Why Are You Wasting Money On Bottled Water?

I was at a social event this past weekend and was shocked by the judgment sent my way as I sipped a glass of (wait for it) tap water! Partygoers could not believe that I would stoop as low as to drink from an unrefined source, especially given that I am a self-proclaimed health-nut. I, on the other hand, was equally surprised by how blindly these folks had bought into the marketing of bottled water.

For some, bottled water seems to be associated to economic class. The misconception implies that the rich sip the refined bottled water while the poor settle on tap water. C’mon! Bottled water drinkers have all been fooled into spending their money on a product whose reputation has mostly been built on smoke and mirrors. It is true that some bottled water does come from natural springs, but more often than not consumers are buying bottled municipal water at an outrageously inflated price. In fact, bottled water is most often glorified tap water drawn from pipe mains in cities where water safety is not a concern. Sure, the bottled water may be filtered, dechlorinated and further purified, but then so is tap water. In Canada, tap water is subject to strict regulations, vigorous testing and treatment to ensure public health.

One must also account for the fact that the cost of a commodity like bottled water is not limited to the overpriced liquid. The expenditures associated with producing the container, packaging the water, transporting and distributing the finished product, as well as disposing of the empty bottles – not to mention the environmental impact of the entire industry – should be enough to convince anyone to stick to drinking tap water.

So why not avoid the ongoing cost of replenishing your stock of bottled water by investing in a quality reusable container and filling it with tap water? It makes so much more financial sense.

Written by Jennifer Chauhan

Jennifer Chauhan is a staff writer at Canadian Finance Blog who considers the ‘softer side’ of personal finance. She blogs about raising a family on a budget over at Mother Miser.

8 Responses to Why Are You Wasting Money On Bottled Water?

  1. I drink bottled water since Ottawa has the worst tasting water of any Canadian city I’ve ever lived in. For the record, I have lived in 3 provinces and several cities including Montreal, Toronto, London, New Castle, etc. I never would have thought of purchasing water until I moved here…most days if I drink brita filtered tap water… I boil and end up drinking tea to mask the horrid smell and taste of downtown Ottawa drinking water. Not sure why it’s so foul.

    • Have you considered a proper water filtration system?

      A good countertop/undersink system filters out nasty tastes and odours as well as a host of other contaminants.

      The Britta jugs do an ok job at filtering some of the smells/tastes however the jugs can attract bacteria growth.

      Boiling is also not the best option as some contaminants, such as metals and fluoride, actually become concentrated, becoming potentially dangerous.

      Your best bet is to grab a proper water filter system. It will give you better water while saving you a pretty penny!

  2. The water from the Detroit municipal system is consistently rated among the highest in the country, so we drink from the tap all the time. Even at work, I have a bottle that I fill up from the tap and stick in the fridge, then pour into my cup when it’s cold.

    We buy bottled water just to have at parties when we have people over. That’s pretty much it.

  3. If people are concerned about drinking water in any major Canadian city, including Ottawa, they should install a filtration system or buy a filtered pitcher.It doesn’t make sense to buy water where it flows freely and safely. I can buy a litre of gas for the cost of a bottle of water.

  4. I live just outside town limits, so I have my own private well. The water is absolutely delicious, and I don’t even have a pesky water bill to pay.

    The only down side is that I don’t have the gaurentee of cleanliness that municipal water does. So every once in a while I “shock” my well (by dumping in some chlorine stuff), and I have it tested quarterly at the local university. Total cost per year is less than $75

  5. We Loved our tap water then had to move. I drink from a gallon of bottle water mixed with tap water in a glass until I am used to the new taste! I loved next to 2 bottled water plants drawing from the same source with different name. Only one was in the actual place mentioned on the bottles, HA!

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