When we go out to eat, a surprisingly significant percentage of the bill can come from just getting something to drink. You might end up spending $2 for that fountain drink with your meal. Or, if you simply grab coffee some morning, it might have nothing to do with your breakfast – and still set you back $2. Or, much more if you get something other than simple coffee.
I recently went 2 straight weeks without getting anything to drink other than water. This meant that I had no coffee, soda, or other drinks during that time. It’s not the first time I’ve gone without such drinks, as I’ve written about giving up caffeine before. Needless to day, I went back to drinking caffeine after that post a couple of years ago.
Anyway, this round of sticking to water found its motivation after recent dental work, where I saved money on a wisdom tooth removal. I thought it would be best to stick to water for a few days, and once I got on a roll, I just kept at it for a few weeks. The results were interesting, both in terms of health and money.
Health Benefits of Drinking More Water
The health benefits I observed were noticeable, and a mixture of expected and unexpected:
- More consistent sleep. Meaning, I didn’t toss and turn, or have trouble falling asleep. I just slept, quite uneventfully actually.
- Less sleep. This one was surprising. I would have thought that cutting out caffeine and simply having water might have meant more sleep would occur, but not exactly. Perhaps if one sleeps better, less sleep is needed than if you’re not sleeping as well? Who knows, but it was simply a half hour or so less sleep all told anyway.
- Steadier energy levels. Not having caffeine or sugar seemed to having a steadying effect
- Calm stomach. Not that I had any noticeable trouble before, but water seems pretty easy on the body compared to consuming many other things.
Now, I can’t speak to the specifics of tap water in your community or any other. Just going by how I feel with the local water here
Money-Saving Benefits of Drinking More Water
The money-saving benefits I noticed were fun to see:
- Water is free. Okay, maybe not free to the environment, or the water bill. But there is so little incremental cost to getting a glass of water, that it might as well be free.
- Cutting out all other drinks probably saved me $40 over the 2 weeks. Seems like a lot, but I think I was spending that amount on coffee each workday, plus a random fountain drink outside and juice at home. If I annualize that, we’re talking about savings of over $1000! For those who have more fun beverages, I’m sure the savings would be much more. Perhaps several thousand dollars?
After the two weeks, I actually stopped at a Jamba Juice and paid $5.02 (yes, $5.02!) for a 16 ounce cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. It was really, really good! But after a long stretch of just having water, it almost seems unimaginable for me to spend this much regularly. Not that I did, but even with other drinks, it’s like guzzling down hard-earned money!
One thing to clarify here – none of this involved bottled water, except for 2 bottles I got for free. Strictly tap water!
My Questions for You
Do you spend much money on other drinks each day – coffee, soda, juice, etc?
Do you ever think about how much money can be saved by drinking water?
What would motivate you more in terms of drinking more water – the health benefits, or money benefits?