“Water It Down” by Martha Wild King, M.Ed. –May 10, 2012

Water is one of the most profound gifts of life, of which we so little think. Who cleans it? Who regulates it? Even more basic, where does it come from? Aquafers or mountain glacier-milk-fed streams? Do you know that people had never even seen rain before the Great Flood when Noah saved humanity and the animals with God's help? It had never rained according to Biblical tradition. The ground water just came up, and a mist covered the earth every night. Lovely. No wonder civilization at that time look and treated Noah with oddness? They didn't know what they didn't know.

And even more miraculous than our daily shower is that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters covering the face of the earth as the world came into being; hovering in preparation for the new life which water always evokes. Water flowed too, from the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus as the Roman Centurion pierced Christ's side with a lance only to find the water accumulation of death surrounding Christ's Merciful Heart. And the water of Christ's baptism and our baptism is what we always first touch upon coming into every Catholic Church. Living Water: Jesus.

So what is YOUR relationship with water? Do you drink your daily allotted amount? Say six eight ounce cups? Or do you avoid it and drink Gator-Aid instead? Water can not only sustain our bodies, but it gives strength to our frugal attempts. Below are listed ways in which God's lovely gift of water can help you stretch not only spiritually, but financially.

  1.  Add water to the last bit of cream rinse or shampoo, shake the bottle, and stretch it out longer.

  2. With drip or pressed coffee, when you are finished, do not throw out the used grounds.  Add HALF as much coffee again in the same filter or to the same coffee press.  Proceed by adding the same amount of water as usual.  You will have a fresh pot with one-half of the expense.  I tested this one on my unsuspecting husband who could not tell the difference between fresh and the half-old/half-new mixture.

  3. With any stubborn residue on the floors or counter tops, soak for a while with water, then wipe off.  Water softens so you can easily remove.

  4. Why use a fancy mop?  Just add some water to two rags, step on each of them, and waltz around your kitchen or bathroom floor mopping away.  And if you want a floor cleaner, use one teaspoon of vinegar in a quart of water in a spray bottle.  You spray the contents and proceed to clean with the “foot/hip” action.

  5. Do you find cabinets full of various cleaning solutions for your windows, kitchen counters, and bathrooms?  Most of these solutions are full of water so save money with the WILD WATER mixture instead.  This mixture contains one-cup water with one cup-white vinegar and one teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in a clean spray bottle.  Shake well each time you use, spray, and wipe with a soft cloth or newspaper.

  6. Want a better tasting jug of water to sip on daily?  Just add some dry fruit to your water bottle.  It gives a delightful, subtle taste with nearly nil calories.

So be frugal; learn to “water it down,” and, while watering, realize what our precious Lord gave to us through this clear, amazing substance--Himself, Living Water.

Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less