how to save money on water bill

Wondering how to save money on water bill? I've been dabbling in reducing our water bill for years. Grab a pencil, a notepad, and listen up!

I grew up on a farm in the bucolic landscape of Pennsylvania, where a Well provided the water for us + our cows.

So it surprised me when I moved into my first apartment and started receiving a water bill of between $20 and $35 per month.

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This is not a huge amount of money for a necessity — mostly because of how much we've reduced our water usage — but I always like to save money wherever I can.

Let me share with you how to save money on water bill based on our successes, as well as how much we spend per year on water + how much the average household has spent.

  1. How Much is the Average Water Bill Per Month?
  2. Use Alternative Sources to Water Your Plants + Garden
  3. Turn Your Current Appliances into Water Efficient Ones
  4. Change Your Water Consumption Habits

How Much is the Average Water Bill Per Month?

It turns out that in Houston, we're charged for water, sewer, plus a drainage fee on our “water bill”.

So far this year (10 bills), we've spent $319.09. According to the City of Houston, our neighborhood average (the average consists of water usage for 486 single-family homes) is $55.81 per month.

Our household’s monthly average is $31.91.

Hurrah!

However, the average household use provided by the city does not breakdown the statistics by the average number of people per household.

There are only two of us (four if you count the cats), so that could account for our lower water usage compared with our neighbors. Then again, my working from home has been reflected in 8 out of the last 10 bills, so I tend to think we must be doing something right.

So, how much is the average water bill per month where you live?

According to Statista:

“In 2018, the residential cost of water for a family of four using 150 gallons per person per day came to about 112 U.S. dollars per month.”

Pssst: I've got a whole guide on how to save money on electricity bill.

Regardless of the stats, here are ways that we have found to save money on our water bill each month.

Use Alternative Sources to Water Your Plants + Garden

About five months ago it occurred to me that there are many opportunities to collect leftover water in our household and use it to water our plants (we used to water them using fresh water from the faucet).

For example, if I am boiling macaroni noodles for awesome Butternut Squash Mac’n Cheese, I save the pot of boiled water, allow it to cool naturally, and water a plant with it.

When we collect used water glasses from previous days, we empty the contents into the plants (or the cat’s water dish…our little divas prefer filtered).

While rinsing dishes, I keep a dirty one below the faucet and collect a bowlful or two.

Another choice? Source water from the rain.

We do not own a rain barrel (on our list of purchases to make after the horrible drought last year here in Houston), but still collect a few buckets of water once or twice a month for the weeks when there is no rain.

This year we’ve been fortunate to receive pretty consistent rain.

Such a blessing!

Turn Your Current Appliances into Water Efficient Ones

You don't have to go out and buy new appliances in order to get more water efficiency.

Let me show you how to turn your current ones into efficient little water machines.

  • Turn Clunky Old Toilets Into Low-Flow Toilets: Does flushing the toilet affect your water bill? YES. Before purchasing new low-flow toilets when we renovated our two bathrooms, we turned the decades-old toilets into low-flow by displacing some of the water in the water tank. The way we did this was by placing a large rock in the water tank. You could also do this by using plastic bottles.
  • Install Faucet Aerators: One of the first things we did after purchasing our home was to make sure each of the faucets had an aerator. Paul installed one on each of our faucets, decreasing the amount of water coming out. Honestly, it hasn’t bothered us one bit, nor has it added time onto any of the water tasks we do (like wash our hands). The only time when it doesn’t work so well is if I am filling up a bucket to water the plants. This is because in this case the amount of water coming out matters. Still, we hope to collect more rainwater and not use faucet-water at all in the future when watering plants.
  • Install a Low-Flow Showerhead: Did you know that installing a low-flow showerhead will save about 3 gallons of water per minute? That's pretty awesome. Especially if you have family members who like to take 15-minute showers (*ahem*).
  • Fix Your Running Toilets and Leaky Faucets: I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to jiggle the handle after using our main toilet. Talk about draining not only time and mental energy, but money from our pockets when we undoubtedly walked away and didn’t hear it running for hours on end! Thankfully, Paul fixed this issue two months ago.

Change Your Water Consumption Habits

Next up is how to save money on water bills by changing your water consumption habits.

  • Use Water-saving Buttons on Appliances: I don’t know how to test if this works or not, but there are water-saving buttons on our dishwasher and washer. These types of buttons on appliances usually allow you to skip a pre-rinse cycle (done!) or use a shorter cycle (done!). Hopefully they are not just there to make us feel better…Also, instead of rinsing plates, we generally just scrape any food bits left into the trashcan.
  • Use the Shower at Your Gym: Periodically I go to the $5 community hot yoga class on Saturday and Sunday mornings at YogaOne. You can bet I take a shower afterwards, saving me from having to use ours. If you have a gym membership, try to time your workouts for around when you need to take a shower anyway to avoid using your own.            
  • Don’t Water Your Lawn: I remember watching the news during the drought here and hearing that the local government had incorporated restrictions on watering lawns to twice a week. This was shocking to me, as we do not water or irrigate our lawns ever, especially during a drought that necessitated shutting off water in certain towns. In the past four years of not watering our lawn there has been two different patches of dead grass. For these specific patches, we gave them some water until they popped back to life and filled in. Other than that, we don’t water our lawn.
  • Don’t Wash Your Vehicles: We go years in between washing our vehicles. This doesn’t mean the inside of our cars suffer, as we typically clean these out/vacuum twice a year or so. But the outside of our cars? You’ll find both of us driving around with dust, pollen, and mud depending upon the season.
  • Start Using a Smaller-Sized Pot for Boiling Water: This is a small change, but the little savings add up, right? I noticed that I was using a pot that was much too large for boiling pasta, and subsequently was using more water than needed. I now size the pot to the job.

What are ways you have found for how to save money on water bill? Please share below to help everyone save more money.

Wondering how to save money on water bill? Sometimes this one is lumped in with the utilities you pay when renting an apartment. Whether you live in a small apartment, a home, or your first apartment, I’ll show you great ways to save on your water bill and cut your monthly expenses (so that you can ACTUALLY go on that trip!). #bills #savemoney #electricitybills

10 replies
  1. Tina
    Tina says:

    I wish mine were that low. But we do water our yard (since it’s a newly built house/lawn and MUD district, ouch). I’m hoping once our lawn is older and strong enough to sustain on rain water we do not have to water it anymore.

    On another note, what indoor plant do you have, Amanda?

    Thanks.
    Tina

    • Amanda L Grossman
      Amanda L Grossman says:

      I can see where watering lawns adds to the water bill (you’re not alone there!). Our house was built in the 1970s, so the lawn has definitely been around awhile.

      We have a few succulents, an elephant ear plant, a vine (wish I knew what type), and three other small potted plants that I am not sure the name of…sorry that is not much help!

  2. Femke
    Femke says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips. We already use most of the tips in your blog. Great to save money but also help save the earth. Just not washing the car is not an option, after winter and the roads being salty the car is a mess. And all that salt is so bad for the exterior of your car.

    Two more tips from me:
    – have a set time for showers. For example set the clock on your phone on 6 minutes and try to stick with that as shower time.
    – Have a bucket in the corner of your shower to collect the fresh water from the showerbeams that go right passed you while showering. You will be supprised how fast that bucket will fill up. You can cool the water down and use for watering plants or your lawn. Also the dogs gets her share if the water is clean and not soapy of course.
    Even cleaning the house will work when the water is still warm.

    I have a empty glass yar in the watertank to help save toilet water. The water stays in the yar while you flush saving about a liter of water in three flushes.

    These measures helped save us loads on our water bill.

  3. mike
    mike says:

    I walk regularlly in our neighborhood and every week I see a slab repair company out repairing slabs. Given the recent drought it is money well spent to pay a few bucks now rathar than thousands later & water the slab. Also for resale purposes a cracked slab even when repaired is a big problem.

    You can wash a car using 5-10 gallons of water. The oxidation along with the uv rays plays havoc with your clear coat over time. I guess its` a personal choice about apperance and resale value.

  4. emily
    emily says:

    Hey Amanda,

    Great tips for saving money on water bill.

    Btw i really like the layout of your blog – Its simple yet elegant..

    Thanks.
    Emily

  5. Hazel Owens
    Hazel Owens says:

    It must have been nice having a well of your own before moving. Even with the maintenance required, knowing what’s in your water and where it came from, and having access to free well water, are definitely pluses. That being said, your tips to avoid using water unnecessarily on lawns or cars are great. Too often, people only consider how their things look instead of caring about how much water they’re wasting in doing maintaining their appearance. Thanks for all the tips!

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