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!
Trying to figure out how to save money on your water bill?
I totally get you – we moved to the desert last year and our water bill doubled over night.
We were great before about reducing our water bill to between $20-$30/month. And now? We've gotten ninja-good at lowering it.
Let me share with you how to save money on your water bill based on our successes.
First up? Let me share how much we spend per year on water + how much the average household has spent (so that you know what to shoot for).
How Much is the Average Water Bill Per Month?
We lived in Houston for 11 years. Houston charges for water, sewer, plus a drainage fee on their “water bill”.
When I originally wrote this article, we had spent $319.09 over 10 bills on our water bill. According to the City of Houston, our neighborhood average (the average consists of water usage for 486 single-family homes) was $55.81 per month.
Our household’s monthly average while in Houston was $31.91.
However, the average household use provided by the city does not breakdown the statistics by the average number of people per household.
There were only two of us at the time (four if you count the cats), so that could account for our lower water usage compared with our neighbors. Then again, I was working from home and using our own water/sewer/etc. instead of one at an office, 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 the EPA, a four-person household uses an average of 10,000 gallons of water each month.
You can find a breakdown of average water cost by state here. Currently for Texas, it's $37 (without sewer or the drainage fee added in) .
Regardless of the stats, here are ways that we have found to save money on our water bill each month.
1. 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.
One of the first things we did after purchasing our home was to make sure each of the faucets had an aerator.
My husband, 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 (more on this water-saving tip below).
Look for WaterSense Products
Installing WaterSense labeled products can save you a chunk of money over time (say, a year), as well as help you use much less water.
How much money can you expect to save?
You can plug your information into this calculator, and then compare your savings to how much the product(s) will cost. That helps you to see your purchase as an investment.
Hint: you can find potential rebates on WaterSense-labeled products here.
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 for us.
2. 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.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
You can majorly cut down on dishes (and money spent) by batch cooking meals and freezing the leftovers.
Think about it.
Batch cooking lets you:
- Use pots and pans once for two or more meals (you'll need plates/bowls/utensils twice, of course)
- Use the same pot of water to boil more than one set of pasta/rice/etc.
Use the Shower Somewhere Else
Got a gym membership? Try to time your workouts for around when you need to take a shower anyway to avoid using your own.
You might not even need the gym membership to do this one. Periodically in Houston, I would go to the $5 community hot yoga class on Saturday and Sunday mornings at YogaOne.
You can bet I take a shower afterwards (the amount of sweating you do in a hot yoga class is crazy!), saving me from having to use ours.
Maybe your work has a shower and built-in gym? Think about using that.
Don’t Water Your Lawn
When we lived in Houston, I remember watching the news during the drought 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. Do you need to be watering yours? Maybe not.
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.
3. 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 (hint: this one works wayyyyy better if you don't happen to live in the desert. In the desert? We'd wait forever for enough water).
We do not own a rain barrel (on our list of purchases to make after the horrible drought we experienced in Houston several years ago), but still collect a few buckets of water once or twice a month for the weeks when there is no rain.
Psst: here's how to make a DIY rain barrel.
This year we’ve been fortunate to receive pretty consistent rain.
Such a blessing!
What are ways you have found for how to save money on water bill? Please share below to help everyone save more money.
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