The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Drinks really add up

Metal water bottleStaying hydrated is good for you, and the more water you drink the better you'll feel.  However, your wallet will feel much better if you break any dependence you currently have on bottled water.  Sure, it's easy to pick up a bottle from the vending machine at work, but did you know that if you traded tap water for a single purchased bottle of water per day, you'd save nearly $550 per year?  (Figure out the exact financial and environmental costs of bottled water here.)  Just buy two reusable water bottles (we've moved to metal for health reasons and because the water inside tastes much better) and you're all set for a 1,500% return on your investment in the first year.

But maybe you're not a water drinker.  Perhaps you imbibe soda at the national average of 557 cans per year, which can cost you anywhere from $200 if you buy it at the grocery store to $600 if you buy it out of a vending machine.  Instead, why not make your own sweet tea?  (That's southern-speak for sweetened iced tea.)  Mark likes his drinks sweet and copious, and I like to keep him off caffeine, so we pay top dollar for decaffeinated tea bags in the grocery store --- about $150 per year for his half gallon a day.  If you don't mind caffeinated tea bags, you will probably be paying half that, all while saving your body from the evils of high fructose corn syrup and scary additives.

This post is part of our Frugal Living Tips lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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