I spent a few hours of my life looking through every single bottled water product that Walmart sells. Everything from tiny 8 ounce bottles of Nestle Pure Life for $2.18 all the way up to a 2.5 gallon jug of Arrowhead spring water for $3.66.
My goal was to not only find the cheapest way to buy bottled water at Walmart, but also compare it to the cost of getting water from other sources.
Now I don’t know about you, but my gut is telling me that larger quantities of water like gallons and above are going to be cheaper than the smaller bottles of water like the 16.9 ounce bottles and below, but after analyzing the prices of over 40 different brands and volumes of bottled water, this actually is not the case.
Walmart Bottled Water Prices
For each bottled water offering that Walmart has, I determined the total volume of water being sold, then figured out the price per gallon.
I graphed my findings, and below you can see there is a very wide range of pricing that goes as high as $8.71 per gallon for a 1 liter bottle of Fiji water. Fiji along with these other premium water brands like Life Water, Smart Water, and CORE Nutrition make up this most expensive side of the graph with prices well over $4 per gallon.
But as you move down towards the cheaper bottled water options, you’ll start to notice more recognizable value brands like Great Value, Nestle, and Arrowhead.
The thing about the aforementioned small 8 ounce bottles of water is that, although they come in a pack of 12, you still must pay a premium for them which comes out to be a bit less than $3 per gallon.
Moving down even further, we see some other brands start to show up like Aquafina and Dasani in even larger quantities like the 32 pack of half liter bottles which end up being less than $1.50 per gallon.
As expected, the gallon jugs show up next, ranging anywhere from $1.30 for a gallon of Arrowhead all the way down to $0.80 a gallon for Great Value purified, spring, or distilled water.
Cheapest Bottled Water
The cheapest way to buy bottled water off the shelf at Walmart is the 40 pack of half liter bottles of Great Value water which costs just $0.75 per gallon.
This really surprised me that single serving bottles of water cost cheaper per gallon than an actual gallon of water, but after thinking about it, it actually makes sense.
When you buy a Great Value gallon of water, you are getting 128 ounces of water total whereas on the other hand, when you buy a 40 pack of ½ liter bottles, you are getting 676 ounces of water which is over 5 times more water. So that actually makes sense as to why the small bottles are cheaper than the gallons, but although that’s the case, it’s still really not a good deal.
Even Cheaper Water
You have much better options for getting cheap purified or spring drinking water. Water filling stations costs as low as $0.20 a gallon in some places.
And still, while $0.20 a gallon is much more reasonable than $0.75 a gallon, you can do even better than that.
Take a look at my water bill in Tucson, Arizona where I pay $2.07 per centum cubic foot (ccf) of water.
In case you’re not familiar, a ccf of water is equal to around 748 gallons. When we do the math, that’s essentially a quarter of a penny ($0.0027671873) for each gallon of water that comes out of my faucet at home. In other words, 4 entire gallons of water at home costs me just one cent.
So even when you consider the recurring cost of filtering your own water at home which is usually minimal, it’s a much much more economical option than buying any type of bottled water or even filing it up yourself.