Use a water filter instead of plastic water bottles

Stop Buying So Much Bottled Water – Do This Instead!

Are you among those who regularly buy bottled water? Do you realize how much money you’re spending over time to drink bottled water? Here’s an idea… Stop buying bottled water, and do this instead…

The other day I was in a grocery store. Sometimes I casually observe what others have in their shopping carts. What I saw was interesting, and inspired me to do this post. I noticed a cart that had a few cases of bottled water in it. Soon afterwards, I saw someone else with a cart full of supplies including bottled water. Then I started paying attention… How many people in this store have bottled water in their shopping carts? Quite a few!

I wondered how much money people spend every year buying bottled water. How much plastic gets thrown in the garbage from all those water bottles… Don’t they know there’s a better way? Here’s what I have been doing for many years…

I spent the upfront money and bought the best countertop water filter there is (in my opinion). I knew that eventually the ROI (return on investment) would pay off. Plus, there were other advantages to doing this.

Occasionally I do purchase a case of water bottles. Why? Because they are convenient! However, here’s what I do…

We will use those water bottles for their suited convenience. But instead of throwing them away, we refill them with water from our Berkey countertop filter. Each time we refill them, we use a Sharpie pen to place a mark. After five refills, they go to the recycle bin. This one has only been used once so far…

We also have purchased a number of water containers that are designed for permanent re-use / refilling. It depends on the use scenario as to which water bottle method we use.

You will save money over time too. I will provide an example. Lets say you purchase a 32-pack case of Dasani bottled water for $6. That’s about 19-cents a bottle. Okay, lets say your household only consumes two of these a day. So, that’s 64 in a month. Under this scenario you’re spending about $150/year. Obviously this will vary widely depending on your household consumption.

Instead, you might choose to purchase a countertop water filter. The first year you will have paid out more money, even after deducting the $150 in the example above. However, the second year you’ll likely be in the green, so to speak. Again, obviously depends on usage. From then on, money saved. No more plastic in the landfill too.

Now you have a permanent source of water filtration in your home. Now that’s pretty good prepping and preparedness, peace of mind :=)

Which use-scenarios do we use water bottles?

  • Mrs.J and I each have one on our nightstand.
  • I also keep several in the truck (in a small cooler to help moderate temperature fluctuations).
  • A few for quick access by the front door mud-room area on the shelf above the Hall Tree.
  • We do keep some for plain old storage, among our other methods of storing some water.
  • Inserted into a fitted pouch as part of day-hike pack.
  • Mrs.J likes a particular shoulder strap water bottle carrier for walking.
  • In the bicycle panier along with a collapsible small dog water bowl when we take Sampson for a ride. I can’t resist a picture:

Anyway, having seen all those shopping carts with cases of water bottles gave me the idea for this simple practical post. Sure, water bottles have their place and use. However, on a regular basis, you can’t beat having a good countertop water filter as your “go-to” source for the cleanest, pure drinking water.

[ Read: A Place To Store Food For 72-Hour Emergency Kit In Your Vehicle ]


  1. Ken, my wife and I have been doing this all along (at least five years). Only we reuse them for up to four months (we put the date (month and yr.) we open the case on each bottle top with a sharpie) before we retire them to the recycle bin and we refill from the Berkey too.

    1. Good! Yeah, I believe I just arbitrarily picked 5 reuses. No science behind that decision, other than knowing they’re not designed to hold up too long. They make them so thin these days, and they’re bound to spring a leak from handling after awhile. That’s why I usually get the Dasani bottles because they’re thicker (although they’ve also made them a lot thinner than they used to be). I suppose all that’s a bit better for the trash/environment though.

  2. When kids or grandkids are playing summer sports outdoors, empty water bottles are filled 50% with water and put in the freezer. Then they are filled with water before going in the cooler. Always took extras for sharing. It caught on and after a few years, I remember a news article about how risky it was to do this because they weren’t meant to be reused and they were likely not sterile. I had to laugh as I figured reuse was a threat to the bottom line. We usually recycled at the end of the season.

  3. Have some bottled water, just in case. Before my Berkey days I had a Brita pitcher. Found that washing out a plastic bottle for work smelled nasty afterward. But if you rinse with white vinegar, you do not get the nasty bacterial smell.
    Also, most cheap bottled water does not quinch your thirst. Not sure what ‘they’ put in or do to the water. Would make you buy more though. Recycle when you can. Ever seen that plastic island floating in the Pacific? Terrible things humans do their home.

  4. Mrs. U,
    as far as recycling goes, we put plastic, boxes and paper (anything with our name on it) in a small burn pile every week along with the leaves and sticks from the yard. it works for us.

  5. Don’t forget that we can use those plastic bottles for SODIS too
    (solar Water disinfection)
    So not bad to have a few around

  6. “ In the green “ lol!, good one Ken.
    If using/re-using plastic, one might consider the bottles which have BPA free on the label.

  7. I have found Fiji bottled water to have excellent plastic strength for reuse. Expensive, though.

  8. For water storage containers for the truck I use a gallon AZ ice tea container.heavy plastic, will keep filtered water good for over a year. Steer clear of “cases” of water bottles. DW bought me a large vacuum insulated tumbler that gets refilled from the RO unit ( or a Berkey) carried around TY he farm all day and refilled at break times. Gotta stay hydrated
    In the desert, even in winter.

    1. Minerjim,
      I have those exact Arizona Ice Tea gallon jugs saved. Like you said, heavy duty plastic! In fact, there are two in the truck right now. Backseat on the floor.

  9. We use the Smart water bottles for our daily use. I also use 2-liter soda bottles filled with distilled water for long term storage.

  10. We buy the occasional green glass bottled ginger ale mixer six packs. They hold about 10 oz and are pretty solid. Put filtered well water in them and refrigerate. We put them (and the caps) through the dish washer and refill.

    Unless there is an accident (we have dropped a few over the years) they last indefinitely.


  11. unused mason jars with some once used lids may be the ticket.
    BTW Ken i LOVE the pic of Sampson, to cool. give him a pat on the head for me.
    also, is that carrier something that goes behind a bicycle ?

  12. I found the sams club water bottles hold up very well over a year in use and no leaks. I always keep a few cases of filled and up filled bottles specifically for use as a friendly neighborhood pay it forward item for individuals as needed in a crisis situation. Another use is to fill bottles with liquid detergent for the washer and keep in a small plastic tote which holds about 25 bottles, makes it easy for the spouse to use.

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