Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Saving Money on Bottled Water

Category Tips
Bottled Water
Bottled water is often purchased for its convenience factor. However, often times it is nothing other than filtered tap water. This is a guide about saving money on bottled water.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 2 found this helpful
May 28, 2010

Everyone loves bottled water, but it can be quite spendy. I save old Gatorade, Powerade, V-8 juice (12 oz size), and other similar tough plastic bottles. I buy dispensed water for .30 a gallon in 3 gallon containers at the local supermarket. I fill all the little bottles and put some of them in the freezer and some in the fridge. This costs about .02 a bottle, depending on the size and we are not contributing to the landfill. The kids love them and if they don't drink it all, it doesn't matter.

Ad

By koffeeladie from Twin Falls, ID

Comment Was this helpful? 2

August 10, 2007

Did you know that drinking bottled water is being labeled "decadent" because of the plastic bottles? Not only that but research has shown that most of the bottled water is just re-filtered TAP water! To get that bottled water taste from tap water - use an old NYC trick - put a container of water in the frig overnight to dispel any lingering chlorine taste, and then use your own re-fillable container if you are on the go.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 0 found this helpful
April 20, 2007

With wholesale sales exceeding $10 billion dollars in 2005, the bottled water industry is booming. And it doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to statistics released by the Beverage Marketing Corporation, production exceeded 7.5 billion gallons in 2005-up a whopping 10.7 % from 2004. That breaks down to 26.1 gallons of bottled water per person in the U.S each year. At an average cost of $5.00 per gallon bottled water is certainly convenient, but is it worth it the cost?
Ad

An Age Old Debate

Despite its classification by the beverage industry as a "new age" drink, water has been bottled and sold far from its source for thousands of years. On the environmental front, it seems like the debate over the true cost of bottled water has been going on almost as long. Conflicts over water ownership, regulations and safety, packaging materials and the impacts that bottling plants have on local communities are all issues central to the debate.

NRDC's Controversial Study

In 1999, the National Resources Defense Council released the results of a 4-year study it conducted that tested the effectiveness of bottled water regulations. Of 1,000 bottles tested from 103 different brands of bottled water, 1/3 of the bottles were found to contain levels of contamination that exceeded allowable limits under either state or bottled water industry standards and guidelines. At issue was the fact that industry regulations were not adequately protecting the safety of the consumers drinking bottled water.

Where Bottled Water Really Comes From

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies bottled water according to its origins. Artesian Well Water comes from a well that taps an underground aquifer. Mineral Water comes from an underground sources that contains at least 250 part per million total dissolved solids (naturally occurring minerals and trace elements). Spring Water is derived from underground formations where water naturally flows to the surface, and Well Water comes from a hole bored or drilled into the ground , which taps into an aquifer. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IWBA), approximately 25% of all bottled water also comes from municipal tap water sources. That's right, you may be paying $5.00 per gallon for bottled tap water. The bottled water industry has done a good job at selling consumers on the "pristine" origins of bottled water. But it's important to understand that "spring water" may in fact be taken from an underground spring, but that doesn't mean the spring isn't located next door to a hazardous waste site.
Ad

How Bottled Water Is Regulated

Like municipal tap water, regulations governing bottled water are multi-layered. Unlike tap water, however, the regulations governing bottled water are not nearly as strict. In general, testing for contaminants is done on a substantially less frequent basis, less filtering is required and certain contaminants are not tested for or are allowed to be present at higher levels. This doesn't necessarily mean that bottled water is unsafe, it just means that municipal tap water (which is regulated by the EPA under the Federal Drinking Water Act) has to meet more stringent standards.

Regulations at the Federal Level: Bottled water products are regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, an act that covers bottled water in interstate commerce (water that travels from state to state). The act requires manufacturers to produce bottled water products that are safe for consumer consumption. The FDA has also established a specific set of guidelines for bottled water, which defines standards for quality, production, labeling, record keeping and identity, and sets a maximum level for specific contaminants. Seltzer water, and carbonated waters are exempt from these standards, and so is water that is packaged and sold within the same state (roughly 60 to 70 % of all bottled water consumed).

Regulations at the State Level: Some states regulate bottled water products under guidelines similar to the Federal guidelines imposed on tap water. Other states are much less comprehensive, and still others impose no regulations at all.

Industry Standards: Another set of regulations governing bottled water come from the industry itself, the International Bottled Water Association (IWBA). It requires the voluntary self-regulation of its members, who must meet strict requirements including disinfection, filtration and distillation and reverse osmosis. Members are also subject to annual unannounced facility inspections conducted by third parties.

Tap Gets A Bad Wrap

Depending on where you live, your tap water may have an off taste, a funky smell, or be an odd color. But unless you've been notified otherwise, it's probably still the safest water to drink. Municipal tap water is strictly regulated by the EPA under the Federal Drinking Water Act. Under these regulations, your municipal water supply must adhere to strict standards and under go frequent testing to ensure it's safe for your consumption. Once your water leaves the local distribution system and enters the plumbing of your home, you are responsible for any contaminants entering your water supply. If you live in a house with older plumbing components (pre 1980s), it's probably wise to have your tap water tested for lead.

How To Bottle Your Water & Drink It Too (Safely and Cheaply)

Paying an average of $5.00 per gallon isn't exactly an exercise in being frugal. Still, drinking water is vital for good health, so if you want to get the convenience of bottled water without the constant expense of buying it, invest $20 to $30 dollars in a quality pitcher-type water filter and a few reusable (and washable) water bottles that you can take on the go. PUR makes a great pitcher that filters out most water-quality issues (off-tastes, lead, chlorine, copper, benzene, sediment and 99.95% of cystic parasites. Each filter lasts about two months (or up to 40 gallons) and costs only $9.00 to replace. At $9.00 a month for a filter and a one time investment of $30 for a large-sized pitcher, you're paying just $138 for a year's worth of bottled water (figuring 40 gallons per month - the cost of utilities). That averages out to $0.29 per gallon. Compare that to $5.00 per gallon X 40 gallons per month for a year = $2400.00. Now that's worth it!

Ad

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 29, 2005

I buy bottled water due to the tap water not tasting too great but I am wondering about a cheaper way to have good tasting water, I have looked into filters and it just seems like no matter what way I look, it costs me money. I have been all over this site looking for ideas? Please help, with summer coming soon we will go through a lot of bottled water.

Shari

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

Our water comes from a tested well on our property. Many friends bring jugs to fill their bottles at home. If you find someone with a good well, get yourself a piece of water quality hose to fill your containers..not all hose is ok for drinking water.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad

April 29, 20050 found this helpful

You can buy one the pitchers from brands like britta to fit in your fridge. they come with a filter that is easy to take out and replace. The picture costs around 30 dollars and I think filters are around 10 a piece, w/ you only having to change them every couple of months. The water tastes really good w/ these pictures.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

Get a filter at Costco. It's much cheaper and more convenient than buying bottle water. You only need to change the filter every other year. But you have to get it installed by technician initially then you can change the filter by yourself from then on.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

Save your bottles and refill them at water dispensing machines. It should cost only about $0.35 per bottle. Find them outside grocery stores, and sometimes even convenience stores. These machines filter the water for you.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

I have tried this ... put a few drops of either lemon or lime juice in the bottle. I think it kind of neutrilizes the water.

You can't much cheaper than tap water and a bottle of concentrated lemon or lime juice!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

I drink tap water w/ about 1/6 of a lemon in it. I like the lemon taste. For plain water, I use to buy nothing but AquaFina (my favorite) until I bought a Pur water pitcher w/ filter. I only use the pitcher for drinking water so I don't wear out the filter too fast. It tastes fine to me & no more lugging home cartons of bottled water. It's also cheaper.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

I went to Costco and bought the Britta pitcher. $40.00 And at Walmart I got a skinny water bottle with a spout and I keep that filled from the Britta pitcher so I have lots of cold clean tasting water on hand. The skinny water container with a spount fits in my fridge perfectly. Good Luck!!! Kathy3335

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 29, 20050 found this helpful

My husband and I have 2 three gallon bottles, and we take them to Watermill Express, clean filteres water gone trough about 7 different clean processes. It cost us .75 cents per bottle and last's us several days. Also some larger stores have simmiler types of area;s where you can purchase water with your own bottle, usually near where they sell water.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

This is only an option if you actually need a refrigerator. I bought a new one with a great filter. I drink 2 1 1/2 liters of water a day plus I had to buy ice because I won't use my tap water for anything. I have a softener & I don't want the extra salt. And I just don't like the taste. I've had the frig for 1 yr. & it's already paid for itself. If you add up all the filters you're using for those portable filterers plus the initial cost it's a lot of money if you go through a ton of water like I do.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

I buy spring water in gallon bottles-less than a dollar a gallon and I keep 6 personal size bottles 1/2 filled in the freezer. I take one out, fill it from the gallon and have cold spring water until the ice melts. Then i refill the bottle from the gallon, pop it in the freezer and start all over again.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 11, 20050 found this helpful

If you live near a QuikTrip store and you need some good clean water when you're on the go, here's a tip we use:

The coffee machines have a spout just for hot water (for hot tea, hot chocollate, etc.). The water used for these coffee machines have their own unique filtration system, so it doesn't hurt the taste of the coffee. Bring your saved plastic fountain cup from a previous trip and fill it up with ice from the fountain (also specially filtered). Then fill this ice cup full of the hot coffee water. Top with more ice if needed. It may look strange doing it, but it will be the cleanest and cheapest water you can get when you're on the go. I always keep a cup with me in the car and never do I have to pay for a fountain drink or bottled water when I'm going about town. I also use this method for filling up before my children's soccer practices and games.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
July 13, 20050 found this helpful

I use Watermill Express vending stations. They are really convenient, located in parking lots where you can fill 1, 3, or 5 gallon bottles for only 25cents per gallon...AND, unlike other self-serve water machines, these are serviced daily. The filtration system is second to none. This is a great way to get inexpensive, quality water.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Admit it - are you paying $1.25 for a bottle of water? You know the recipe - just refill the bottle. If your tap water isn't so good, get a Brita filter. Many people could save almost $20 a week on bottles of water.

By Louise, the Frugal Yankee

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Make very sure you wash the water bottle thoroughly before reusing it! Studies have been done that found people are getting sick from reusing water bottles because they have not been properly cleaned. Don't rely on the dishwasher to do the job, The necks of the bottles are so small that the hot water and soap can't get into the bottle and clean. Best to hand wash with a bottle brush. I'm all for saving money, but do be careful!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20050 found this helpful

if anyone watched the 20-20 show several years ago, they wouldn't buy bottled water PERIOD

Read the label, most of it is gotten from city water supplies from different cities around the country..take a drink from your tap and flush the money down the toilet ...this is basically what you are doing buying water!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20050 found this helpful

I bought bottled water by the case for years. Then it got so it was hard for me to lift the cases ( and expensive). SO !!! I tried another way that works great for me.

microwave a pot of tap water for 6 min.(bring to boil) set pot on the counter until cooled (all the bad tastes evaportate into the air) and then bottle and refrigerate. Tastes fine and is a lot cheaper.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

December 6, 20060 found this helpful

How much money is spent yearly on bottled water?

Kareem from Bronx, New York

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
December 8, 20060 found this helpful

I do 5 gallon refillable jugs. A one time charge of 2 -5gallon jugs, and a year supply of bottled water refilled at the store, (Walmart). Cost my family of 5 , $96.20. The second year only cost $80.20. due to still using the one time bought 2 -5gallon jugs. I will not drink our county water, and this is worth it for my family of 5. (my family drinks 1 -5 gallon jug a week).

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
December 9, 20060 found this helpful

Far too much. I grew up in a place famous for its bottled water. What they sell in the bottles is tap water from taps in the famous water area.

The reason that bottled water tastes good is because it is cold, from being in the fridge.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Categories
Better Living Frugal Living TipsJuly 8, 2013
Guides
dilled carrots
Dilled Carrot Recipes
Clear drinking glass being filled with water from a kitchen faucet
Drinking Tap Water Instead of Bottled Water
Water Softener
Buying a Water Softener
A glass of club soda.
What is the UK Equivalent to Club Soda?
More
📓
Back to School Ideas!
😎
Summer Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/08/18 12:52:15 in 2 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!