tap water http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13519/all en-US Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-87358427.jpg" alt="drinking water" title="drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that bottled water sales have more than tripled over the last 10 years? It's true! Annually, this business as a whole pulls in a staggering <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/water-weight-burden-buying-bottled.asp">$11 billion a year</a>. On... water. The most perplexing part: &quot;Tap water [from regulated public versus private sources, for the purpose of this article] and bottled water are <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/tap-water/faq-20058017">generally comparable</a> in terms of safety.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1?ref=seealso">Bottled Water Hype</a>)</p> <p>So, then, why are so many of us choosing to literally pour our dollars down the drain? Here are some things to consider before you take your next sip.</p> <h2>1. Taste Differences</h2> <p>Well, just because water is safe to drink doesn't necessarily mean it tastes the best. Plus, as discerning consumers, we're all about options.</p> <p>If you drink water from taps across the country, you'll definitely notice a difference. Some spouts are generally taste-neutral while others are laced with a hint of chlorine (sometimes even an overpowering flavor, as chlorination is one popular method <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_chlorination">used to purify</a> water for drinking). From there, the taste may differ depending on mineral content or a number of other factors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles?ref=seealso">The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</a>)</p> <p>Thing is, bottled water, too, has its own different production processes. And as a result, bottled water will also produce a range of pleasing or pungent flavors and notes, making it just as difficult to identify in blindfolded taste tests. Looking beyond the pretty packaging, you might not be able to tell your favorite brand from your tap. So, if safety and taste aren't really pulling you in either direction &mdash; the dollars and cents should.</p> <h2>2. Money Matters</h2> <p>How much money are we talking about? One estimate I encountered: Bottled water costs <a href="http://www.banthebottle.net/articles/7-bottled-water-myths-busted/">240 to over 10,000 times</a> more per gallon than tap water. Once you pick your jaw off the floor (I had to!) and let that set in, the choice between the two seems much easier. Plus, if you consider that some bottled waters might actually just be tap water in disguise &mdash; you're being up-charged considerably. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-reusable-water-bottles?ref=seealso">25 Things To Do With Reusable Water Bottles</a>)</p> <p>That's right: &quot;<a href="http://www.today.com/id/5467759/ns/today-today_food/t/your-bottled-water-coming-faucet/#.U2PkWtxofwI">25%</a> (to as much as <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/exesum.asp">40%</a>) of the bottled waters consumed in the U.S. come from municipal water supplies.&quot; That sounds just plain criminal to me (or, alternatively, like an incredibly lucrative business idea). So far, tap water is winning with regard to safety, taste, and dollars. If you choose to save your pennies by drinking from your own tap, then next question becomes: To filter or not to filter?</p> <h2>3. Trickle Down</h2> <p>Well, that's where this whole issue gets particularly slippery. In an informal study conducted at the offices of Mother Jones, staff members actually voted <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2009/07/bottled-waters-can-you-taste-difference">San Francisco tap water</a> &mdash; which is sourced from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park &mdash; straight out of the tap better than its filtered counterpart. However, we can't all enjoy such pristine sources.</p> <p>In fact, a 2009 analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group found <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/should_you_filter_your_tap_water">315 pollutants</a>, including freaky stuff like arsenic, hiding in EPA-approved taps across the country. What's even more difficult is that water within the same area can vary in safety from home to home due to pipe age, material, and other pesky factors.</p> <h2>What to Do?</h2> <p>If you're confused, you're in good company. It seems there's no clear-cut answer to what is truly the best choice for our bodies. Though, what we can all agree upon is that bottled water surely comes at a premium and may very well not be worth the added cost.</p> <p>The best advice I've found is to familiarize yourself with <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/drinking-water-faq.html">common contaminants</a> and to have your tap water tested. If you choose to filter, there are various techniques, though not one will clear out all possible impurities. Also important: &quot;A home water filter <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/home-health-and-safety-9/safe-drinking-water?page=3">won't protect you</a> from water that has been declared unsafe&quot; by municipalities during natural disasters like floods. And generally, you can avoid consuming lead from tap water by using &quot;cold tap for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula and to let the water run for a minute before using it.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you drink bottled water? If not, do you filter your tap water?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself">The Only Fruits and Veggies Worth Growing Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living bottle water tap water wasting money water Fri, 16 May 2014 08:12:43 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1139415 at http://www.wisebread.com How Water Can Save You $977 a Year http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4162309645_313013153e.jpg" alt="glass of water" title="glass of water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us eat out at least once a week. In fact, renowned culinary experts Zagat recently announced that although we are dining out less as a nation (due to the poor economy) we are <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zagats-2011-americas-top-restaurants-guide-reveals-that-the-weak-economy-continues-to-cut-into-dining-habits-105837223.html">still eating out an average of 3.1 times per week</a>. That's the average of course, some of us are eating out daily. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheapskates-guide-to-eating-out">A Cheapskate's Guide to Eating Out</a>)</p> <p>And when we eat out, be it at a fast food restaurant or something more refined, we drink soda. Oh, how we drink soda. As a nation, we can't get enough of it. <a href="http://www.drozfans.com/dr-ozs-advice/dr-oz-28-day-national-challenge-soda-soft-drinks/">According to Dr. Oz</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>53 million Americans drink at least one soda a day, and we spent $70 billion last year on soda.</p> </blockquote> <p>That got me thinking. How much would we save, on average, if we substituted tap water (not bottled, please) for soda every time we ate out. Every restaurant, fast food or otherwise, has given me free water with my meal when I ask for it. And remember, I'm not talking about substituting every single soda we drink &mdash; just the ones that accompany the meals we eat away from home.</p> <p>First, let's review the numbers we're dealing with.</p> <p>We already know that we eat out 3.1 times per week. Now take the average family size, which according to <a href="http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts">2009 US Census data is 3.19 people</a>. And, as we're playing with averages, what's the median cost of a soda?</p> <p>Well, the cost of soda is obviously going to change depending on where you live and where you eat. A glass of soda at a high end restaurant in New York is not going to be the meager $1 McDonald's charges (although that's still a huge mark-up). I've paid almost $5 for a glass of Coke in a trendy gastro-pub. But I did some digging and found out that there is generally a recommended price for a 20oz soda with free refills. That <a href="http://www.foodservice.com/articles/food-cost/Costing-Out-Soda-Free-Refills-in-Foodservice-How-to-Price-Soda/">price is $1.75 plus tax</a>. So, let's round that up to $1.90.</p> <p>Here's the math:</p> <ul> <li>We eat out 3.1 times per week.</li> <li>3.19 people make up the average family.</li> <li>With 52 weeks in a year, that makes roughly 514 glasses of soda every year for an average family.</li> <li><strong>514 x $1.90 = $977!</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>What could you do with an extra $977 a year?</strong></p> <p>Right now, you could buy a really nice laptop, a whole new wardrobe, or it could go towards a vacation for your family. And all for substituting water for soda <em>only</em> when you eat out. It's not like you're giving it up entirely. Think it over.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-restaurant-values-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Restaurant Values You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-overpriced-restaurant-items-that-waste-your-money">13 Overpriced Restaurant Items That Waste Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink General Tips cost of eating out cost of soda eating out restaurants soda substitute tap water water Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 513977 at http://www.wisebread.com