I saw the thread about using Glacier water vending machines outside some grocery stores and decided I'd go and test one. I went up to the machine, popped a quarter in and filled a cup to test while the rest of the water went into a jug. My TDS meter read a luxurious 3ppm. And this was a whole 7 days after last maintenance. Nice! Next step for me was to get some 5 gallon water jugs so I went scouring all over town: The Container Store, Kohl's, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Lowe's, Orchard Supply, and Home Depot. $18 for an empty 5 gallon jug at Lowe's and OSH, no dice anywhere else, and finally $12 for a filled bottle at Home Depot. HD won, so I bought 2 bottles which had pop tops, lugged them home, emptied them into the plethora of 1-gallon jugs I had laying around from all the by-the-gallon distilled water I was buying, and hopped back into the car to get the bottles filled.
On the way to Safeway, where the vending machine is located, I passed by...a water store! The water store that's 2 minutes' drive from my house and sells 5 gallon jugs with threaded tops for $12. The water store that has smaller jugs with spouts I can use as intermediate containers. The water store whose water tested at 0 ppm. 0 ppm!
Now, I could be super-peeved for all that time and money wasted chasing wild geese all over town, but I think I'll just be happy I've discovered an awesome place to buy water. It's a really good medium as far as the size of my CP collection (too big to pay $1 per gallon after taxes and CRV, too small to take the RO unit plunge). Thanks for reading, I'm gonna go look at my plants