1. DON’T OVERFILL YOUR KETTLE
“Most people think their fridges and ovens use the most power in the kitchen, but actually it’s the kettle. Don’t fill it up more than you need to – if you’re making one cup of tea, boil just enough water and that will cut down the time it takes to boil and ultimately cut your energy bill.”
2. SLOW COOKER SAVVY
“A slow cooker is a fantastic gadget as it hardly uses any electricity. You can cook a big batch of food, and it’s great for cheap cuts of meat and pulses. It’s an efficient way of cooking, whether you’re making a meal for the family or cooking solo, as you can freeze the leftovers.”
3. PLAN AHEAD
“If you need to defrost something, don’t waste electricity by doing it in the microwave. Plan ahead and take it out the freezer in advance. And, be savvy with leftovers. Leave them to cool before putting them in the fridge, otherwise the fridge will have to use more electricity to come back down to temperature.”
4. EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN
“Make the most of the food you’ve got and try new recipes to use things up – making stock, kimchi or yogurt. You might not even need to turn on your oven for some of the dishes, and it’s a great way to cut costs this winter.”
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5. TACKLE FOOD WASTE
“The freezer is your friend when it comes to food waste. If you’ve got something reaching the end of its life in the fridge, put it in the freezer. Best-before dates are only advisory, so don’t throw out perishables that look okay. Lots of shops are getting rid of best-before dates to encourage people to throw away less food, which is great. Stick to use-by dates though – don’t risk getting food poisoning!”
6. MAXIMISE OVEN POTENTIAL
“People are a bit scared of ovens now. It takes a lot to heat them up, and it feels like it costs a lot of money, but using the oven is a lot better than most people think.
“It’s better to cook a lot of meals at once – don’t turn it on for a couple of chicken breasts, as it would be better to use an air fryer for that kind of thing. You can cook roast chicken, carrots and Yorkshire puddings all at the same time. You can even cook sweet and savoury things together, too, such as cakes or dessert. Your oven hasn’t got a tongue, so it doesn’t mind too much!
“Also, don’t forget to take out any baking sheets you aren’t using. A lot of people store them in the oven and that can restrict airflow, which means things might not cook as efficiently.”
7. GET BLENDING
“Blenders are so cheap to run, and you can turn some fruit that’s past its best into something beautiful for breakfast.”
8. DO A KITCHEN MOT
“Clear out your fridge if it’s too full; if the air can’t circulate, your food will spoil quickly. Make sure the fridge door is shut, too – my kids are always leaving it ajar.
“Check the seals on your oven door and clean it regularly to keep it running well. All these things can save you money.”
9. AUDIT YOUR APPLIANCES
“A smart meter is a great way to see how much your gadgets are costing you. We heard about a chest freezer in someone’s garage that was costing £600 a year because it was an old model. If you can find these vampire appliances that are draining your electricity, that could be a big annual saving.”
This feature originally appeared in Good Food Magazine, March 2023.