So I decided to make a rain barrel to save money to water my plants. In some areas (not mine) you can even get free food grade barrels to use for this. Unfortunately, where I live the cheapest is $20 (not close to me though) and then if you want them to have spouts and easily connect to your downspout you are looking at another $24 to purchase those items and attach them yourself. Ones that are already made are $100 and up.
I had an old garbage can with lid that I had used to store my old toys in. So it was clean (only used for stuffed animals and toys) so I decided to try and turn it into a rain barrel. Using a box cutter (that I already owned) I cut out two 3x5? holes on the lid. I then went to Home Depot and bought a roll of screen for less than $6. I thought for some reason that it would be made of wire and that I could bend it to fit up in the lid (I had been thinking of chicken wire). But since it was porch/window screen that wasn't the case. So I just cut out pieces and taped to the inside. I will have to find a glue that will hold up to the Florida heat and also water to use instead. I put a capful of bleach inside with a very small amount of water and put it outside hoping that it would rain. I will add photos later.
It ended up raining that very night. I could not wait to check on it and did so first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, it was basically empty. My downspouts are down to the ground and attached so that is why I did not have it underneath one of them.
So I have been looking online and scouring craigslist and found a food grade 55 gallon barrel for $25. The guy had gotten them free years ago and had hung onto them. It is huge. I found some do it yourself kits online at Home Depot for the accessories to have spouts and hook up to your downspouts for less than $25 (cheaper than Amazon etc.) so I sent away for 2. Now of course if I can just do this myself so I don't have to spend more money to try and conserve water. I would like to have one for each downspout and possibly even have some connected. But not thrilled to spend $45 to $50 on each one.
I have been trying to keep our water bill down as much as possible. I didn't pay water at the last place so am not thrilled to pay for it here. I had been told it would be about $20 to $30 less than what I have been paying.
I did realize (as gross as it sounds) that I can water all my plants with the water from my son's bath. So I may even invest in a cheap wet/dry vacuum to make that easier. Apparently, it is safe to use that water for plants (I wouldn't use it on any edible plants but great for flowers etc.).
I also put 2 water bottles filled with pebbles and water and put in the tank of our toilet. Also have been more lax on flushing (we don't have company so no big deal). I would love to get a newer toilet since ours it super old and runs constantly. I avoid the running constantly by placing one of those bottles underneath the floating thing and just move it when we need to flush and replace it after the water has gone back up. I know I can fix that but the screw holding it on is super corroded and I can't get it loose.
I plan to look into container gardens and see when I can get that going. Not sure when planting season is for Florida. I just want to plant some tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and not sure what else. We eat tomatoes constantly and if I had them we would eat the other two veggies all the time.
I really wish we could have chickens here but we live in a community and we are not allowed. The neighborhoods all around us are allowed and most places now allow you to have up to 4 hens but no roosters. I would love to have chickens and have fresh eggs not to mention that chickens are absolutely adorable. If the crazy crackhead lady would not have moved upstairs from us in the last place we could have had chickens there. We had a huge (by Florida standards) backyard there.