You likely grew up with parents that asked, “Do you think money grows on trees?” or “Were you born in a barn?” From a young age, we learned the value of closing the front door and turning off the light when we left a room. We were also given the advice to turn off the water while brushing our teeth because money (with the water) was going down the drain.

It’s no secret that it costs money to have water in our homes whether we purchase it from the city or pay the electricity to pump it from the well. Here are a few tips, and reminders, of how to stop wasting water.

The Kitchen

  1. Relax! and soak pots and pans before washing instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  1. Reuse the water you use to boil pasta. Once it cools use it to water your plants.
  1. Run the dishwasher only when full and remember that new dishwashers require less rinsing of dishes than older models.
  1. Rinse clean dishes in a sink of clean water instead of letting the water run the entire time doing dishes.
  1. Regularly check for leaks. One drip every second adds up to five gallons of water used every day.


  1. Conserve water by taking a shower instead of a bath. A full bath requires up to 70 gallons of water while the average 5-minute shower uses a little over 10 gallons.
  1. Create savings by plugging the sink when shaving instead of running the water and save up to 300 gallons of water a month
  1. Clean your hands, then rinse. Lathering your hands with soap first will ensure you wash your hands instead of washing the soap down the drain.
  1. Conserve water by tricking your toilet. Fill a half gallon jug with water and place it in the toilet tank to use less water with each flush
  1. Change out old fixtures for new efficient low-flow toilets and shower heads. Turn off while brushing teeth 2.5 gallons per minute turn off and on when time to rinse

Around the House

  1. Share the nutrient rich fish water with your plants when you clean out the fish tank.
  1. Spikes in the cost of your water bill can alert you to leaks in your plumbing that you cannot see yet. Keep an eye on how many gallons you use from month to month so you are aware of any changes.
  1. Save the water that is running as you wait for it to warm up to the temperature you want and give that water to your plants or animals.
  1. Shield water pipes with insulation to ensure that water heats faster and save money by running less water while it warms up.
  1. Scale back on the water used in your washing machine by waiting until you have a full load to run the washer.


  1. Wash vehicles at a commercial car wash that recycles the water.
  1. Water your lawn early in the morning or later in the evening because cooler temperatures mean less evaporation, saving money on water.
  1. Wet down your dog and water the plants in your yard at the same time. Give Fido a bath outside as long as you are using soap that is safe for the plants. Double duty water.
  1. Waste not, want not. Position sprinklers so they water grass and plants and not the driveway, street or sidewalk.

     20. Wisely position gutters so that rainwater from the roof also waters plants, grass, and trees.