I love drinking water! I’ve been a runner for about five years now, and ever since I’ve gotten serious about running, I’ve also gotten serious about staying well-hydrated.
I also love saving money. I’ve been a dad for over 17 years now, and ever since I became a parent, I’ve been interested in saving money. Some of you know exactly what I mean.
I often observe in great wonderment what people will spend big money on. I’m guessing that it’s mostly lack of awareness.
I thought it would be a useful exercise to calculate how much money I’m saving in a year by choosing to drink tap water (from faucet, filtered if needed, out of clean water fountains, free from restaurants, etc.) over other liquid refreshment options. The calculations are based on our family of six, and include projected savings on health and dental expenses based on my state of health before I started running and consuming enough water.
|2 2-liter bottles of soda per week, $1 each (family of 6)||$104|
|12 fast-food restaurant sodas per week, avg $1.25 each (family of 6)||$780|
|6 sodas at a nice restaurant per week, $2.50 each (family of 6)||$780|
|5 sodas out of a vending machine per week, avg $1 each||$260|
|3 good coffees / smoothies per week, avg $3.50 each||$546|
|1 box of antihistamines per month, $6.50 each||$78|
|2 treatments for sinus infections per year, $30 copay, $25 antibiotics||$110|
|4 dental fillings per year due to sugar consumption, $75 each (family of 6)||$300|
|1 six-pack of beer per week, avg $6||$312|
|2 social drinks per week at restaurant or bar, $5 each||$520|
Wow! That’s a chunk of change! And remember, that’s after-tax dollars, folks. How many hours are you currently having to work to pay for your beverages?
One personal note about the health-related savings. I grew up with asthma and allergies, and was on medications for both almost the whole time I was growing up. I was often in the hospital, and it seemed like there were whole years during which my nose would not stop running. Since I’ve been running and drinking lots of water over these past five years, I very seldom have problems with my asthma or allergies, I only take antihistamines when I have to mow the lawn (our kids are old enough to do it now), and I don’t have to keep Kleenex everywhere around the house and office. When I start getting a stuffy nose, it’s almost always when I’ve been busy and have forgotten to stay well-hydrated.
Obviously, everyone’s personal situation is different, so your mileage may vary. I realize that some people may need to filter their tap water, which could cost $100 a year or more: in Baton Rouge we’re blessed to have very clean tap water. My hope is that this little exercise is eye-opening regarding how much you may be spending on beverages in a year, and how much you may be able to save by simply choosing to drink my favorite drink in the world, the most refreshing, thirst-quenching, and healthy drink you can consume, which just happens to be virtually free!
How much do you save, or might you be saving, in a year by drinking water?