Millions of households have higher energy bills from this month and even with the national price cap it’s going to be tricky for lots of families to make ends meet. Any way we can save money and make the most of the energy we do use in the kitchen will make a difference. Feeding our families, especially during the winter, uses a lot of energy so here are some ideas to ease the strain on your kitchen purse.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Most kitchens will have an oven, a kettle, a toaster and maybe a microwave but the energy efficiency of these appliances can make a huge difference to your bill. Generally old appliances use more energy than newer ones. If your appliances were bought before 2012 they will probably cost you more over the next two years than the cost of replacing them with newer energy efficient appliances. Energy ratings go from A+++ to G with G being the least cost efficient.
Making the Most of Your Oven
Ovens are the most expensive appliance to run in your kitchen so when you do use it you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. The whole oven heats whether or not you use it so it makes sense to use all the space. It’s quite cheap to reheat food in a microwave so use the extra space in your oven to make meals that can be reheated in the microwave another day:
- Make a double batch of the same dish then freeze the second batch and defrost then microwave another day.
- Add a tray of jacket potatoes to the empty space and bake for another day. Either freeze or refrigerate the potatoes then microwave another day.
- Add a tray of veggies (for example: tomatoes, onions, peppers, turnips, squash) then pop them all in a blender with some stock for a nutritious soup. Microwave as needed.
- The oven is still hot after you turn it off so consider shortening your active cook time and leaving the dish in the oven to cook in the residual heat. If you have a fan assisted oven switch the oven off at the socket so that the fan doesn’t come on and the oven stays hotter for longer.
Alternatives to Cooking with an Oven
There are lots of economical alternatives to cooking with the oven. Modern microwaves cost about 10p per day to use which is a lot less than an oven. Air Fryers are relatively new products so they meet high efficiency standards. They can cook meats, fish, casseroles and chips so it’s a versatile alternative to an oven. Slow Cookers use a little energy over a long period of time so they’re actually very economical, just know that older models will cost more than newer ones.
Tips on Fridge Economy
Fridges are the least efficient (amount of energy necessary to achieve its purpose) appliances so the closer they are to A+++ the better on your wallet.
Colder fridges cost more so adjust the setting just one or two degrees warmer and it will save you money with no effect on your food storage.
The less you open your fridge the less money it will cost you so make sure you know what you want to take out before you open the fridge door.
Switch Off and Save
Some appliances still draw energy even when they’re not in use. Newer appliances draw less energy. Toasters are particularly bad for drawing power so turn it off at the socket when not in use. Other appliances worth turning off at the socket include: kettles, blenders, food processors, slow cookers and coffee machines.