Although water butts are not too expensive, retailing between £25 and £40 for a 200 litre jobbie, there are other containers that can be used. For instance I use my wheelie bin as a water butt as when I shop I make sure I obtain very little that needs to be thrown away either by recycling or by land-fill, and much ends up on the compost heap.
My wheelie bin holds 300 lites and is provided free by the council. It has a lid which can be easily closed to prevent the infestation by mozzies.
I have just given mine a clean, and I found a frog in the bottom as large as life. Considering the bin is about 5 feet high I am intriged as to how he got in. I didn't think frogs could jump that high. Or can they climb.
Another cunning way of using water if you have a standard water butt and pond, plus a sloping garden is this.
Keep eye on wx. If it looks like there is going to be several hours of steady rain, empty pond of old water, transfer fish and other aquatics to storage bucket. Run length of hose from tap on water butt to pond ( assuming pond is downhill from butt). Once rain starts, turn on tap on butt. Water will flow from butt to pond, and but will be topped up by steady collection from roof. Butt will also trap moss etc from gutter below the level of the tap, thus not passing through hose to pond. When pond full, turn off tap and recharge butt.
Return fish to their normal home.