When my husband and I married 5 years ago, we were both full-time soda drinkers. At some point during the first year I made the decision to give up my Diet Pepsi and switch to bottled water. I’ll be the first to admit that it took a while to get used to drinking only water, but after a short time it became as automatic as blinking my eyes and reached for a bottle of water without giving it any thought.
My husband always saved our empty soda cans, and when he had enough to fill up his trailer, he would drive them down to the scrap metal yard and sell them for the aluminum. There were many times when the money made from scrapping those cans would put some gas in one of our cars or buy milk, eggs and bread for the week.
Back in the early days we didn’t consciously price shop, and I’ve learned in the 5 years that we’ve been married that Coca-Cola and Pepsi alternate months on sale at the local stores (my husband taught me this). He doesn’t drink nearly as much soda as he used to, and now fills in the gaps with water and/or sweet tea.
Several months ago I started a dialogue with myself about eliminating bottled water and switching to tap water (well water). I didn’t know how excited (sarcasm) my husband would be with this, nor did I ask him (because sometimes it’s easier to apologize then to ask for permission), but I started pricing filtered water pitchers, and made a plan that during a week when my grocery list was small, I would make the leap and purchase one and prayed that it wouldn’t take long for my husband to embrace it.
If you haven’t priced them – they are not cheap. Well, for us they are not cheap because we rarely have an extra $25 laying around. I purchased a 10-cup capacity for $26.44 at Walmart. It comes with 1 filter that’s good for 2 months. We still had some bottled water left, so I left it in the grocery bag and put it on a shelf in the closet until we were down to our last bottle of water, then filled it up and left it out on the counter.
I noticed that he was drinking it, but he hadn’t said anything about it for a whole week. Then one day as he was unpacking his cooler from work, he made the comment while holding an empty pitcher that he’d been using for his water and toting to work, “This is really good water.” I smiled and replied, “Yes it is.” So, the transition wasn’t as painful as I conjured it up in my mind to be – thank God.
It’s interesting how the mind works in convincing you (me, actually) that if it’s not bottled spring water then it’s not good for you (me, again). I was so hard-headed at one point that if there was no bottled water available I wouldn’t even consider water from the tap. It takes time to break a habit, and that’s what my mind needed. Time.
Our bottled water consumption was somewhere between 2 and 3 cases per week. For illustration purposes, I am going to say we consumed 2 cases per week. This is what the savings will look like in a year of eliminating bottled water and drinking filtered water from a pitcher:
– 2 cases of spring water @ $2.99 each per week x 52 weeks = $ 310.96
– 1 filtered water pitcher @ $26.44 = $26.44
– 1 replacement filter @ $4.94 every 2 months x 6 = $29.64
– Money saved after a year = $254.88
It’s eye-opening when you write it down on paper, isn’t it?
What is a frugal switch that you made this year? Please share with us in the comments, and if you have written a post about it, please share the link to that post in the comments below. Thanks!
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