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12 Ways to Lower Your Water Bill

A child drinking out of a water hose.

Drought season is upon us, which means there’s no better time to lower your water usage. Even if you’ve had ample rainfall in your area, you probably still wouldn’t mind lowering that city water bill.

Here are some easy things you can do to reduce your water usage and save some cash!

How to Lower Your Water Consumption in the Kitchen

Someone rinsing a glass under a kitchen sink faucet.
praphab louilarpprasert/Shutterstock.com

The kitchen is one of the two places (the other is the laundry room) where you use the most water. Washing dishes is a daily chore in most homes, but you can do them without using a ton of water.

Here are some tips for saving water in the kitchen:

Skip Pre-rinsing

When washing dishes in the dishwasher, don’t bother pre-rinsing—it’s a waste of water. Most newer dishwashers will take care of the stuck-on stuff for you. Many even have sensors that will tell you when your dishes require extra cleaning.

Use Less Water When Handwashing Dishes

Dishwashers use less water than you would when handwashing dishes, however, not everyone has a dishwasher. If you must handwash your dishes, it helps to do so in a way that will use less water. This means not letting the faucet run continuously.

Ideally, you’ll have a sink for washing and one for rinsing. If your kitchen sink isn’t a double-basin, you can use a rinse tub or plastic bin instead.

Fill one sink with soapy water for washing and the other with clean water for dip rinsing, before you place your dishes on the drying rack.

Boil Strategically

Just because the instructions on the spaghetti package says you need eight quarts of water doesn’t mean you do. Boiling strategically means using only enough water to cover the stuff you’re boiling, rather than filling the pot nearly to the top with water you’re just going to dump down the drain.

Another way to save water after boiling is to use a few ice cubes instead of a cool water rinse when you’re finishing your pasta prep. Just toss a few ice cubes in the strainer, toss the noodles around, then let the ice melt before serving.

Thawing and Rinsing

You can also use less water when cleaning vegetables and fruit. Just toss your produce in a bowl with a small amount of water, clean them with a vegetable brush, athen do a quick rinse. For greens, a quick shake under a running faucet is usually enough.

Instead of thawing foods under running cold water, use your microwave for thawing. There’s a good chance your microwave has a defrost setting so that you can evenly thaw your food.

How to Lower Your Water Consumption in the Bathroom

A man and woman using the sink in a bathroom.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

We’ve all been washing our hands a lot more over the last year, which means we’ve also been using more water. You can cut down on bathroom water consumption by paying more attention to your toilet and shower habits, as well as how much you’re running the faucet in the sink.

Flush Less

Even if you don’t have a toilet that uses less water, you can still cut down on the water that’s used whenever you use the bathroom. Instead of flushing every time you pee, wait until after you go a few times.

Try only flushing immediately after a number two for a month and see how much you save on your next water bill.

Look for Toilet Leaks

Flushing uses extra water, but you could be losing water elsewhere if your toilet has a leak. If you hear your toilet running long after you’ve flushed, you definitely have a leak.

However, not all leaks are noisy. A leak between your tank and bowl can add to water waste.

To find out if your toilet has this issue, add about 20 drops of food coloring to the tank, then wait about 10 minutes. If you come back and there’s any food coloring in the bowl, you’ve got a leak that needs fixing.

Save Water in the Shower

The average showerhead drops about 2-1/2 gallons of water per minute. This means a 10-minute shower uses 25 gallons of water. If you can’t take shorter showers, try turning off the water between soaping up and rinsing off. You can also shave at the sink instead of in the tub to save water.

You might also want to consider investing in a showerhead that uses less water. Those with the EPA WaterSense label can help you have up to 20% more water. You can also save by taking a bath instead.

While you wait for the water to heat up from cold to your preferred temp, you can also save it in a bucket, then water your plants with it.

Use Less Water at the Sink

You can easily use less water whenever you wash your hands. After you wet your hands, turn off the faucet while your soap up and scrub, then turn it back on for a quick rinse.

Don’t leave the water running when you’re doing other things in the bathroom, either. Only turn on the faucet when you need to rinse your toothbrush or razor. Also, leave it off while scrubbing your face.

How to Lower Your Water Consumption Outdoors

A man washing his car at a self-serve car wash.
Daria Kulkova/Shutterstock.com

From watering the garden to washing the car, we use a lot of water outside, too. Fortunately, there are also some ways you can cut down your water usage outdoors.

Let Your Grass Grow Longer

One way to conserve water is to stop cutting your grass so short. There are many benefits to a longer lawn. Short grass is weak and needy, but longer grass is stronger. It doesn’t need as much water because the roots are deeper in the ground and get plenty of moisture from there.

Three to four inches is a good height for a healthy lawn.

Ditch the Sprinklers

Try to avoid wasting water with sprinklers. If you follow the tip above and allow your grass to grow longer, it won’t need as much water. Allow your lawn to care for itself as much as possible, and you’ll also lower your water bill.

If you live in an arid climate, set your sprinklers to use less water and run for shorter times. Water your plants when the sun isn’t high in the sky, as the heat will just boil them (and your grass) in the added water.

If it’s legal in your area, consider collecting rainwater to use for watering your gardens, plants, and grass. All you need are some buckets or a rain barrel.

Don’t Hose Down Your Driveway

While it’s a fast, easy way to clear dirt off your paved drive- or walkway, hosing them down wastes a lot of water. Grab a broom instead and sweep them. Think of it as a way to get a workout in, too.

Hit the Car Wash

Washing your car at home uses far more water than going to a car wash that already has water-saving implementations. You can hit one of the drive-thru styles, or pull in a stall and do it yourself.

You’ll get a cleaner car than you would if you do it at home. Plus, it’s much faster at the car wash. The money you spend will still be less than what you would on the necessary cleaning supplies and excess water.

Even if water is included in your rent, conserving helps the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. Whether you invest in some water-saving products, or just do what you can to cut down, your wallet will thank you. If you wanna save some cash on that electric bill as well, try this for a month.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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