Drink Tap Water to Save Money

When we go out to eat, a surprisingly significant percentage of the bill can come from just getting something to drink.  You might end upDrink Tap Water 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:

  1. More consistent sleep.  Meaning, I didn’t toss and turn, or have trouble falling asleep.  I just slept, quite uneventfully actually.
  2. 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.
  3. Steadier energy levels.  Not having caffeine or sugar seemed to having a steadying effect
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?


  1. says

    Some would argue that drinking lots of tap water is the single best thing you can do for your body and your pocketbook! And, in comparison to bottled water, drinking tap water is a huge plus for the environment, the reason many municipalities have banned bottled water sales.

    I stopped long ago ordering any drink in a restaurant except water (and sometimes coffee). I’ve probably saved enough to make a couple years’ worth of IRA contributions!

    • Squirrelers says

      Kurt – that’s a powerful statement, and one that we should pay attention to: “probably saved enough to make a couple years worth of IRA contributions”. That helps make the point!

  2. says

    I have only used tap water for my consumption. I will only use a bottled water when there is no other water source around. I think it is ridiculous to drink bottled water considering most of it is just municipal water that is cleaned up more. Either way, I save money every year by just using my tap and I also clean it up more with a nice Brita water filter.

  3. says

    I often just have tap water at restaurants. I also drink water at home. I gave up sugary drinks a long time ago. My prime reason was to eat a little healthfully and save a little money.

  4. says

    I try to be good to the environment by bringing a travel mug with me and making my own coffee at work. I cut back to “half-caff” to lessen the harmful effects. I’m afraid that’s as far as I go! In the summer I drink tap water. I suppose I could get the same hot drinks benefit from hot water with lemon.

  5. says

    I gave up drinks a long time ago to be healthier. Although I occasionally have a drink if the boss is buying, haha. Have to mingle with the team every once in awhile. I drink tap water at home, but do put it through a water filter which costs money. Hopefully this is helping me in the long run in terms of health. I would say health trumps money any day.

  6. says

    I haven’t had anything other than water or tea for the past 8 months. It has been a very welcome change. I save so much money and it has been a key role in my weight loss. I think for me the health benefits are most important, but it is very nice to know that I am saving money as well!My husband just recently joined me, that’s a big savings!

  7. says

    I keep some bottled water around the house and at work just in case. One time our town got stuck with a water advisory for a couple of days due to a power failure at the treatment plant. So now I always have some reserve bottled water.

    But otherwise I drink tap water. Plain boring tap water. And people look at me like I’m some kind of a freak. And I love the people who drop a dollar to buy a bottle of water when we have not only a sink located in the same room, but also a water cooler and free cups.

  8. says

    This may sound ridiculous but I was trapped in a lift for 2 hours before. I know it’s not that long but if it had been longer I would have been in severe discomfort if I hadn’t had my 2l bottle of water with me so yeah, for health and emergencies!

    • Squirrelers says

      Chris – another good example of why it’s probably not a good idea to neglect bottled water in certain cases. Of course, I think tap water should be the primary source of water consumption, with bottles for emergency.

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