This extremely cold winter has made our heating bills sky rocket. We need to do all we can to keep our gas and electric bills down as much as possible. When working in the kitchen, here are a few ways to conserve fuel, which saves money:
- Choose the correct size pan to fit the size of the burner. If the pan is too small, extra heat will escape around it, thereby wasting energy.
- Turn down the gas setting on your stove if the flame is visible on the sides of the pan.
- Use a small pot or pan if cooking a small amount of food.
- Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Plug in appliances only when you need them. Many appliances draw small amounts of power when they’re not in use.
- Foods cooked in the oven use less fuel than on top the stove. Once the oven heats up, then the heat comes on only when it must to maintain the determined temperature. When cooking on top of the stove, a constant supply of energy is used.
- When using the oven, cook several dishes with similar cooking temperatures at the same time whenever possible.
- Microwave ovens cook food 75% faster than convention ovens, thereby using less energy.
- Put a lid on food as more heat is trapped and the food cooks faster.
- When recipes call for preheating the oven, turn on oven only for a few minutes before you’re ready to begin baking. However, for many foods, it’s ok to put them in the oven without preheating first.
- Don’t keep peeking in the oven to see how the food is cooking. You’re letting out heat and this takes more energy.
- Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. Think of the refrigerator as being full of tennis balls and every time you open the door the tennis balls fly out the door. Try to keep them inside as much as possible!
- A full refrigerator and freezer is a more fuel efficient unit. Keep it full, but don’t overfill. Air needs to circulate around the food.
- If you have a dishwasher, use the air-dry or overnight-dry feature.
Each of us can make an important contribution to the environment. Conserving energy takes a bite out of global warming, and saves money, too.