10 Ways to Lower Your Water Bill

Turning the faucet off can lower your water bill!

Raise your hand if you like paying utility bills!

If we were in a room and I asked the question to the group, nobody would be raising his or her hand.  Paying utility bills is just a necessary maintenance activity that we deal with as a part of life.

Of course, beyond the routine of paying the bills, there’s the reality that they can eat up a decent part of our budget.  Thus, it’s a good idea to try to save on utility costs. One example of such an expense would be water bills.  We can’t live without water, it’s a necessity, but we have to pay for it. Thankfully we don’t have to be pay for air!

Anyway, with respect to water bills, there are ways that we can reduce our monthly payment.  This came to mind when listening to my father share with me how high his water bills have been in recent months.  Here are 10 ways to lower your water bill and reduce expenses:

  1. Use a low flow shower head.  This by itself can reduce water usage and ultimately water costs, possibly over $100 annually for a family.
  2. Consolidate laundry.  By this, I mean avoiding doing many separate loads of laundry. Rather, where possible, try to consolidate to do fewer loads.
  3. Take a shorter shower.  Yes, you can get just as clean if you cut a minute or two off your shower time. Be mindful of time!
  4. Water your lawn less often.  Of course, if you don’t have a lawn this won’t apply. But if you do, water it a little less often.  If your grass isn’t 100% green and the best looking showpiece in the neighborhood, who cares?
  5. Run the dishwasher when full.  Now, by this I don’t mean overflowing so that everything doesn’t get fully clean. Rather, I mean make sure to run it when more than just half full.  The less you run the dishes, the more you save on water.
  6. Install aerators.  Putting these on faucets can reduce water flow and save a little bit of money.
  7. Repair leaky faucets.  This is one of those nagging things on a to-do list that we get around to when we can , but over time this can result in money dripping out of your account!
  8. Properly insulate pipes.  If you can get your hot water faster, that means water wasted while waiting.
  9. Wash your car less often.  If you take your car to a car wash, this applies too. After all, the more you wash your car there, the more you spend! If you rinse off your car in your driveway, you’re using water there too – lots of it, potentially.  Just rinse it off a little bit less, and save a little bit of money.
  10. Teach kids to turn off faucets.  This has probably spanned generations, as kids sometimes just keep the water running more than they should, and at any random occasion. For example, turning on the water to brush teeth, then walking away before coming back a few minutes later. We were all kids once, so we know that logic isn’t always there. Teaching them good habits will save them some money in the future and you in the present.

The best thing about saving money on water is that these methods don’t really inconvenience us, as they’re a part of day to day life anyway. It’s just a matter of making a few adjustments.

Also, aside from money, let’s not lose sight of the other more important benefit of water conservation: helping the Earth.

My Questions for You:

Do you use any of these approaches to save money on water?

Can you think of any more to add to the list? I’m sure there are many more approaches that people take which can be included.



  1. says

    The amount our lawn drinks dwarfs any of the other sources of water leakage in our house. Some day we’ll xeriscape if we stick around…

    • Squirrelers says

      Nicole – lawns can take up a ton of water. I lived in a place some years ago that required a ton of water due to the shade – or lack of it, specifically. That percentage of the water bill related to outside watering must have been high.

  2. says

    We don’t pay for water here because we’re renting, but I consolidate my laundry because we have to pay for that and it’s super expensive. I try to only do it once every few weeks – luckily I have a big wardrobe!

    • Squirrelers says

      Daisy – well, by consolidating laundry you’re getting in a good habit which will help if you ultimately have to pay for water in the future.

  3. says

    My wife thinks I’m a wacko (for more reasons than just this :-) ) but I take “navy showers.” Get wet all over, then turn the water off. Then wash. Then turn the water back on and rinse. Saves water and energy (unless one takes cold showers!).

    • Squirrelers says

      Kurt – you know, I thought of that when coming up with the list! However, it’s not something I like, so it didn’t make the list. But for those inclined to do that, yeah I could see that being another way to save a little money!

  4. Anthony Thompson says

    With the high price of water as a home utility, those of us on a strict budget will have to employ lots of effective strategies for lowering our water bill. These tips are very complete. There’s nothing more that I can think of to add. Very good suggestions!

  5. says

    Great tips here. I use lots of these now, and plan to use them again when I move. One thing I didnt see in there was putting something in the toilet tank to lower the amount you use per flush (I use a gallon jug full of water)

  6. says

    I’ll put up my hand – I LOVE paying utility bills!
    I love getting bills, seeing the amount, entering it into my spreadsheet, and tracking our utility costs year after year. In our budget I make a point of overestimating all of our bills – so when the bills do arrive I’m pleasantly surprised that they come in “under budget”.
    I must be weird.

    • Squirrelers says

      Julie – for whatever reason, this is my favorite comment I’ve seen here in a while! Great stuff.

  7. says

    I pay my water bill through the HOA, so I don’t see any direct impacts of my usage, but I have made a few efforts, like changing the toilet water levels and shower head, to lower my usage.

    We are almost always in a drought in Colorado, so saving water is good for all of us here.

  8. says

    In addition to the low flow shower heads you can either add a water shut off or get a shower head with one integrated in it. This helps if one wants to incorporate Kurt’s “navy showers” and shut off the water while soaping/shampooing/shaving.

    If your neighborhood allows, rip out as much lawn as you can and replace with hardy landscaping, mulch, and soaker hoses/irrigation for watering. A well-established landscape carefully chosen for your climate needs little supplemental water, and it also looks beautiful. As a bonus you’ll find yourself spending little to no money on fertilizers, grub treatments, and other lawn maintenance costs. You may want to retain some lawn in the backyard if you have kids, but look at most playgrounds that are heavily mulched as a model play area.

    Our water costs have risen in Chicago proper but I still only paid $228 for six months of trash collection, sewage treatment, and all the water I can use. We are being offered water meters installed for free by the city, but the only friend I know who has tried to do it found that she would need to foot a hefty plumbing bill to replace some pipe so they could install the meter. I’m sure I would pay less for water if I was metered since I’m pretty good about keeping my usage low, but my home improvement/maintenance funds are already committed this year, so I’m going to have to wait just in case I, too, will need to change the plumbing first.

    • Squirrelers says

      Linda – $228 for 6 months seems pretty reasonable. I don’t live in the city, so that figure seems lower than I would have assumed!

  9. says

    I use many of the approaches you mention, especially doing fewer loads of laundry. (As a bonus, that means…fewer loads of laundry to do!) I hadn’t thought of insulating pipes before though.

    • Squirrelers says

      Jackie – yes, that bonus of doing fewer loads just seems like a time saver, doesn’t it! Which means time that could be spent doing more value added things, even chilling out!

  10. SherryH says

    When I run the water in the kitchen to get it hot before I turn on the dishwasher, I run it into an old margarine tub. It sits on the counter until it’s time to water the plants. They don’t seem to mind, and I think letting it sit might even let the chlorine evaporate out, which is better for plants.

    Taking that to more of an extreme, once we were staying in a motel, it took a LONG time for the water to heat up so we could wash dishes in the kitchenette. I used to save the water in gallon bottles and then use those to refill the toilet tank after flushing. My kids rolled their eyes, but I felt I was doing the right thing.

    Another good tip if you garden – consider a rain barrel to catch and store rainfall for your outdoor plants. They are quite expensive, but the local Coastal Federation has them for a really good price, and you might be able to find them for cheaper in your area if you poke around. (I found out about them at the water company when I ran in to pay my bill.) I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I don’t water the grass. It gets what it gets – but I live in an area with a fair amount of rainfall.

    Goodness, I’ve written an essay. Sorry ’bout that!

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