Don’t you just hate the price of petrol!
At the moment, petrol is $1.13 a litre, which isn’t too bad – it’s been as high as $1.60 or so.
Hang on, petrol?
Isn’t this article about water?
Well here’s the thing.
While we gripe and groan about paying over a $1 for petrol, we’re willing to pay $5 or more a litre for water we can get out of the tap almost FREE.
When you hand over $3 for a 600ml bottle of water it doesn’t feel like much. It’s just $3. You don’t feel the same pain as when you pump $50 – $100 into the car.
But it’s a crazy lot of money to be paying for free stuff.
$385 million dollars worth of crazy. That’s how much Australians spent on 250 million litres of bottled water [source].
But it’s not just about saving a buck or three.
65% of plastic bottles end up in landfill [source]. Packaging bottled water worldwide requires 2.7 million tonnes of plastic each year and the manufacturing of these bottles uses around 1.7 million barrels of crude oil in the US alone [source], and that doesn’t include all the oil used to transport and refrigerate the water.
Bottled water might also be a human rights issue as well.
But there’s a tantalizing lure to drinking bottled water.
Despite having one of the best water services in the world, we’ve swallowed the marketing claims that suggest bottled water is healthier.
It’s certainly convenient. If you’re out and about and you’re thirsty you can just buy a bottle. Then toss it when you’re done.
And I’ll admit that it tastes better to me. Our local tap water tastes awful (although my friend who grew up here rolls her eyes at me and tells me to suck it up).
So what’s the alternative if you’re not a fan of water from the tap?
Here are the 3 steps to take to make water taste better.
1. Water – On Tap!
So cheap, you’d think it fell from the sky!
If you’re more than happy to swill from the tap, then you’re set.
But if you normally drink bottled water, then the first step to liberating yourself from the expense is to invest in a water filter.
It’s one of the best money-saving investments you can take this year.
We use a basic Britta filter jug that you can buy fairly cheaply in your local supermarket or Big W, Target, Kmart etc. In fact, ours was a wedding present if you’re ever looking for ideas. We’ve been using it for nearly 10 years!
Taste is my top priority and this filter does the job.
But if you want to filter out fluoride and other potential contaminants that a cheap jug doesn’t, then you need a special water filter like this one.
2. Bottle your Own and Save
In summer, once we’ve filtered the tap water, we pour the filtered water into empty wine bottles to keep cold in the fridge (I know, how trendy, right!)
As far as taste goes, there is no way I could tell the difference between our filtered water and bottled water.
That’s all very well and good for when you’re at home, but what about when you’re out and about?
Maybe it’s living in the hot Queensland climate, but we don’t leave the house EVER without at least one water bottle. It’s part of the routine: phone, keys, wallet, water. Children.
(Not necessarily in that order.)
To keep condensation from soaking everything, we wrap our water bottles in an old tea towel, secured with a couple of rubber bands.
If you want to be less daggy, you can buy or make a water bottle cover (I made this as a gift by the way – great tutorial), but I can guarantee the tea towel does the trick.
This also adds an extra layer of insulation, keeping your water colder for longer.
3. Hydrate in Style – 13+ Infused Water Ideas that Overcome Water Boredom
We all know we’re supposed to drink plenty of water, but it can get a little boring.
Instead of turning to soft drink or cordial, infusing your water can give it just the lift it needs, without the sugar.
I always drink my water with a dash of apple cider vinegar. It’s supposed to be healthy, but I do it because I really like the taste. (My dentist would rather I didn’t.) A dash of lemon is a refreshing alternative.
To infuse water, add your chosen flavours to the bottom of a large jar. ‘Muddle’ them a little by giving them a little squish with the end of a wooden spoon (or anything you have at hand, really).
Top with filtered water and leave for at least 10 minutes for the flavours to develop. Or you can refrigerate overnight for a cold, full-flavoured drink.
Here are some flavour combo ideas to make water taste better:
- Lemon and ginger
- Pineapple and mint
- Cucumber, lime and mint
- Strawberry and basil (this is a surprisingly amazing combo – I love strawberry jam and pesto, no kidding!)
- Peaches or Nectarines and blueberries
- Watermelon and mint
- Any other fruit and mint
- Apple and cinnamon (try just the peels)
- Mango and ginger (I would try just the seed and whatever flesh is clinging to the seed)
- Raspberry and orange
- Lemon balm and ginger
- Cherry Lime
And my all-time personal favourite infused water flavours:
Would you drink water from a bubbler?
I’m curious. So I’m holding an informal survey: would you drink from a public bubbler?
Many councils around Australia (like this one) are now reinstalling bubblers for public use. So if you forget to bring your bottle, you can use a bubbler, saving you money reducing plastic waste.
I’m wondering though if we’ve become so concerned about germs that we’ll actually use them. What are your thoughts?
We drink bottled water for a good reason. Maybe you don’t like the taste of tap water. Maybe you don’t want to drink fluoride or chlorine. Maybe you just get thirsty when you’re out and about and you don’t have an alternative.
To switch the habit, you need to create a viable alternative first. For us, that meant investing in a filter and personal water bottles.
How do you take your water?
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Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.