I’ll tell you what – nothing makes you think twice about turning on the faucet than seeing your water bill go up.
I guess that’s the price to live during a drought. In the desert. In California.
Still, I like hot showers and to be clean and to eat pasta. All of which require water. So if any of that’s gonna happen while keeping food on the table, we’re gonna have to get creative with saving water.
Last year I shared a very popular post of 7 ways to water the garden for free. But my gardening season is ending and I still need to save water.
Our DIY water displacement is still working like a charm in our bathrooms, but like I mentioned earlier, our water bill has gone up and it’s time to take action.
So I took notes this past summer on the small yet significant ways we’ve been saving water. Some of them are a bit “out there” and your friends might think you’re a bit looney for doing them, but you know what?
Your friends aren’t paying your water bill.
9 Creative Ways to Save on Water
(1) Collect bath water in your cooking pots.
Before you think I’ve gone crazy carrying pots all over my house, hear me out. Think about how often you cook on the stove with water… pretty often, right? And you typically fill up your pots with water from the sink, right?
So what if you filled up your pots with water from the bathtub instead? I mean, you’re going to take a shower, right? And that water needs to go somewhere, right? So why not just skip a step and fill up a pot from the get go?
Just be careful carrying it back to the kitchen.
(2) Adjust the hot water BEFORE you get in.
Here’s what usually happens. You turn on the water, you catch a few gallons in your bucket and when it’s hot, you pull the plug. The water is redirected to the shower head, you get in and WOWZERS! You practically burn your whole body because the water is smoldering hot.
So you stand out of the water as best as you can and smidgen by smidgen, turn the water to cool until it’s finally tolerable. Meanwhile, all that water you weren’t standing in is now wasted and down the drain.
The simple fix? Set the temperature of the water to warm when it’s coming out of the faucet! This way you can collect all that water AND not burn yourself in the process. Besides, once the water is warm, it’s super easy to make it hotter (while standing in the water stream, no less).
(3) Turn off the hot water to bathroom sinks.
I wash my face at night at the sink and I’ll be the first to admit that a) I leave the water running as I scrub my face because b) I tend to get soap in my eyes and c) the warm water feels good.
But if I turn off the hot water, I’m a whole lot less likely to lollygag while washing, and much more likely to just wash and be done with it.
And the kids are less likely to take uber long to wash their hands too.
(4) Stop brushing your teeth in the shower.
This was hard for me, and I admit that I still do it sometimes, but brushing your teeth in the shower is a HUGE water waster.
It all started back in high school, long before I quit normal shampoo and conditioner. The directions on the conditioner said to “leave in for 2 minutes” so I figured, why not brush my teeth while I wait two minutes for the conditioner to do its thing?
Fast forward and I realized that not only does conditioner have some pretty awful ingredients in it, but you don’t have to leave it in for 2 minutes anyway. So all this time I’ve been brushing my teeth in the shower? I’ve been wasting enormous amounts of water. Even more so since I turn the water off when I brush my teeth at the sink!
- brushing my teeth at the sink (water off) = 1/4 of a gallon of water
- 2 minutes brushing my teeth in the shower = 4 gallons of water
(5) Take showers as soon as other people are done.
I don’t know if this will work in everyone house, but it works in ours. We have two showers upstairs. I’ve noticed that if I take a shower as soon as Mr. Crumbs is done, my water gets hot REALLY fast. But if I take one long after he’s done, the water gets hot at its normal rate.
Waiting less for water means less water wasted!
(6) Take showers when the dishwasher or washer is running.
It’s a similar concept to #5 above, although with the same disclaimer – it works in our quirky rented townhouse, but I don’t know if it’s an across the globe thing. But it couldn’t hurt to try, right?
(7) Get problem plumbing fixed.
This is such a no-brianer, but I’m including it because apparently I have no brain. Mr. Crumbs’ toilet hasn’t worked right since we moved in our townhouse 5 years ago. It flushed completely only every other flush, which meant anytime there was something to flush, he had to flush twice.
And it was an OLD toilet, so it wasn’t a low flow or very efficient. So really, it was like flushing four times. Every time.
It was awful.
We got off the stubborn horse one day and called maintenance. They replaced the toilet with a low-flow and now it works. Every time. And it uses less water too!
And I’m pretty sure it took off $5 from our water bill…
(8) Use the dishwasher.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but most dishwashers use less water than humans do while washing dishes. I know ours does – our bill went up the month we washed by hand because the dishwasher needed to be deep cleaned.
If you have a dishwasher, consider using it, or using tip #9 instead.
(9) Wash the dishes in the biggest dirty pot/bowl.
So you made dinner and now you have a sink full of dirty dishes. Take the biggest pot or bowl you used, fill it with hot soapy water and wash the dishes using THIS water instead of filling up the sink. You’ll likely save water, and you’ll be washing the dirty pot/bowl too.
Got a creative way to save on water? Share them in the comments!
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