Shower on Someone Else’s Dime (with Free Shampoo)

Water was included in the rent at my old apartment, which meant I didn’t really give much concern to my water usage. Now that we have a house, I am more aware of our water use, and how much it costs. We got our first bill today, and the price wasn’t too bad. Just recently, to save money (and wear and tear on our bathroom), Jennifer and I decided that we would try to shower on someone else’s dime whenever possible.

No, I am not referring to sneaking into the neighbors’ houses. I certainly don’t mean taking a bath in the rain barrel. And I am definitely not referring to avoiding showering all together.

What I am referring to is showering at the gym or at work. Jennifer and I go to the YMCA about 4 times per week, and we both need showers after we are finished. Considering that the average shower uses about 20 gallons of water, this means that showering at the YMCA we are saving 640 gallons of water a month.  This would typically be a second shower for me, since I shower at home before work. However, on days when I am off work, I typically wait until after finishing the YMCA to shower for the first time, which means that for most of the summer, and on weekends, I am not showering at all at home. Also, most schools have gyms, and locker rooms. I am sure, if you were really cheap (and the school understanding), you could use their showers in the morning before work, when nobody is around. I haven’t done it, except to use the shower in the coach’s office after playing basketball, but I know a teacher who did it every morning to save himself money.

You may be saying, “come on David, you pay for the Y! It isn’t free!” Yes I do pay. However, I pay my regular fee regardless of whether I use their water or not. I can either pay my YMCA fee, and pay for 640 gallons of extra water a month at home, or I can pay my YMCA fee, and let the Y absorb the cost of 640 gallons of water. You may also say, “but if everybody does this, then the Y will just raise prices, smart guy.” This is true, if a lot of people used it, and from my experience, they don’t. I have never observed anybody using the showers while I am showering. Never, except when my buddy would work out with me occasionally. Most people still prefer their own showers to saving the money. So the point of this paragraph: don’t join a gym just for the showers, but if you already pay the fee, take advantage of the showers.

Finally, I mentioned free shampoo. When I travel, I always take all the shampoo from the hotel room before I leave. We have quite a collection of tiny shampoo bottles now. What a better way to have free shampoo and body wash to keep in the gym bag to go with the “free water?” Oh, and I am aware that this shampoo often comes with a 100 dollar room, but like above, you are going to pay the 100 dollars anyway…so go ahead and take the shampoo (but leave the towels, that is stealing!).

Yes I am cheap, and with this suggestion, probably need cheapscates anonymous, but I do have extra money to show for it.