For a lot of people, bottled water is guilty pleasures. We know they’re overpriced. We know they’re bad for the environment. But the convenience and taste of bottled waters sometimes wins out anyway.
Today, we’re going to be exploring some alternatives to bottled water that can help you save money without sacrificing taste or convenience.
Let’s get to it!
How much can you save by drinking bottled water?
Obviously, the answer to this question will vary from person to person. With that being said, the average American spends $100/year on bottled water.
This is an expense that’s completely unnecessary, which means the money could be much better spent elsewhere.
For example, if you created an investment account and deposited that money each year, you’d have around:
- $1,500 after 10 years
- $5,500 after 20 years
- $16,500 after 30 years
- $44,000 after 40 years
- $116,000 after 50 years
Plus, bottled water is horrible for the environment.
The process of bottling water and shipping it around the world creates a massive carbon footprint, and the vast majority of those bottles end up in landfills.
If you’re looking to save money and be more eco-friendly, quitting bottled water is a great place to start. Let’s go over some alternatives to buying bottled water below.
Alternative #1 – Invest in a reusable water bottle
The easiest way to start cutting down on your bottled water consumption is to invest in a good reusable water bottle. There are plenty of options out there, from simple plastic bottles to high-end stainless steel or glass bottles.
Any material is fine, as long as it’s reusable… and you actually use it.
I personally prefer metal water bottles because they keep my water colder for longer. Plus, the durability of metal means that the bottle will be usable for years to come—even if it’s dented.
Some of the best reusable water bottles on the market are:
Alternative #2 – Get a water filter
If you’re not a fan of the taste of your tap water, investing in a good water filter can be a great alternative to buying bottled water. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it can also help improve the taste and quality of your tap water.
There are a few different types of water filters to choose from:
- Pitcher filters: These are the most affordable option and are great for small households. Pitcher filters typically need to be replaced every 2-3 months.
- Faucet-mounted filters: These are more expensive than pitcher filters, but they’re also more convenient, since you don’t have to fill up a pitcher every time you want filtered water. Faucet-mounted filters typically need to be replaced every 4-6 months.
- Under-sink filters: These are the most expensive option, but they’re also the most effective. Under-sink filters are installed directly onto your home’s water line, so you’ll always have filtered water at the turn of a faucet. Under-sink filters typically need to be replaced every 6-12 months.
- Bottle filters: These are portable filters that attach to your water bottle. They’re great for on-the-go filtering and typically need to be replaced every 2-3 months.
Some of the best water filters on the market are:
- Brita Cascade Stream Pitcher ($34.49)
- PUR Faucet Filtration System ($22.99)
- Waterdrop Ultrafiltration Under Sink ($179.99)
- LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle ($39.95)
Alternative #3 – Make sparkling water yourself with at-home carbonation
If you’re a fan of sparkling water, it’s time to stop buying it in bottles and start making it yourself in bulk!
Not only is homemade sparkling water cheaper than the store-bought stuff, but it’s also environmentally friendly and just as delicious.
Making sparkling water at home is easy: all you need is a carbonation system, a CO2 canister, and some tap water. Simply carbonate the water using your carbonation machine, and voilà! You’ve got sparkling water.
Some of the best carbonation systems on the market are:
Alternative #4 – Make your water more flavorful
If you’re not a fan of the taste of plain water, try adding flavor!
This is an easy and affordable way to make your water more enjoyable, without resorting to sugary drinks or bottled water.
There are a few different ways to add flavor to your water:
- Fresh fruits or vegetables: This is a great way to infuse your water with natural flavors and nutrients.
- Herbs or spices: This is a great way to add flavor without adding calories.
- Water flavoring: If you don’t want to add anything to your water, you can buy flavored water capsules, additives, and syrups that can be added to your water bottle or glass.
Some of the best flavored water products on the market are:
Alternative #5 – Brew an equally hydrating drink
Water isn’t the only thing you can drink in order to stay hydrated throughout the day. There are plenty of other beverages that can help keep you hydrated, without resorting to bottled water.
Some awesome hydrating drinks are:
- Tea: Tea is a great option for hydration because it’s low in calories and packed with antioxidants.
- Coffee: Coffee is another great option for hydration. Just be sure to avoid sugary coffee drinks and switch to decaf in the evening.
- Hot cocoa: Hot cocoa is a great way to hydrate and warm up at the same time. Just be sure to choose a low-sugar option or make it yourself.
- Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s high in probiotics and antioxidants. It’s a great way to boost your gut health while staying hydrated.
- Vegetable juice: Vegetable juice is a great way to get your daily dose of veggies and stay hydrated at the same time.
All of these options are delicious and relatively easy to make at home, so there’s no reason not to try!
Alternative #6 – Eat water-rich foods
If you’re not a fan of plain water, try eating water-rich foods! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are packed with water and can help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Some really good water-rich foods are:
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers are 96%water by weight and make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and snacks.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is 92% water by weight and is a summertime favorite.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are 91% water by weight and make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and more.
- Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is 90% water by weight and makes a great addition to fruit salads and crepes.
- Peaches: Peaches are 89% water by weight and make a great addition to pies, cobblers, and other desserts.
Eating water-rich foods is a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day, without even having to think about it!
There’s no reason to continue spending money on bottled water when there are so many great alternatives available. By making a few small changes, you can save money and help the environment at the same time.
If you’re looking for tips on what to do with all the money you’ll be saving, be sure to check out our other personal finance guides.
What are you waiting for? Start saving today!