Despite the reaction against bottled mineral water I still drink it in preference to tap. (Long explanation that could take up the whole of this post but basically I worry about the residues of drugs and other chemicals that it's carrying)
But there doesn't seem much justification for the discrepancy in prices between the heavily promoted brands and the supermarket own brands. I'm not saying they don't taste different - they do - simply that I'm not prepared to pay five or six times as much for a water I like than a water that is maybe a little more bland but perfectly refreshing.
Take San Pellegrino, for instance. A sparkling water which currently sells for 87p for a 750ml bottle in Tesco - or 11.6p per 100ml. You can buy 2 litres of Tesco's own Ashbeck Mountain Spring water at the moment for 33p or 1.7p per 100ml. If you put ice (made with still mineral water) and a slice of lemon or lime in it, it's delicious and a fraction of the price.
I will buy a branded mineral water I like when it's on special offer. Tesco currently has Evian for example at 60p for 2 litres which works out at 3p per 100ml, again, more expensive than an own brand equivalent but much, much cheaper than the £2 odd that you will pay for a medium-sized bottle at garages, stations and sandwich shops. (It's well worth buying a pack of six small individual bottles from the supermarket then keep on filling them from a large one once you've drunk the contents. And I always try and carry a bottle with me so that I don't have to pay the outrageous amount they charge in hotel mini-bars)
Interestingly there's a report in Le Figaro today saying that even the French have cut down the amount they're spending on mineral water and I'm sure the same is true of the UK. So where do you stand? Has the credit crunch made you give up your mineral water habit or change the type you buy or have you always drunk tap?