Originally Posted by lensesforeyes
We have successfully kept our water at the minimum monthly payment most months. Summer is a bit different because on real hot days we let the kids play in the sprinkler. We wash one load of laundry a day and we, too, have to wash our diapers about as many times (only with soap the first two washes), and wash them twice a week. Just to give you an idea of where we are compared to your washing.
We only run the dishwasher every 2-3 days, when it is very full. To help with this, each person gets one cup/plate/bowl each day, which gets rinsed between uses.
When we shower, we plug the bath. We bathe the kids right after we get out when the water is still warm if they need a bath (they get baths twice a week unless more is needed, they have skin issues). I only shower twice a week, DH has to daily. After kids have been bathed if needed, we leave the water and use a bucket to scoop it and flush the toilet. Can usually flush it 6-8 times per shower.
I try to always shower right after DH when I do so the water does not need to warm up for me. Sometimes this doesn't happen since he showers at 4:30am some days.
If one of the little kids (2.5 and 1.5) needs a bath when there is no warm water in the tub, we wash them in the sink-warms up faster and you use a lot less water.
I avoid small wash loads at all cost.
We are very aware of running water. When we rinse dishes, we only keep it on when we are actually rinsing, for an example. Basically we are anal about always turning it off. We also don't leave it on when washing hands, just enough to get our hands wet, then off while we soap them up, then on just long enough to get the soap off. We are teaching the kids to do this, too.
Not sure how old your kids are, but we talk about the importance of conserving water and electricity. Kids love to play with the water the second you turn your back, so this can help. My kids love fish, so we checked out some books at the library that explained how conserving water helps the fish, now that is DS's big thing (he is four).
That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more if I think of anything.