I have been buying water in bulk for probably about a decade. I originally purchased a water dispenser that would dispense cold, tepid, and hot water on demand. It was awesome to have those choices! Plus, we had 5 gallon bottles of water delivered; terribly convenient! Then my dispenser leaked the entire contents of a bottle onto my floor. What a mess! Dispensers are not cheap, but it was a (home) business expense, so I bought a replacement dispenser. I've since "gone out of business" and as far as I know, my ex-husband is still using that dispenser. I still see 5 gallon bottles on the porch when I take our daughter back there.
When I got my own place, I contacted my water supplier and rented a water dispenser. I also learned something from them: the big leak was likely a faulty leak on the bottle. They should tell people that in advance! I can not believe I replaced the entire dispenser! The major benefit of renting the unit is that if something goes wrong with it, they replace it. In fact, they offer to clean it annually which really means they bring you a new one anyway.
In our plans to hit the road, it occurred to me that I would not be able to travel with a water dispenser. They take too much room anyway, for such a small space. So I began searching for an alternative. Then one day it hit me: filtration pitchers! I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner! In a very timely manner, I found a deal through The Money Saving Queen! The coupon offered a $5 discount on Brita Pitchers. There is also a rebate, but it is on the more expensive pitchers and I went with the cheap one (two of them).
Now I've stumbled upon another issue: Pitchers don't filter out fluoride. I don't like that at all, but haven't yet come up with another viable option. I don't want to purchase bottled water for so many ecological and economical reasons. I also don't want to keep giving my daughter fluoride in our water, though that seems the lesser of the evils. I just need to make sure I'm not using fluoride products on her teeth in addition to that.
For now, we'll stick with the pitchers. I think that will be the best plan for hitting the road and it has already saved us a bundle! I was spending about $25-30 per month on water (more in the Summer) and I've spent nothing after the $4 initial purchase! I currently re-use plastic bottles for a couple of months and then replace them, but I plan to get one or two good quality metal ones.
How do you deal with water in your home? How do you feel about the chemicals the government adds to our water? Do you have a metal water can you love and could recommend to me?