Day 11: Cut Your Water Bill

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! 

Utilities are almost impossible to budget for, especially water! These 6 ideas will help cut your water bill significantly so you can pocket the savings.

Water bills have to be one of my least favorite expenses to budget for. Mostly because they change so often, but also because they are super hard to control. Let’s face it — utilities all around are just SO frustrating!

Thankfully, we are lucky enough to be on a well system for our Florida home, that is, until the city decides to put us on theirs sometime in the next 10 years {we’re hoping not}.  But we also have our rental back North which sends us a pretty hefty bill every quarter. It’s a painful pill to swallow {and pay}, for sure.

While you can’t always predict exactly how much your water bill will be, here are 6 ideas to cut it down significantly, depending on how dedicated you are to reducing it. And let me tell you, I can be pretty dedicated when I need to be!

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How to Cut Your Water Bill :

1. Take Shorter Showers – Does this one make anyone else cringe, or is it just me? I love a nice long shower — it’s just so soothing and relaxing, but when you really stop to think about it, it’s crazy how much water you waste! A conventional shower head pours out 3-4 gallons per minute, while a more efficient low-flow head only uses 2. If you have an extra $20 to spare, this one has some great reviews on Amazon.

2. Turn Off the Water When You’re Not Using It – Oh-so-simple, but also hard to remember sometimes! Wasting water is a common problem while doing simple chores, such as brushing your teeth or washing dishes by hand. I know I am hugely guilty of this, and it literally takes just a few seconds to turn the water off and one between rinses. FYI – Washing dishes by hand actually takes more water than a dishwasher, so if you don’t have one, consider putting that on your Big Ticket List!

3. Do Less Laundry – I don’t know about you, but we often get into the habit of wearing clothes just once, then throwing them in the hamper to wash. But when we consciously take the time to go through each piece to see if we can indeed wear it again, we find that almost half of that pile doesn’t need to be laundered at all. The same goes for towels — try to get 2-3 uses out of them before sending them through the wash. And always wash your laundry in cold water!

4. Keep an Eye Out for Leaks – Last year, Joseph and I had a leaky toilet that resulted in a $320 water bill….for the month. How did we not know our toilet was leaking? Because it’s right next to the shower, and we knew there was always some water on the floor from that. Besides, it was a really tiny leak. But oh my did it result in a crazy expensive bill! As you can probably imagine, we watch our toilets, sinks, and under-counter plumping pipes like a hawk now.

5. Update Your Appliances – I know it might seem counter-intuitive to pay more to save more, but at some point, you should try to replace all your inefficient appliances – dishwasher, toilet, washing machine, etc. with Energy Star ones. These items are made to reduce the amount of water flow, thus decreasing your quarterly bill. You can often get a tax credit at the end of the year too!

6. Make a Rain Barrel – One of the projects I’d like make soon for our home is a DIY Rain Barrel. We have strict watering laws here in Florida, and it would eliminate so much waste since it rains almost every single day. Rain Barrels are perfect for collecting water that can be used to water your grass, garden, or house plants without turning on the hose!

Today’s Challenge:

Be very conscious about your water usage this week — if you’re not using it right then, turn it off! You should also put a limit on your shower times to see if you can do it in 5 minutes or less. Let me know in the comments below how YOU try to save water, or tweet @KalynBr00ke using #ReduceYourExpenses!

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  1. We are a family of 6 and I’m thuraly enjoying this series! My two youngest bathe together and for my older two I bought a timer from $ tree to set for 7 minutes. When it goes off they have to get out. (They shower) Amazingly it only took a short while for them to be trained. They don’t need them anymore, they get washed and get out.

    1. Depending on how efficient your dishwasher is, I’ve heard that the opposite is actually true, but who knows? I assume it is probably really hard to test something like that out! Thanks for your comment, Kellie!

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