I see this was addressed in another thread, but "stand up for yourself" was getting off track and I have a question, anyway. :-)
I consider myself a moderately frugal person; we're making do as a family of four on one modest income. I do buy bottled water, but usually only in the summer and if it's on sale - and it usually is, in the summer. I pay approx. $3.99 for a 24-pack of 1/2 liter bottles. That's 12.5 cents per bottle.
The reason I do this is because I prefer the taste to our tap water (which isn't terrible, even so) but mostly because of convenience. It's so easy just to grab a bottle, already chilled, and head to the gym or go jump in the car. The kids drink more water this way, too. It's more appealing, I guess. And yes, we recycle the bottles.
For a long time we "recycled" the bottles by washing out and refilling them, too. But I stopped doing this because it didn't seem worth it, and that's my question. I would run hot water, put in a drop of dish soap and some water and shake it, then rinse and re-fill with cold tap water. I'd save up several to do at a time, and re-stock the fridge with them.
But then we'd get guests over who reached for our "bottled water" and what seemed sanitary for family members seemed weird for guests, even though bottle and cap were washed just as well as any of our dishes/glasses. And I wondered if I spent more money on water (and time's worth something too) washing them out than it'd take to buy another bunch of new ones.