Recently, I saw a discussion about bottled water in a frugality community. Some people were saying it is not frugal at all to buy bottled water, since tap water is (essentially) free. Others explained that the water where they lived was just bad and they needed bottled water.
I’m in the “my water is just bad” camp, personally. We often get notices from the city that they have once again violated the state’s codes for safe water, and once our water turned pink. Now, I agree that buying the individual sizes of bottled water isn’t very frugal. But there are plenty of more-frugal ways to get water that’s safe and tastes good.
We ended up buying a refillable water cooler like this one, only mine’s not cool and black like that one. It uses Brita pitcher filters, so the cost of upkeep isn’t too bad. We spend about $15 every 3 months or so. The really nice thing about having the water cooler is that it has both cold water (and wowzers, it’s cold) and hot water (and WOWZERS, it’s HOT), so I can make instant oatmeal or instant ramen, well, instantly.
Another option is the faucet filters, which have gotten smaller and less of a pain to deal with. Certain brands also have flavor filters, so you can get your raspberry water right out of the tap. Pretty neat, if you ask me. And, of course, there’s the ubiquitous refrigerator pitchers, which are quite inexpensive and are also a good option.
If all else fails, you can buy bottled water in gallon jugs. This isn’t the *most* economical option, but it is certainly cheaper than the individually sized bottled water.
One of the reasons I see people saying they buy the individual bottled water is for on the go use, and some even refill the bottled water (which I hear is not recommended due to some plastic leaching issues), but I still find a Nalgalene bottle is the best way to go. You can sometimes find good bargains on these- I saw some at Target once for just a buck apiece and yeah- they were actually Nalgalene. So keep an eye out, bargains can be found with those.
What do you do to save money on bottled water, or are you lucky enough to live somewhere where the tap water is pretty good? And if so, where do you live, so I can move there?? 😉