay in bed.
Then the person in the shower can knock on the wall, or do something to signal that they are done and then the next person can hop in. The best part is that the second person doesn’t have to wait for the water to warm up.
The easiest way to conserve water in the shower is to install a low flow shower head. This can save you a lot of money by using less water without any real effort. It’s also perfect for people who want to save money but don’t want to change too much about their lives to do so.
Last water saving method for the bathroom, promise
Turn off the sink while you’re brushing your teeth. I’ll be honest, I’m guilty of not doing this. I personally enjoy the white noise from the rushing water and like to dip my toothbrush a few times in the water as I’m brushing.
Save money on laundry
Washing machines use the same amount of water for every load of laundry unless it is an energy efficient one with sensors. So what this means is that the 1 red sweater you washed by itself is costing you the same as a full load of dirty towels. That doesn’t make much sense financially, does it?
Which is why I recommend only washing laundry when you have a full load. Another great tip is to wash laundry in cold water instead of hot because you’ll save money on electricity too.
Use a dishwasher instead of hand washing
If you’re a single person with hardly any dishes this tip may not apply to you. But if you’re a family, that likes to eat, you probably understand the logical thinking behind this tip.
To operate a dishwasher, you use about 2 gallons of water for the entire cycle. When you wash dishes by hand, water pours out of the faucet at a fast rate of about 2 gallons per minute! To fill your sink with standing water would use more than 1 load in the dishwasher.
Handwashing means you’ll soak, soap, rinse, and dry. It’s a water involved process, and you may still need to stop and drain it midway through the stack of dirty pots and pans. So cut the water costs by actually using your dishwasher.
Use energy efficient appliances
The dishwasher and laundry machine both pull in electricity as well as water. Investing in energy efficient machines will save you money over time. In fact, using an energy efficient dishwasher will have you using about 3 gallons of water, whereas hand washing on average have you use 27. So that means an energy efficient dishwasher will cost you less than a toilet flush!
Dont water the lawn, or water less often
Your grass doesn’t truly need to be bright green, especially if your area is experiencing a drought.
This also means cutting out the idea of kids having a sprinkler system in your yard. I mean, do they even really play in the ice-cold water enough to justify the money you spent on the fixture and the bills its racking up?
Repurpose rain water (if you can)
In some states, it’s actually illegal to capture rainwater, while others make an exception for gardening and farming purposes. If you are allowed to legally collect rainwater, set up buckets under the house drains, or make self-watering irrigation system to save you money on water.
Don’t waste half drunken water
If you buy bottles of water, you no doubt have some half drank bottles running around. Especially if you have kids that can’t remember where they put them. Same goes for cups of water. So instead of pouring money down the drain, pour the unused water into pet bowls or water houseplants with them.
And lastly, if all else fails- marry a plumber and install a well on your property.
What are your favorite tips for cutting down on water useage? Share them in the comments below!
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