Thursday, September 30, 2010
A Few Words About Water
I have realized that I have amassed quite a few little tweaks and life hacks that are fast, cheap, and good but are not full-scale projects, so I'm going to dedicate a few posts to some simple ideas. The first is all about water.
1. Of course, we've said it before and the frugal blogosphere will say it again, but please do everything you can to avoid buying bottled water. It costs a lot to transport, both in money and environmental impact, leading to a big expenditure for you. It also throws off a lot of trash, which you have to haul to the curb and someone else has to haul to the landfill or recycling center. In this case, I'm going to advocate you spend to save: Go out right now and treat yourself to a stainless steel or aluminum water bottle that you will fill from your tap and carry with you to work or wherever you need water. If you don't trust your tap water (and most of us really have nothing to worry about), get whatever filtration system will make you feel secure about drinking your own tap water. Long term, these purchases will save you money.
2. While you're at it, stop buying bottled iced tea. As you can see above, you can make iced tea in about 10 seconds of work and an hour or so of waiting, just by filling a jar with warm water and throwing in one industrial-sized tea bag. (This is Lipton made for cold brewing, which I bought in bulk at Sam's Club.) This batch of tea is probably 5 minutes into "brewing" by sitting on the counter; I was enjoying a glass (at work in my aluminum bottle!) about 20 minutes later. Again, don't pay someone to transport water to you. (For those of you extra-worried about bacteria growth in "sun tea," just let it steep in the fridge.)
3. Finally, an odd water-related tip I read in a WWII-era home economics publication: when you use a carton of cream (or half-and-half, or a can of evaporated milk), rinse the container out with an ounce or two of water, and add this reconstituted milk to your milk jug or use it in cooking as milk. I thought this was a neat idea, and I've been doing this on the rare occasions that I have a container of half-and-half around. It saves a couple of cents and gives me the jollies, which isn't a bad thing either.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 6:20 PM