Triple Duty

Okay, so these days we are living more frugally.  One income, two kids, the desire to be debt free... you have to.

Also, I have been reading a great blog about a family that is slow living.  It is inspiring me.

Plus, we got a water leak in our pipe connecting from the meter in the front yard to the basement.  We know this because our water usage went from our normal 3000 gallons a month to 7000.  We can shut off the main valve in the basement, and the meter will still turn.  I am currently working on a barter deal with someone on craigslist with a backhoe to dig up our pipe so we can locate the leak.  But I digress...

So, we have a leak and this has almost doubled our water bill.

Now, I thought I was pretty thrifty in getting double duty out of my shower water.  But now I've discovered triple duty.  Woo-hoo!

Water use #1:  Either I or hubby takes a shower with the drain closed.  This way, the tub fills up as we shower.  (This also enables me to take a longer shower without feeling guilty about wasting water and propane.)

Water use #2:  When the tub is half full, it's time for the girls to get in.  Bath time!

and here is the latest, really thrifty part...

Water use #3:  When the girls get out of the tub, I do not drain the tub.  (I like to do this anyway in the winter to allow the ambient heat released from the water to warm the house)  I turn off the water at the toilet and for the rest of the day, we refill the toilet tank with the bath water.  I keep an empty gallon jug handy for scooping up the water and pouring into the tank. (editor's note: I have found that our small plastic trash can works much more efficiently at the task of scooping the water)

I got this idea because I am getting ready to switch over to family wipes instead of toilet paper.  I was researching what to make them out of on the internet.  One link took me to a forum where there was a great conversation going on the topic.  The comment that caught my attention was a person talking about how awesome the toilets are in Japan and how they are so much more efficient over there.  They have a model with a sink that is above the toilet so the water you use to wash your hands drains down and fills the toilet tank.


That is when I got to thinking about all that lovely bath water... and the light bulb above my head glowed. :)

( I know, some of you are still wondering about the whole family wipes thing.  I'll post more on that later.)