Frugal Idea #13

Have you ever been on the Muni when it is hot, cramped full of passengers, and you are just hoping & praying that someone cracks the window to let some air in? The bus stops & the doors opens and you wonder how anyone else can really fit on this bus. You sway side to side as the bus goes up the hills and makes the turns. You politely say “excuse me” when you have lightly kicked the left shoe of someone fortunate enough to grab a seat 10 stops prior by the Embarcadero. It is one of those unusual sunny Bay Area days and everyone is out and about to cherish the incredible weather. Your forearm cramps as you grip the handlebar above you tighter as the bus speeds on. Finally, a popular stop arrives, and a good amount of passengers depart the bus. You quickly grab a seat and now you have no choice but to stare at someone’s glutes and think how lovely their designer jeans are. You finally notice how dry your mouth is. At last, your stop has arrived, and you are thankful that you are free. As your feet step onto the pavement, you can not help but stare at the bus that drives on full of suffering people. I am parched.

I stop and give a moment of thanks for I had brought my Nalgene water bottle that still possessed melting ice cubes. I pause and have a large sip of cool crisp water. I think of all of those times I was dying of thirst at special events, concerts, sports events, movies, and those amazing Las Vegas trips where you had no choice but to buy bottled water. My eyes would blink twice as I was rung up for my buy and repeat the price to the cashier in disbelief: $4.00? Really?!

I was guilty of buying bottled water all the time. I bought 24 packs of water for the home, for the car’s trunk, for road trips, well, for the hell of it.  I bought gallons of water because that became easier to carry to and from the grocery store. I would buy individual water bottles for friends who visited for 15 minutes and as we hugged farewell, I noticed the half drunken bottle and thought what a waste of water. That eventually switched to the thought of what a waste of money!

If I buy a $1.00 bottle of water a day that would amount to $365.00 a year. I tried to justify this for the fact that I did recycle and would earn some money back. I took control of the situation once I was inspired by friends who offered me water from a Brita water filter pitcher. I remember visiting a friend once on Sutter & Hyde. We talked about our days and she spoke about her dance class as I watched her fill my glass. With a smile explaining her day, she moved the pitcher under the sink faucet to re-fill it with more water. The cost for more water: $0.00. Intrigued, I made my way to Target to buy my own Brita water filter pitcher. The filter will need to be replaced at least twice a year, but the cost savings (and time & waste savings) is undeniable. Along with my Naglene water bottle, I have saved money and improved my health by drinking much more water throughout the day. Granted, I also use the bathroom so much more, but I take that as a good thing. Heading there now after this last sip (Pic included).




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