Early this Spring, we bought a rain barrel because we wanted to save some money and resources.
Rain Barrels OUT.
It's 50 gallons and hooks up to one of our downspouts. I geek out when I make purchases like this and I was extra happy that we were re-using rainwater and saving some cash. It's a proud day when Me AND Mother Nature win.
The first rainfall of the year, it filled up. I thought it would take MONTHS to collect water, but just in one steady rainstorm, we had 50 gallons of water from one barrel.
With all the apocalypic rain storms we've had, I've barely had to use it. We've had so much rain so far this summer, we had to attach a hose to redirect the overflow! Instead of using it to water plants, I mostly use it now to wash my hands and feet after digging, pulling and planting.
If you are thinking of getting a rain barrel, there are a few things you should know.
If you want a decorative one that looks all pretty in your yard, it's going to cost you. It's insane how a modified plastic garbage can command $75 and up. They are kind of cool looking, but I don't care to spend that much money on something that's going to hide on the side of my house.
Ask your village/town if they sell rain barrels. Most sell them for around $35, maybe less. Some towns might give them away? The one we got was from a local woman who takes industrial size marinara containers, puts on the spigget and the hose attachment with some screens on the top to keep the skeeters out for $45. The bright blue plastic can be painted with oil based paints suitable for plastics. If you're feeling ambitious, paint butterflies or other pictures on it.
You can always make your own as well. It seems pretty easy to do and can also save you money.