No one can deny that taking a scalding, skin-melting shower is one of the most gratifying experiences of our human existence. But spend too much time in there and you’ll inevitably feel the pain when your water bill arrives!
With inflation squeezing the budgets of everyone this year, the last thing you want in your life is a higher water bill. Here are eight ways to slash your water bill without having to forgo hygiene altogether!
8 Ways To Save On Your Water Bill
- Choose a yard that uses less water
- Try low flow toilets
- Take shorter showers
- Instal low flow shower heads
- Use your dishwasher
- Turn off the faucet
- Wash your clothes smarter
- Eliminate leaks
1. Choose A Yard That Requires Less Water
According to the EPA, the average American uses 320 gallons of water every day, with 30% of that water going towards outdoor uses. In dryer climates, it can account for up to 60% of daily water use!
Here’s why that sucks:
When you use water in your home, you don’t just pay for the actual water you use. You’re also paying for the sewage. Even if that water goes into your grass and never ends up at the treatment plant, you’re still paying a higher rate for it.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate spending money on services I’m not even using! If you live in an area with decent rainfall, you may be able to skip watering your lawn without it looking like a haunted house.
If you have a small garden that needs watering, let mother nature pay for it! Rain barrels can be the perfect way to harness the elements for your gardening goals. Put down the hose and collect that free sky water instead!
In desert climates like vast sections of Arizona, it’s wise to opt for a native yard, choosing plants that thrive with little water. Decomposed granite is a solid option and you can add sections of artificial grass if you want more of a green look.
2. Try Low Flow Toilets
Cue joke about flushing money down the toilet. 🤣
Inside the home, toilets are one of our biggest sources of water waste. They can account for 30% of our indoor water use! If you’ve got an older model it could be even worse. Old, inefficient toilets can guzzle up to 6 gallons of water per flush!
You can expect to save around $140 a year by switching out an inefficient toilet to a low flow WaterSense labeled one. You’ll also conserve about 13,000 gallons of water!
But doesn’t replacing old toilets cost money?
Of course! But that new toilet will pay for itself in no time. On top of that, many water companies will offer rebates or even cover the entire cost of an inexpensive low flow toilet. Since you can snag a low flow toilet for around $120, that means it could pay for itself within a year.
This is definitely one of those DIY tasks that sounds harder than it actually is. Replacing a toilet isn’t rocket science. Grab a buddy and get installing!
Bonus tip for the extra frugal: If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Need I say more?
3. Take Shorter Showers
I know, I know! I’m sorry for even suggesting it. But taking shorter showers can add up to some serious savings come bill time.
Every minute spent in the shower uses about 2.5 gallons of water, with the average American showering for eight minutes. That means that if you can even just cut your shower down to five minutes, you can shave 7.5 gallons from your water bill. Repeat that for every single shower you take and that adds up.
Plus, taking shorter showers can also lead to savings on your gas or electricity bill! According to the Department of Energy, your water heater accounts for around 18% of your monthly utility payments. Your new shorter shower routine will be saving you money on two fronts!
Another frugal tip: Put a few buckets in your shower. Water will collect in them over time, and you can use those buckets to water plants, or, even flush the toilet a few times each week.
4. Install a Low Flow Shower Head
If you rolled your eyes at the last suggestion and hate the idea of taking shorter showers, or find it impossible to wash your luscious locks any faster, try installing a low flow shower head.
A low flow showerhead can save around half a gallon per minute in the shower. It may not sound like a lot, but if you take an eight minute shower every day, it could save you around 120 gallons of water each month per person in your household. Again, your local water company may even cover the cost or provide rebates to ditch your old showerhead for a new more efficient one.
Here’s one that’s a great bang for your buck: High Sierra Low Flow Showerhead. It also comes in different flow paces so you can find the perfect balance that suits your showering preference!
5. Use Your Dishwasher- But Don’t Overuse It!
This might sound counterintuitive, but using your dishwasher as opposed to hand washing can actually lower your water usage, thereby saving you money!
Studies show that washing dishes by hand uses between 9 and 27 gallons of water for a sink full of dishes, whereas dishwashers made after 2013 can only use 5 gallons of water per load! (that’s because of a Department of Energy regulation).
Eco settings on dishwashers can save even more water, but tend to take longer. If you are running the dishwasher overnight, be sure to use an eco setting for extra savings!
But just because the dishwasher saves money doesn’t mean you should run it every time you have a cup of coffee. Only run the dishwasher when it’s fully loaded to avoid squashing those savings.
6. Turn off the Faucet
Remember in kindergarten when your teachers indoctrinated you into the practice of turning off the faucet while you brushed your teeth?
Well, turns out they were onto something. Even just keeping the faucet turned off while brushing your teeth can save about 2-3 gallons every day.
You could also apply this to other areas of water use within your daily routine.
Lathering up in the shower? Turn off the faucet to save the aforementioned 2.5 gallons per minute.
No dishwasher? No problem! Scrub your dishes with the faucet off before rinsing to save some H2O! Again, having a small bucket in your sink can also collect bits of water that you can later pour use to water those beautiful yard plants.
7. Take A Smarter Approach to Laundry Day
If you’re anything like me, you will wait until you literally run out of things to wear before you do your laundry. It turns out that on this one, your laziness could actually save you money! Running a full load of laundry uses less water than two smaller loads. Fewer, larger loads will lead to savings.
Unless your clothes are heavily soiled or someone in your family is sick, you can run your washing machine on cold to make your water heater work less, saving you money on the heating front.
Don’t forget that many jeans manufacturers suggest that you should rarely, if ever, wash your denim. Pay attention to those suggestions in order to avoid unnecessary laundering (which leads to undue wear and tear). You can also get away with washing things like outerwear much less often than you think.
8. Eliminate Leaks
Again, I hate spending money on things I don’t use. Leaks can easily bust our utility budget without bringing us any value! That’s why it’s important to fix those leaks ASAP.
According to the EPA, about 10% of homes have water leaks that waste an average of 90 gallons every day. Even a faucet that only leaks at a rate of one drip per second can waste over 3,000 gallons every year!
There are plenty of resources available to help you fix your own household leaks on YouTube. Here’s one from Lowes that shows you how to fix a leaky single handle faucet. Once you’ve performed that repair you’ll be able to instantly save more each month on your water bills.
How Much Can You Actually Save?
By taking these steps to decrease your water usage, you’re not only helping to conserve a precious resource, you’re saving meaningful money! Shaving a few dollars off your monthly water bill can add up to have a HUGE impact on your wealth building abilities.
Sure, it’s great to save $50 a month on utilities, but have you ever thought about what that money could do for you if you invested it?
The rule of 173 allows us to estimate what a monthly investment could turn into over the course of ten years. That means that if you invested your $50 water savings each month, you could have an extra $8,650. Save & invest $100 a month and you’re looking at $17,300 in your accounts!
The best part? You can amplify these savings by taking steps to reduce your other utility bills as well! Be sure to check out our related articles: