I grew up drinking tap water and being proud of it. My town, Ankeny, Iowa, had wonderful-tasting water, and there were no problems. In college it was the same way since I went to school in a nearby city. Grad school brought me to San Francisco, where they have surprisingly excellent tap water. Then, I moved to Texas. Now I understand why people buy bottled water. However, I'm not going to spend money on water packaged in lots of plastic every month. I can't afford it! So…that gives me three options, right? Drink gross water for free…please, no. Buy a Brita pitcher and a bunch of filters I have to change out regularly…meh, maybe. Or, buy an expensive filter to hook up to the faucet. Nah.

Or…maybe there's a new discovery of an option that's cheap, natural, and yummy!

I was introduced to activated charcoal by my sister-in-law. In fact, I was super grossed out because it looked a little like poo in her pitcher. But then I moved here and tasted the water and decided to do some research. Here's the deal. Buy a stick (I bought mine on Amazon for $7.70) and put it in a pitcher with tap water. Let the water soak for an hour then drink.  That's it!

The stick is good for six months. It's recommended that you boil it every month for 20 minutes and then let it dry out for maximum awesomeness. The stick has teeny, tiny holes that soak up all the bad stuff while leaving the minerals and all that good stuff in the water. It also puts nutrients back into the water from the charcoal, which used to be just a tree branch. Activated charcoal is made in Japan but can be found online. The brand I bought was "Black Plus Blum," but another cheap brand on Amazon is "Kishu." I bought my first stick a month ago and I'm so happy!

Go forth and be different like I did! Click here to find your own activated charcoal!

This is a guest post by Melissa in Allen, TX.

Make Your Tap Water Yummy for Less with Activated Charcoal