How to Save Money and Energy While Cooking
Use efficient and energy-saving pots and pans!
1. Make sure the bottoms of your pots and pans are absolutely flat! In order to be efficient and save you money, the heat has to transfer directly from the surface of the stove to the pan. If the bottom of your pan is warped, there is an air pocket between the pan and the stove, allowing heat to escape.
2. Match your pans with the appropriate burner. I know that it is tempting to put a little pan on a huge burner because it seems like you'd save time cooking, but in reality, if you're using an electric stove, that doesn't really matter that much. Also, you're wasting a lot of energy when part of the burner is exposed. If you have a gas stove, not only are you wasting energy, you're also creating a safety hazard when flames are curling up the sides of your pots.
3. If you have reflector pans, make sure they're clean so that can reflect the heat rays more efficiently.
4. Cook with the lid on. A tight fitting lid keeps heat in a pan, so you can use lower temperatures and cook faster.
Work with water.
5. Make sure you only heat the amount of water you need. Keep the lid on so it boils faster and so less steam escapes.
6. Start vegetables in a covered pan over high heat. When you start to see steam around the lid, lower the heat setting and allow the food to simmer. Keep it covered.
Invest in a slow-cooker and other handy appliances!
7. A one-dish meal in a slow cooker calls for a lot less energy than a meal that calls for the use of an oven and a few stovetop burners. You can also cook small quantities of food in a toaster oven, a skillet, or an electric grill instead of your oven. Portable appliances generally use less than a third of the energy that your oven uses. Also, consider getting a smaller coffee-maker if you only make one or two cups.
Appliances to help you save money
The BEST slow cooker cookbook out there, from America's Test Kitchen. It includes tons of recipes of many different world cuisines, also includes appetizers and desserts.
Buying a slow cooker is a no-brainer. Think of it as an investment-- once you cook two meals, it is already like you're gone out to a restaurant twice, and its paid for itself!
I especially like to use the electric griddle for making breakfast. I can cook several things on it at once, nothing sticks, I only have one things to clean, and it saves energy.
Make the most out of your oven.
8. Try making your entire meal in the oven at the same time. You can usually simultaneously cook dishes if their recipes call for different cooking temperatures because 25 degrees more or less doesn't really change the result. Cover the dishes to prevent a blending of flavors.
9. Pop the food in the oven as soon as you start pre-heating. You may be able to turn off the oven a few minutes early, and you'll prevent wasteful heat escape.
10. Rearrange the oven shelves before turning it on.
11. Don't let your spouse or kids or friends open the oven door to sneak a peek. Lay down the law, or just flip on the light and look through the little window.
13. Finally, never use an oven to heat the kitchen or dry your clothes. This is incredibly wasteful and it can be very dangerous. If your landlord catches you, you might get the boot.
More ways to save!
- Save Money and Lower Your Electric Bill While Doing Laundry
How to save money and energy while doing your washing, drying, and ironing.
- 8 Ways to Save Money With Your Refrigerator
Simple ways to amp up the savings by improving the efficiency of your refrigerator and freezer.
Great recipes from my money-saving kitchen!
- How to Dry Herbs and Store Them for the Winter
A few methods to dry or freeze herbs and flowers. Save money without sacrificing flavor, color, or essential oils.
- Juicy East Carolina Style Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce Recipe for Pork and More
- Easy and Delicious Mexican Horchata Recipe With Evaporated and Rice Milk
Easy and delicious horchata. Impressive, authentic Mexican recipe.