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using less eletricity in the kitchen

Last post Sat, Jun 9 2012 11:34 PM by MarthaMFI. 27 replies.
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  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 3:42 PM

    • Bethi
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Mar 2 2009
    • Posts 24

    using less eletricity in the kitchen

    Does anyone have some tried and proven ways?  I endured the ice storm of 09. No power or water for 12 days.  The one thing I looked forward to was my eletric bill being lower. The bill arrived today, 20.00 less I am not impressed.

    I've declared war on other expenses and now, I am ready to explore my use of eletricity.  I use my eletric cook stove for just about everything.  I have a microwave I am going to utilize more and a really great wok that has seen very little usage.  Also a crock pot, I dont use much.  One thing I remember always in my mothers kitchen was an eletric skillet.  Though I dont eat many fried foods I am wondering if this might be a good investment? 

     

     

  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 3:49 PM In reply to

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    When I was single, I had a VERY small electric skillet...maybe 6 inches by 6 inches...very small.  I would cook one chicken breast in it (olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, etc), while cooking a baked potato in the microwave.  Both used a lot less energy than my cook top/oven. I would also cook frozen hashbrowns, pancakes, eggs...just about anything I can cook in skillet, got cooked in that little electric skillet.  I loved mine!!!

    If you own your home, you may want to invest in a kilo-watt meter that plugs into the wall, and then you plug your appliance into it.  That should give you an idea as to how many kilo-watt hours are being used by grandma's lamp in the living room.

     Good luck on your attack.  Let us know how you do.  And I hope you never have to go 12 days without basics again.

  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 4:03 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    You can use an electric skillet for a lot and they use less electricity than a stove. Most small electrical appliances use less.  

    Ways to keep the costs low:

    When you bake, bake. Put all of your meal in the oven and/or bake several meals at one time. You can bake a meatloaf, a loaf of bread and vegetables all at once, or you can bake a meatloaf, warm a pan of precooked vegetables in the oven, add a cobbler for dessert, bake potatoes and corn on the cob all at the same time. It won't all get done at the same time, but close to it and if you have to reheat it in the microwave, you've still saved money. 

    When you use the stovetop or the oven, turn off the heat a few minutes before the food is ready. Keep the pans covered to keep heat from escaping. Hardboil eggs by boiling them two to three minutes then turn off the heat and let them stand in the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Start things cold rather than warming up the oven or skillet for them. 

    Of course, keep the lights off, turn off appliances that aren't needed, use a power strip and turn it off when you're not using the microwave or other appliances that keep drawing electricity when they're not in use. 

    Keep the refrigerator cleaned out because air needs to circulate to keep it cooler. It costs more in electricity to keep it crowded. Vacuum the coils (although they say now that savings there is miniscule - why not?) and keep as much clearance at back and sides as possible.

    I wrote a piece here that might help:

    Save Electricity at Home 

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    Smartsource and MySavings
  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 4:27 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    Many of us here on the forum are big believers in cooking with small appliances such as steamers and crock pots. And of course every thing the previous posters have mentioned so far. Good Luck
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    Also, sometimes a small investment in upgrading your small appliances can pay off.  So, if you're using your toaster oven, but it's 15 or 20 years old, spend some money for a new one.  You'll make up difference pretty fast.  Same with microwaves, slow cookers, etc.  It's a lot cheaper to upgrade small appliances rather than, say, your stove or refrigerator, which may have several good years left in them and you couldn't recoup the cost as quickly.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 5:37 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

     Limit the use of things like electric knife, blender, food processor, mixer or other small electrical appliances and learn to do their functions using hand tools instead. Hand operated meat grinders, food choppers, crank type egg beater, and a good set of knives kept sharp will do the job. You can make a cake using a large wire whisk, or the egg beater,  instead of an electric mixer.Use the meat grinder, clamped to a bread board, to grind up left over roasts or chicken for sandwich spreads. Jar type food choppers can cut up onions or other vegetables, or nuts. Research about the way things were done before electric appliances were readily available for some more ideas.  Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • Mon, Mar 2 2009 11:22 PM In reply to

    • Bethi
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Mar 2 2009
    • Posts 24

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    Thank you for such  quick replies and all the advice. a great article to refer too!  I will be shopping for a skillet. I do thrift shop but I am thinking of just checking out the dollar store...

  • Tue, Mar 3 2009 8:37 AM In reply to

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    One idea that hasn't been posted is to unplug all unused appliances (blender, toaster oven, microwave ect) even when they're not being used they still suck down electricty. If unplugging them all the time isn't feasiable then buy a power strip and shut everything off by hitting the switch there.
    thrift is a sign of intelligence, any fool can spend money


    A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17 verse 22
  • Tue, Mar 3 2009 10:25 AM In reply to

    • mikasha
    • Top 200 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Feb 23 2009
    • Ontario, Canada
    • Posts 238

    Re: using less eletricity in the kitchen

    I agree with Pat that if you're going to use the oven then use it. I've never understood people using a full sized oven just to bake a potato. Even the stove top uses a lot of energy. Some things that cook in liquid can cook from residual heat - for example I bring my pasta to a boil for a couple of minutes but then I put a lid on and turn off the burner to cook the rest of the way. I do the same with boiled potatoes. Also if you have the oven going you might have ambient heat coming up to the stove top which might be enough to heat other parts of your meal for you.

    The other option that we took, since I only have to cook for myself and DH, is to use a toaster oven. It's a newer model and it doesn't use anywhere near as much energy as running the regular oven. It's also a convection type so it cooks everything a little faster. Not sure if buying something new is in the budget but if you are cooking mostly smaller meals it will help to save energy.

    We try to not use anything electric if we don't have to. We unplug not just the smaller kitchen appliances but any other electrical device that we aren't using and doesn't need to be plugged in (ie. we don't unplug our fridge or freezer obviously) and, even though we do have the CFL bulbs, we keep our lights off unless we absolutely need them.

    "We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." Friedrich Gottlob Koenig
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