Tighten the belt in 2010

Here are some ways to save money on water, indoors and out:

Water smart outdoors: Water in the cool morning to reduce evaporation and aim sprinklers at plants. Use drip hoses where appropriate.

Do the math: Some appliances, notably a new clothes washer, will not pay for themselves in water savings alone. But combined with electricity savings, you might save $135 a year over a decade-old washer, says Consumer Reports.

One circumstance where you should use as much tap water as possible? For drinking. It's a far better choice than bottled water for your wallet and the environment. Keep a gallon in the refrigerator rather than running the faucet until water gets cold.