Tuesday, July 6, 2010

6 Ways to Conserve Water and Save Money This Summer

In the past, summer time could do some damage to our water bill. The biggest increase in our water consumption comes from watering our garden. We rely on the food that we grow to help lower our food bill, but I don’t want to save money on my groceries only to increase the money spent on our water bill.

As the summer is heating up, the kids love to cool off in the sprinkler. I can hardly say no, when sweat is rolling down their sweet faces and it is too much fun watching them laugh and play in the yard. By the end of the day they are filthy so there is surely a bath at bedtime. During the rest of the year, I can usually get by with bathing them about twice a week.

I am always looking for ways to conserve water and save money on our bill year round, but even more so in the summer.

1. This is my fourth spring/summer with my rain barrel. Our county’s conservation district promoted these rain barrels years ago for $25. There is now a 2 year wait list and the cost has increased to $55. I got mine just in time. A few years ago, you didn’t see rain barrels much, but many stores now carry them. Store-bought rain barrels can set you back between $100-$200. It could take some time until it pays for itself from the water saved. But, if you are a do-it-yourselfer, this could be a great project to try. In the past 2 years, I rarely had to rely on the water hose, but we haven’t had rain in a few weeks, and my barrel has now dried up. This is the first time this has happened to me. Although when it does rain, it fills up very quickly and I sometimes wish I had room for a second barrel.

2. Use water collected from dehumidifier to water your garden and flower pots. In the summer, our basement gets very damp and musty, so we run a dehumidifier. It fills up quickly on sweltering days. Since it has been so dry here, that water will come in handy when watering my plants.

3. When waiting for the hot water to heat up from the faucet, trap it in a jug or bucket and use it to water your garden and flower containers.

4. Use the water from steaming vegetables and corn on the cob to water your garden.

5. Choose drought tolerant plants for your landscape. This is something we considered when we designed our front lawn landscape. A quick google search will help you find a list of these plants for your garden zone or ask the staff at your local garden nursery.

6. Water your garden in the early morning or evening to avoid evaporation from the mid-day sun.

We are heading into a sweltering week. My rain barrel is dried up, so I will be relying on #2 - #6 to get me by until the next good rain.

How do you conserve water during the summer?

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  1. My water bill has been so high lately, thank you so much for these tips.

  2. Tip #3, I never thought of that and it's such an easy thing to do. All that water that gets wasted when I start running the shower, especially for the 4 kids.
    Great tips, thanks.

  3. Great reminders!! Love the idea of watering with the vegetable water! :)

  4. My family thinks I'm nuts, but I have a bucket beside my kitchen sink that gets filled probably twice each day just from waiting for the water to warm up, or rinse water from rinsing a cup or bowl. I also have a rain barrel, three actually - one for free from a healthy yards program the city ran and I was lucky enough to get into, one for $65 from their 'subsidized' rain barrel sale day (once a year), and one for free! well, we had to buy a pump thing, because it wasn't designed as a rain barrel, but it works great. Interesting to read what tips you have, and see what other people also do to save water. Thanks

  5. I like your tips. I want a rain barrel. Too bad it doesn't rain here in the summer, or there might actually be a use in getting the rain barrel.
    I'm here from WFMW. I've written some posts on frugal water fun http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2010/06/frugal-water-fun.html and frugal gardening (especially water tips) http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2010/06/frugal-gardening.html and frugal showering as well as other water conservation tips under my "water" tab on my page- you might find those helpful in reducing your water bill this summer and all the time.

  6. Great ideas, I already water my garden late in the evening. I am a little spoiled, because we have a well. We don't drink the water, but we use it for everything else. It is probably fine for drinking, and it tastes fine, but I have hang ups.

  7. Another simple way to conserve water and save money is by detecting toilet leaks early. Water is a limited resource, and can be a costly one too! One, silent leak can easily waste 200 gallons of water per day, making toilet leaks are the #1 cause of wasted water in the home. Dye tablets are not a preventative solution and will often fail to detect a toilet that is leaking intermittently.

    I wanted to let you know about a great new product that makes detecting toilet leaks easy! The LeakAlertor electronically monitors your toilet and notifies you with visual and audible alerts when the flapper is leaking. It installs in seconds, without tools. Visit www.leakalertor.com.

  8. Those are all great ideas! Thanks for the tips.

  9. Great tips! I know that rain barrels are getting very popular. My neighbor just bought one at Sams Club for around $60. It looks very nice as it looks like a huge terra cota pot. I have a well and feel fortunate to not pay for water. It has been so hot that we have had to water our garden sometimes twice a day.

    Thank you!

  10. Great tips! I'd never thought about a rain barrel! Thankfully we don't have to pay a water bill, but you still have to pay for the pump and softener salt, besides, just wanting to be a wise steward of all that's given to us. I'd love it if you'd link to my Tuesday's Tips!

  11. Great tips - all of which we use.

    We have also taught our children that when they take showers, they are allowed to be in for a limit of two songs on the radio. This seemed to really help (the girls, especially!) to not stay in for half an hour at a time!

  12. We have a well but I still we we had a rain barrel. It is always good not to waste water!

  13. Thanks for all of the great comments and tips.

  14. Thanks for the info. Some things I do and others .... well lets just say I could save a little more following these tips.

    Just to keep this out there, I've also linked this in a post on my blog. Hope that it brings you even more traffic.


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