Did you know that the average American uses about 300 gallons of water per day? This often results in a costly water bill that may be as high as $70 — a number that can dramatically increase in the summer months. Often, the water bill also increases with the size of the house and the number of people in it. As the weather gets hotter, it only makes sense to use more water. After all, you need to keep your garden fresh and green and your family well hydrated along with keeping up with the rest of your chores, such as doing the dishes and laundry. But there are some ways you may be able to drastically reduce your water bill. Follow these tips, and your wallet may thank you later!

Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge.

While some of us may be doing this year-round already, many families who don’t may want to  think about investing in a water pitcher and an ice tray. If you’re someone who runs the tap for a few seconds to wait for the water to get cold before filling your glass, you may be more wasteful than you think. It’s estimated that just running the tap for just 30 seconds can waste up to a gallon of water. If you eliminated this practice, you could slash a significant percentage off your water bill.

Use your dishwasher.

This piece of advice may seem counterintuitive if you’re persuaded that hand-washing your dishes may be saving you a few bucks on your water bill. However, this is generally believed to be wrong, as dishwashers actually use less water. You may be using up to 24 gallons of water by doing your dishes in the sink, whereas the standard dishwasher only uses about 6 gallons per load. To reduce your water use even more, avoid rinsing dishes before loading them, and make sure that the machine is full before starting a cycle.

Check for leaky toilets and faucets.

Leaky faucets and toilets may be the sneaky culprits behind your high water bill. Make sure that you aren’t paying more than you need to by checking your appliances. Even a small drip can result in a wasted 10,000 gallons of water in a year, or up to 500 gallons in day. While leaky faucets may be apparent, water waste from toilets may not be. To diagnose a toilet leak, add a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and see if it seeps into the bowl.

Check your sprinklers, water in the morning or at night, and get plants that don’t require a lot of watering.

Like faucets and toilets, leaky sprinklers may be big offenders when it comes down to your high water bill, so experts advise that you routinely check those hoses for holes. But you’ll still need to water your garden, and this becomes more important in the summer months than at any other time of year. You may already be automatically spending more on your water bill, but if you water your lawn or garden in cooler hours of the day (such as the early in the morning or at night), there’s less risk of the water evaporating in the heat. Plant heat tolerant flowers and you may be spending even less on your bill — check out a few species we love!

Use mulch in your garden.

Mulch helps keep your garden fresh, and because it retains moisture, it may be a great investment if you’re trying to save money on your water bill. Mulch may even prevent weed growth. For the best results, use rubber mulch. This kind has many benefits: it provides a safe, soft surface for children to play on, prevents weeds from growing, keeps moisture in the ground, and it doesn’t attract insects.

Consider using greywater.

Greywater is the gently used water that you can easily collect for your gardening needs or to wash your car, as examples. Greywater can easily be collected: if you’re bathing, just place a bucket in your tub during your shower and all the water that makes it in can be repurposed. This way, you may not have the use your sprinklers or hose as much, and it may save you money in the long run!

Of course, these aren’t the only ways you can save on your water bill. Some tips can become habits that you keep all year round. Small water-saving tips such as turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth may make a huge difference on your bill!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!