Monday 15 June 2009

Tight Fist Tip #9: Don't Drink Bottled Water

The Picture of a Mountain Makes it Taste Amazing!

Coca-Cola Boardroom, Mid-90s:

Some dude in a ridiculous suit: Bottled water is so hot right now. But damn those Frenchies and their crisp, clear Alps water. How can we compete with that?
Some guy with a toupe: Hey, how do consumers know that Evain comes from some amazing river that must be unlike anything we have in the US? We all know it tastes the same as normal refrigerated water. And lord knows they don't read the bottle; most people can barely read anyway!
SDRS: Oooh, I know! It's the picture of the mountain! Let's just put tap water in a bottle with a picture of a mountain and people will love it!
SGWT: We are so smart I can barely stand it!

And there goes the story about how Coca-cola and Pepsico managed to take something that is free, put it in a fancy bottle with a fancy name (Dasani, Aquafina), and make a bazillion dollars selling it to idiots. To a true Tight Fister, there is nothing worse than buying bottled water; doing so should make you feel simply sinful and unclean. But for those of you who didn't get the memo, here we go:


Buying bottled water is so mind-bendingly idiotic that I have very little extra to say about it. (Note that if you live in a country without drinkable tap water, you are exempt from this rule.)

If you or anyone else you know still insists on paying for free things please introduce them to me. I have some very excellent bagged air on sale.


  1. Also avoiding bottled water imports, is environmentally friendlier.

  2. since when tap water is free? sure, it's light years cheaper than bottled water, but still, it isn't free -- someone is paying for it. and if it was free, then I'd really really be suspicious and probably would never drink it. plus, you surely should expect prices to rise, as drinking water is becoming rarer. finally, when comparing bottled water with tap water, you might be incurring in the same mistake of someone who wonders how can any one even thinking of buying an audi when she can have a ford Ka.

    btw, i'm pro tap water, and here's some intersting stories in the guardian:

  3. Ok fair enough it's not technically free, but the marginal cost of tap water for drinking is basically negligible.

  4. Tight Fist bonus: for drinking tap water, you DO NOT NEED A NALGENE.

    Marketer1 - "Oh no! These wily consumers figured out that tap water costs almost nothing, but our tap water in a bottle costs $2. Oh no!"

    Marketer2 - "Well... what if we sold bottles... just bottles, without the tap water?"

    Marketer1 - "FOR NINE DOLLARS!!"

    Marketer2 - "We're geniuses!" [high five]

    NALGENE ($9)
    - reusable screw-top
    - 1L capacity
    - filled with nothing

    - reusable screw-top
    - 1.5L capacity
    - filled with sweet sweet wine

  5. After living in Illinois for a few years with delicious tap water, I can no longer drink mudwater from California. Either you mix it with Gatorade to mask the soap taste, or you buy one of those Brita deals.

    I feel bad telling my parents not to buy the bottled water because:
    A. The water is terrible.
    B. They should drink more water rather than Diet Coke (Why aren't you writing about that horror, Caffeine-free diet coke is a pretty easy target, its like bottled water, but someone pissed in it.)
    C. Bottles are a convenient carrier of water. (Nalgenes are gross, hard to drink from, and are made out of solid estrogen(BPA))

    Where's Scow?

  6. Brilliant sir! Though I do buy the bottled water, then reuse the bottle. If you clean them right you can get a year or two out of them.

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  8. Cooper- I have to say, I'm a bit jealous that I didn't think of that excellent point and put it in the blog originally. Thanks for picking up the slack.

    And Matt, upon moving from Illinois to California I didn't notice much difference in the tap water. But yeah, Brita is a reasonable middle ground I guess.

  9. Funny b/c right now I am drinking from a Dasani bottle I filled with tap water just before reading the article. I'm pretty positive it tastes better than the original...

  10. Matt has a point, the water in Ventura County, although it meets all applicable government standards, does taste like the deep end at the OHS swimming pool. Come home Matt, you win! We bought a Brita dispenser. After all I do work for a filter company.

    I would rather drink my urine, like Bear Grylls, than move to IL for the water!

    Keep up the good work oh Tight Fisted One!

  11. Dan,

    Your blog has changed my life.


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