I’ve often said that cutting bottled water out of your budget will save you money, and it’s a topic that’s come up on the Financial Aid Podcast, but I’m really amused by this story in the Metrowest Daily News.

The real ice mountain

The water coming out of the sink in my kitchen is Ice Mountain’s source as well – the MWRA municipal source for metrowest Boston, filtered the same as I filter my water at home.

I got a real kick when I saw the marketing on the Ice Mountain web site:

Ice Mountain

Slick, well made, and the claim that you could have Ice Mountain delivered to your door for just a dollar a day was awesomely funny – when you do the math, 4 bottles of 5 gallons each for $32 works out to $1.60 per gallon. Why? Because that’s my tap water, and the tap water of just about everyone who lives in the metro Boston area.

Figure that you can buy Brita filters on Amazon for $16 or so for 120 gallons of capacity (more, actually, since these filters can easily do 80-100 gallons). That puts your cost per gallon around 13 cents if you go by manufacturer’s filter life ratings. Add in the cost of water – $763 for 61,000 gallons, and you’re at 1.3 cents per gallon.

So do the math. $1.60/gallon for home delivery of the same water you can get out of your Boston-area faucet WITH filtration for 14.3 cents.

Only marketing can make a 10x markup like that work and still get consumers to buy product by the truckload.

Oh, and those individual bottles? If you pay $1 per bottle at 16.9 ounces, you’re talking about paying $3.78 per gallon of the same water – a 26x markup.

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