Can you really save money with short showers?

When I had my first roommate the length of his showers used to drive me crazy, and even though I wasn’t paying the utility bill (thanks, landlord) my anxiety would escalate with every passing minute I heard the water running—so I introduced him to “Navy Showers.”

Also known as the 3-minute shower, it’s basically just a water-conscious way to get clean—here’s how to do it:

  • Get in the shower, turn the water on and get your body drenched.

  • Then, turn off the water.

  • If it’s a hair wash day, lather up your locks first. Then grab your loofah, washcloth, Japanese sea sponge—whatever body washing instrument you prefer and get sudsy with it.

  • Once you look like a human Scrubbing Bubbles ad, turn the water back on and rinse thoroughly.

Yes, but: Saving water might feel nice from an environmental perspective, but the cost savings are kind of inconsequential for a single person. I calculated that the price difference between a three-minute shower and a ten-minute shower (for my region) is 25 cents. 

  • So that’s $1.75 a week or $90 a year per person—though if you’ve got a large family those savings will be more substantial.

Bottom line: Cutting your shower time isn’t going to do much to cut your expenses unless you’ve got a big household.