This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
If you’re trying to cut your expenses, you’ve probably already cut your cable bill and reduced your AC usage this summer. Cutting back on your water usage is probably not very high on your list of expenses to cut. The average American household water bill is $540 a year! The estimated water usage per person per day is 80 to 100 gallons. Whether you are using city water or you have your own well, using less water could mean big savings. Below are a few tips and tricks to cut back on your water usage and lower your bill.
Take shorter showers
A 15-minute shower, using a water-saving shower head, use around 30 gallons of water! A conventional shower head uses even more, about 40 gallons for the same 15-minute shower. Showers account for nearly 30% of the total water used in the average home. Reducing the time you shower by just five minutes will save you roughly 10 gallons each shower!
Cut down on the number of baths you take
A “full” bath takes about 70 gallons to fill. Whenever possible, you should replace a bath with a shower to save on water. A shower with a water-saving shower head will use LESS THAN HALF of what a bath would use.
Turn off the faucet
Do not leave the faucet running while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Older models use over 2 gallons of water per minute, while newer faucets use about 1 gallon per minute. Fill up your rinse cup, and turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. While shaving, fill up part of the sink or a cup with water to clean off your razor while you shave. When washing your face, turn off the faucet while soaping up, and before drying off your hands and face.
Stop pre-rinsing your dishes
Newer model dishwashers are designed to remove and break down food particles, leaving them sparkling clean without a pre-rinse. When our garbage disposal was broken, I banned all dishes from entering the sink. As luck would have it, on my birthday the garbage disposal was still broken after we had eaten our cake. I scraped as much of the cake crumbs off into the garbage as I could, and put the dishes directly into the dishwasher. When the cycle was done, the cake filled dishes were spotless. Not pre-rinsing could save you up to $70 a year! Just make sure to clean the food trap often.
Only run the dishwasher when it is full
Fit in as many dishes as possible, without overloading your dishwasher. Running your dishwasher ONLY when it is full will reduce the number of times you need to run it. The same amount of water is used regardless of the size of the load, so make sure you can get as much as you can for your buck. Plus, you’ll save on dishwasher detergent!
Only run the washing machine when you have a full load
Newer washers still use 25 gallons of water per load. To save money, only run your washing machine when you have enough laundry for a full load. Save your laundry until you have enough to load your washing machine to the recommended capacity.
Regularly check for leaks
Water leaks can result in high water bills, paying for water you’re not even using! Pay attention to toilets, faucets, and dishwashers since these are most likely to be the culprit. Regularly check your home to make sure you don’t have any leaks. You can do a simple leak test by checking your water meter before bed, not using any water after you check, and checking as soon as you wake up. If the numbers are different, you may have a leak.
Be mindful of your drinking water
Only pour what you can drink. Pouring unused water down the drain is the same as throwing your money out the window.