Money Saving Tip in a Nutshell
Instead of buying water bottles for our lunches, I like to buy sturdy bottled drinks when they go on sale. Once we have enjoyed the beverage, we remove the label, and wash them in the dishwasher. The bottles wash up just as well as traditional water bottles and we reuse them for about one year before purchasing new ones. Not only are they cheaper than water bottles, there are several reasons why we like them better. Keep reading to learn why we love using recycled bottles in place of water bottles.
Money Saving Tip: The Whole Story
I gave up on those little drink boxes years ago when Jon was asking in early elementary if he could have two because they were so small. It was hard at first because I wanted to be the cool mom, but I got over that quickly. And thankfully, my boys could care less about packaging. As long as they have enough good tasting food and drink, they are happy campers. Not to mention, I have come to realize that many kids bring water bottles to school, often in addition to the drink boxes, in order to get enough to drink.
When I went shopping to find a water bottle, I had sticker shock, but knew over time it would save us money over those little drink boxes, so we went the water bottle route for a while. They did solve the volume problem, but had some issues of their own.
I have had three problems with water bottles over the year
- Leaking: Most of the water bottles we have bought at some point start to leak around the cap. Water bottles get a lot of abuse and having them leak all over a backpack filled with school books is not fun!
- Losing: My boys often lose their water bottle (or leave it at school!)
- Cost: Which brings up the third problem of cost. After spending $10 on a water bottle only to have it start leaking or get lost was rather frustrating.
I know this idea is nothing new. Probably all of you have at some time rinsed out a beverage bottle and filled it with water. The new concept for me was that I discovered I could wash A sturdy beverage bottle (e.g. gatorade, vitamin water, etc.) in the dishwasher. They wash up just as well as a traditional water bottle. Being able to use the dishwasher makes it way more convenient than washing them by hand with a bottle brush and I feel more confident that it is washed thoroughly.
We started using these repurposed bottles in place of our leaking, left at school water bottles and we learned that we preferred the recycled bottles over our normal water bottles. I don't buy a lot of these kinds of drinks so, it never dawned on me to buy a beverage in place of buying an empty water bottle until I tried washing a leftover gatorade bottle in the dishwasher from one of Jon's wrestling meets.
Now gatorade or any similarly sturdy bottled drink is the water bottle of choice. Vitamin water has been on sale a lot lately, so those are what we have this year. These kinds of drinks often go on sale for well under a dollar and if you are a coupon genius you may even get them free or close to free. Quite a bargain compared to a $10+ water bottle. I buy a case or several individual bottles (whichever is cheapest) at the beginning of the year. We enjoy the beverage and then instead of throwing them away I remove the label and stick them into the dishwasher to be reused throughout the school year.
Why We Prefer Recycled Water Bottles
- Unlike "real" water bottles, we have never had trouble with the sturdy screw tops leaking.
- If the boys lose one after several uses (or leave it in their locker!), it's no big deal.
- For pennies per bottle we can even have a few extra around. Having a few spares makes it convenient to rotate the bottles in the dishwasher so I don't have to worry about making sure everyone's water bottle got washed every night. For our family of four, eight bottles seem to be a good number.
- The bottles never seem to wear out, but I still threw them away over the summer because they were cluttering up my pantry and I wanted to start with fresh ones. I sometimes stick a drink packet into the lunch bags for variety and we are happy campers with plenty to drink throughout the day.