Much talk is given on how to save money in the kitchen - shopping wisely, planning meals, using seasonal produce … you know the story. Another way to save even more, however, is to look to the energy you use, and I'm not talking about sitting down whilst cooking. Energy bills in the home have risen to frightening levels during recent years and one room where savings can be made, easily and simply is in the kitchen.
The real work horse in the kitchen on the go 24/7, which means it is consuming energy all that time as well.
Quick tips to save money include:
- Not leaving the door open longer than necessary.
- Don't over fill the refrigerator and always check the fridge before you go shopping to see what you already have thus avoiding food waste.
- Make sure the refrigerator isn't running at too low or high temperatures and always defrost your refrigerator regularly if it isn't a self-defrost model.
- Never put warm foods in the fridge as this raises the temperature and has to work very hard to lower it.
- Not always possible, but if your fridge is near a heat source or in direct sunlight, move it.
When the time comes to replace the refrigerator look for energy-saving models.
A favourite appliance which can easily gobble up money. Make the kettle more user friendly by only boiling the water you need.
The Hob - Whether Gas or Electric
- Use the right size of pan to match the size of a ring to avoid simply heating air.
- Use a lid on pans, and if you have several things to cook, consider a steamer, so only one ring is needed.
- Boil cooking water in the kettle rather than heating on the hob to save time and money.
The oven is one of the most expensive appliances in the kitchen so:
- Only preheat the oven in enough time for it to be at the correct temperature for your dish.
- Keep the glass on the oven door clean so you have a clear view into the oven as heat is lost every time you open the door.
- If you have one, use a microwave to reheat food rather than a conventional oven.
In my house, and I know also in many others, the dishwasher is an essential appliance. To make it work efficiently always run when there is a full load, or half if you have a half-load setting and don't leave the dishwasher on standby when not in use.
General Cooking Tips
- Use up left-over food. Leftovers can be simply and quickly turned into new dishes with a little thought and here are a few recipes for left-over food to help.
- Cook larger batches of food and freeze portions for quick, easy meals any time.