Energy bills, road tax, MOTs, new school uniforms, supermarket prices; at The Mortgages Centre in Colchester, we know that the cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper, particularly after a chilly winter teamed with sky high energy prices.
If you’re keen to save a few more pennies around the home, it’s often a case of “every little helps”. From turning down the thermostat a notch or two, to getting your home properly insulated, there are hundreds of small things we can do to make sure we’re saving as much as possible in day-to-day life.
However, one place you may not be used to carefully penny-pinching is the kitchen. You may not know this, but around 4% of your total gas and electric bill is racked up while you’re cooking up a storm. So, to help you save a little more, we’ve put together 10 clever culinary tips to help you use less energy in the kitchen…
1. Choose a triple decker
If you like to get your 5 a day, invest in a steamer with several tiers. Not only is steaming a really healthy way to enjoy tasty al dente vegetables, it also means you only need to use one pot, not three.
2. Harness residual heat
Once your meal has boiled and is reaching completion, turn off the hob or oven. Put a lid on any pans and let the residual heat from your food cook itself without expending any energy whatsoever.
3. Put a lid on it
Always put lids on saucepans. This will mean that you need less gas or electricity to boil and simmer your recipe.
4. Cook in bulk
Use big pans to cook big batches, then freeze or refrigerate any extra portions. This means you’ll save lots of cooking time and lots of energy in future, particularly if you reheat using a microwave.
5. Use the right ring
Choosing a hob ring which is too big or too small for your saucepan wastes lots of valuable energy.
6. Be decisive
Don’t umm and err in front of an open fridge or oven, this wastes a surprising amount of energy. Be decisive and do what you need to do, don’t let heat and energy go to waste.
The humble microwave is the most energy efficient everyday cooking appliance, followed by the hob and lastly, the oven. Wherever possible, choose microwaving over cooking on the hob or in the oven.
8. Use skewers
To cook food faster in the oven, insert metal skewers to speed up the process. These hot skewers will cook food from the inside and work with both vegetables and meat. You may want to adjust your cooking times accordingly.
9. Pre-boil potatoes
Boil your potatoes before you roast them. This radically reduces their cooking time. For baked potatoes, microwave before you bake.
10. Clean rings
Make sure your hob rings are nice and clean before you use them. Burned on foodstuff can seriously reduce how energy efficient your hob is, wasting lots of costly gas.