Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of posts I intend to publish on Friday. I realise that writing about frugality on The Money Principle is not what our readers expect; if anything we have publish on a number of occasions articles against glorifying frugality. Before you decide that I have sold out to ‘populism’ and move on, I’d like to say that this is about a different kind of frugality, it is about being a frugal artist. Some of the posts will be also about consumerism and mindful spending. Hope you enjoy them and try some of the ideas during the weekend.
Even in the deepest throws of hardship when we were figuring out how to pay off our debt; even when we had no money to waste I had my expensive haircut. You see, where frugality is concerned, I draw the line at cutting my own hair, making my own shampoo and taking one shower a week. Heck, I draw the line even at having a cheaper haircut – cheap haircuts never look ‘shabby chic’, they just look cheap and wrong.
But my point is not about my haircut but about a major temptation next to the hairdresser’s where I have it done: a wonderful shop for cooking appliances. I mean all kinds of things, from colourful plastic salad spinners to silicon measuring spoons. And I know that most of this stuff I already have but…it is so lovely and modern. Having resisted for three years, now that we have paid off our debt in full I have an allocation: every time I have my haircut – which is roughly every five weeks – I allow myself to buy something in the shop. Before decrying my frugal sins, I’ll have you know that I do resist the great and very expensive stationary shop next door.
Last time I visited with the cooking appliances shop was just before our week’s holiday in Cornwall; and we have another break planned in Bulgaria, including the sea cost, starting next Tuesday. So the thing that grabbed my attention immediately was the filter water bottle you see on the picture (and please don’t mind the wooden panelling in the background; it is just that my friend whom we visited on the way back lives in a mansion that has one bedroom entirely panelled).
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that many of the things I have been buying in this shop are folly (though the onion peeling goggles came handy when peeling loads of this teary things). But the filter water bottle, I would claim, is sheer frugal artistry; and I am nothing but a frugal artist.
But let me tell you a bit more about it.
Bobble is a re-usable plastic bottle that:
- filters water as you drink it;
- gets rid of chlorine and other nasty stuff (including organic) in the water;
- is made from recycled plastic free from the harmful stuff that plastic can have (like PVC and Phthalates);
- holds 550 ml of water;
- the filter is good for 150 litres of water or 2-3 months use; and
- was designed by the awesome industrial designer Karim Rashid.
Now, I can attest to the changed taste of water but let me tell you why I think getting one of these bottles is frugal artistry.
It is good for my health
Yep, I move around a lot; I travel overseas at least once but often twice a month. During my trips I usually drink bottled water. Why? Because though I agree that tab water is drinkable in most places it is also different. My tummy reacts to this difference and I have had cases where I’ve become rather uncomfortably ill as a result.
So instead of risking my business trip or holiday, I drink bottled water. This costs me a lot (do you know how much a bottle of water costs in Sweden?) and gives me bad conscience.
It is good for my wealth
One filter is good for 150 litres of water. One of these bottles costs me £9.99/$15 (well, I did buy it is the fancy shop; but you can buy them on Amazon for £7.50/$11.62). Even the cheapest bottled water (the one I can find in Aldi) costs £0.60 per litre or £90/$139.52 for 150 litres.
And this doesn’t include the very expensive bottled water I buy when travelling.
It is good for my stress levels
One ongoing background concern I have when I travel is where I could buy water. I worry about this on the plane, I worry when I land and I worry when I get to the hotel. Then there is the thing where the hotel may be far from any decently priced shops so I end up buying bottled water from the hotel bar and this is no good; no good at all.
I also worry whether I have enough water and sometimes run out. Having the filter bottle means that I can drink as much as I want, when I want and not stress about it.
It is good for the environment
Having this bottle will save the use of between 150 and 300 plastic water bottle. Wrong as this is, we are lucky if these bottles end up in landfills; most of them end up on beaches and cause loads of damage to the environment and the wild life, particularly birds. This is the obvious benefit.
Every time I bought bottled water I would think about – and feel guilty – transportation, energy going on bottling it etc.
Have I convinced you? Is this bottle frugal artistry or folly?
Note: I wish to make clear that I am not an affiliate to Bobble or Amazon and that I am telling you about the filter bottle because I love the product.