I’ve intended to begin featuring entries from the recent GRS video contest, but things keep getting in the way. Let’s change that! Starting today, I’ll use Saturdays to highlight some of my favorites, both winners and not-winners. To begin, here’s a tip that didn’t win a prize.

Austin from Foreigner’s Finances is teaching English in Japan. He says that one of his favorite ways to save money is to always carry a water bottle with him:

Austin’s tip seems simple on the surface, but so is a lot of smart spending. Here’s a quote:

Every time I’m out shopping for groceries, out with friends for the weekend, or out for the day around town, I bring a water bottle with me. When I’m thirsty, I fill it up in a water fountain or, if I have to, a bathroom sink. [This allows me to avoid] those little two- to five-dollar purchases that really add up when you’re thirsty and want a quick drink.

If you spent just five bucks a week on water and soda, you’d save $250 a year by using a water bottle instead.

This is actually something I started doing myself when we returned from Belize in early March. I decided I wanted to drink more water, so I paid $15 for a fancy one-liter SIGG bottle. (Yes, that’s a lot of money. I have no defense other than it’s a shiny blue, and I love it.) Since buying the bottle, I’ve put it to almost constant use. I no longer buy water or diet soda from the convenience store next to my office; I just fill up from the water fountain. Instead of using the plastic bottles at my gym, I take my own water. Simple, yes, but also cost effective.

You don’t have to spend $20 on a water bottle (unless you want to and can afford it). But think about carrying your water with you — it can save you money and improve your health.

Look for more video tips in the coming weeks!

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