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50 Ways to Save on Your Water Bill
Did you know the average American family of 4 uses about 255 Gallons of water each day? Yep here is the ‘average’ breakdown.
Dishwashing – 15 gallons
Cooking and Drinking – 12 gallons
Utility Sink (washing hands, etc.) – 5 gallons
Laundry – 35 gallons
Bathing – 80 gallons
Bathroom Sink – 8 gallons
Toilet – 100 gallons
TOTAL – 255 gallons
Even if you water only costs 1¢ a gallon like it does here in PA for me that is $2.55 a day for just over $75 a month.
I’ll let you in on a little secret we are about to be a family of 6 and out water bill is about half of that! I’ve learned and implemented tips and tricks and drilled them into my family’s heads as well to save water. Now we don’t do anything drastic I swear! We shower daily, use a dishwasher and we do at least 1 load of clothes a day (or we get too backed up!)
Here are my tips for saving water some are simple some are a bit more advanced so not all of them are for everyone!
1. Install a low flow showerhead – This is the biggest suggestion, if you don’t have a low flow shower head already switch NOW! It will pay for its self in the first few months!
2. Wash clothes only when the washer is full – Save clothes and only run a full washer! The reason is between rinsing and washing you are not saving much water running smaller loads. Running 2 smaller loads instead of one big one will actually use MORE water!
3. Use a full load in the dishwasher instead if hand washing – Did you know between washing and rinsing dishes you use more water than the standard dishwasher? By using your dishwasher (FULLY loaded) you will save water!
4. Take a timed shower over a bath – If you shorten showers by 1-2 min each you can save 150 gallons of water a month!
5. Check for leaks – This one is a bit obvious but you want to do this on a regular basis. Turn all the water off in the house and check your water meter. If it’s still running then you have a leak somewhere. This is how we found out that the half bath faucet was closing all the way when the kids were washing their hands!
6. Turn off outside water spigot – I don’t just mean when you done I mean, from inside your house. The reason I suggest this is we had a spike in our water bill and couldn’t figure out why! Well one day my son tells me there is water coming out of the side of the house sure enough the water spigot was on, one we hardy use! So I start watching come to find out neighborhood kids were using the water to fill up water guns and toys and leaving it running! We were in a 3 story town house so we didn’t catch it right away! Even if it isn’t your neighborhood kid I bed your own kids play with the water more than you think! Turn the spigot off from inside the house and save money!
7. Put a full water bottle in the toilet tank – This will stop the toilet from filling up with so much water as they fill by sensor. A full water bottle takes up room saving water. You don’t need all that water to flush the toilet! Do this for each toilet in the house but make sure to put it on the opposite side from the drain!
8. Use a dehumidifier in summer use water to water plants or flush toilet – a dehumidifier pulls moisture out of the air making your house FEEL cooler, use this water to water plants and even flush the toilet, it’s free water!
9. Turn off the faucet – Turn it off between teeth brushing and shaving as well, every little bit helps!
10. Use a rain barrel – if you have a garden use a rain barrel to collect rain water to water your garden it’s free!
11. The toilet is not a trash can – When cleaning the toilet don’t flush the wipes or paper towels. Don’t blow your nose and flush the tissue! Put it in the trash can. I do support flushing spiders though YUCK!
12. Skip toilet flushes – yep if you just pee why not skip a flush or 2, even more so while im preggo I will skip a flush at night to not wake the kids up!
13. Fill up the sink with warm water to shave, don't do it in the shower – You will waste more water if you shave in the shower in using a sink of warm water!
14. When running a bath plug the drain then run water – Many people when running a bath will run until the water temp is right THEN plug the drain. That is water… well down the drain and money too! Plug the drain the run it. **I want to say I only approve of bath for smaller kids everyone who can should take a shower!
15. Defrost food in the fridge – We menu plan so we know day before what needs to be defrosted. Don’t wait until the day of then use water in the sink! Defrost on the fridge over night! **Bonus: your fridge won’t have to work so hard to keep cool!
16. Wash fruit and veggies in a bowl instead of running water – instead of using running water to wash fruit and veggies fill a bowl and wash them.
17. Use a broom to clean deck or drive way – MANY people use a hose to clean off their driveway, walkways and porches, use a broom and save the water!
18. Don't water your lawn on windy days – When the wind is blowing the water is not going where you want it to so don’t waste the water!
19. Install low flow toilets – time to replace the toilet? Make sure it’s a low flow one!
20. Water plants in the morning – less water evaporates and more gets to the plants!
21. Install a faucet aerator -If possible, install aerators in the faucets in your bathroom the aerators will reduce the flow of water by adding in air.
22. Replace your toilet flapper once a year – the older it gets the more water it lets leak out!
23. Wear clothes more than once to wash less – My kids will wear their PJs several nights in a row and Hubby and I will wear out jeans for several days as long as they don’t get dirty. Not only does this make less laundry it save money on water!
24. Use one drinking glass all day – This makes for less to wash, which equals less water used!
25. Install a tankless water heater – When the day comes you need to replace your water heater go for tankless! There I no water to constantly heat and stand around!
26. Mulch your garden – This help the water soak into your plants better, stops evaporation which takes water away from your plants and helps prevent weed that steal the water you are giving them!
27. Take your car to a car wash – Yes many car washes recycle their water plus it’s less used on your water bill!
28. Turn the water off in the shower – When taking a shower, turn on the water only long enough to wet your body. Then, turn off the water. Soap your body. Turn the water back on only long enough to rinse off the soap. Follow the same steps when washing your hair in the shower. I understand this one is a bit more extreme but I have done it on months we were tight!
29. Limit the use of the Permanent Press Cycle on the washer machine – The permanent press cycle on most automatic clothes washers uses approximately one-third more water than the regular cycle.
30. Use drought resistant pants and grass – They need less water to stay alive meaning you don’t have to water them as much, saving you water!
31. Pull weeds regularly – Weeds steal water from the pants you want to keep, so you have to use more water to keep your plants alive. So make sure to pull weeds on a regular basis!
32. Cover your pool to avoid evaporation – If you have a pool cover it when not in use will avoid evaporation so you don’t have use water to keep filling it up!
33. Skip the garbage disposal – use the trash can and not the garbage disposal which requires water to run.
34. Insulate your water pipes – this allows the water to stay warmer longer, allowing you to use less water to get to the shower, bath or sink when you need hot water
35. Make sure your sprinklers aren't watering the side walk or street – many homes don’t have sprinklers but if you do take a look next time they are on and make sure they are only watering the grass and plants and not the sidewalk, street or driveway. Don’t let them waste water!
36. Use a shut off nozzle on all hoses – When using hoses make sure to have shut off spay nozzle so you don’t waste water when you aren’t using it!
37. Check your toilet for leaks – Check your toilet for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank if color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes without flushing, you have a leak, you should replace the flapper or the toilet Depending on the situation.
38. Skip the pre rinse of dishes – You don’t need to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, craping them works just fine.
39. Use the shortest Cycle on your washing Machine – When you use ‘bulky’ or extra dirty loads it adds extra water and extra fills that are not needed. S use the normal cycle and just stain treat your clothes!
40. Re usable ice cubes – If you are using ice to just cool down drinks invest in some re suable ice cubes instead of freezing water ones. Bonus: No more watered down drinks!
41. Re use your towels – This is something I have done since I was a kid, were used out towel each day, hung them up to dry and washed them twice a week. Some families use a new towel everyday can you imagine how many extra loads of laundry that causes for your family? As long as towels are hung up and dry properly there is no reason NOT to re-use them!
42. Soak pots and pans – Fill the sink and soak those messy pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. Makes your job easier too!
43. If you accidentally drop ice cubes – If you choose not to use re-usable ice cubes and happen to drop one on the floor toss it in a house plant to melt and water the plant or in a pet bowl for water instead of tossing it down the drain.
44. Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower – When redoing your garden plant I the spring or fall to save money on how much you have to water your plants!
45. Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches – Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass. Which means you have to water it less!
46. Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture – This is one we don’t follow all the time, I like to have the kids play outside but the lawn clippings make that hard cause I get them all in my house! So many times we don’t but this does help shade grass and keep the moisture in longer meaning you can waterless
47. For hanging baskets, planters and pots, put ice cubes on top of the soil – This will give your plants a cool drink of water without overflow and as the ice melts the plants get to drink.
48. Don’t overfill the pool – Lower water levels will reduce water loss due to splashing and jumping meaning you have to fill it up less.
49. Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water – This allows you to water the area instead of wasting the water down the drain.
50. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute – That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four. The most basic tip on saving water is the most popular for a reason!
What are your water saving tips? I'd love to find more!
Photo Credit (c) Can Stock Photo
Becca Holton says
These are some great suggestions for lowering your water bill. It was a bit surprising to learn about the impact of old toilet flappers. That’s something I would have never thought about. It’s wonderful there are so many ways to improve the quality of your water as well as save some money.