Keep your refrigerator full
The mass of the contents, once they are cooled, helps hold the temperature down and prevents excessive coolair from leaving when the door is opened.
Close the refrigerator door
Each minute you stand in front of an open refrigerator contemplating its contents is money flowing out the door. If you find yourself staring into the refrigerator, close the door while you make your decision.
Keep refrigerated foods covered
Covering foods not only keeps flavors from mixing but also reduces power consumption by emitting the evaporation of moisture into theair. Moistair, harder to cool than dryair, forces the compressor to work for longer periods of time. You can find containers in The Lakeside Collection catalog or other similar catalogs
Defrost food before cooking it.
You can take 30 to 50 percent off the cost of cooking a dish by starting with food that has been defrosted overnight or at room temperature for several hours. Defrosting your food in the refrigerator has the added bonus of allowing the compressor to do less work.
Match the Pan to the Burner
When you place a small pan on a large burner all the heat outside the edges of the pan is wasted. Put small pans on small burners; save the others for large pots and skillets. If you have a gas stove, you can turn down the flame to keep it from curling around the sides of your smallest pans.
Keep your stovetop reflectors shiny
Heat from stove-top burners radiates downward as well as upward. The purpose of reflectors below the burners is to redirect heat toward the pan. Keep reflectors clean and shiny; they will reflect heat better and cook food faster at less cost. An easy way to keep reflectors sparkling is to cover then with aluminum foil shiny side up. When the foil becomes stained, replace it.
Bake an entire meal at one time
To economize on oven use, plan meals so that the main dish, vegetables, and dessert can be baked at the same time or in close succession. Use your oven’s convection feature, if it has one, to cook all the dishes evenly.
Cover pans for faster cooking
When you put a lid on a pan, you trap heat inside; reducing the time it takes to bring water to a boil and to cook your food. And you save money in the bargain. If you want to keep water hot but not boiling for any length of time, turn the head down to low. Turn the heat, and the water will come to a boil again in short order.
Turn off electric burners and ovens 5 minutes before the food is done.
Ovens, electric stove-top heating elements, and many newer gas burners stay hot for many minutes after you turn them off. Save electricity or gas and the money it costs by taking advantage of this heat to finish cooking your food.
Bake potatoes and other small items in a toaster oven
Countertop ovens take no longer to cook food than a full-size electric oven, but they consume only one-third the power
Cook with a microwave oven whenever possible
A microwave waves money on two fronts. First, it cooks food up to six times faster than an electric oven, and draws one-third the electricity. Second, it helps lower air conditioning costs by keeping the kitchen cool on hot summer days. You can also begin cooking food in the microwave to get it up to temperature and then conclude the cooking with another method for taste.
Don’t peek into the oven during the cooking
Valuable heat escapes from the oven every time you open the door. If it has a window and there’s an oven light switch on the control panel, it’s easy to check on cooking progress without opening the door. When testing for doneness with a fast acting thermometer, take the dish out of the oven and close the door.
Try baking without pre-heating the oven
Don’t waste money bringing the oven to cooking temperature before placing food inside. Because many new ovens are well insulated, they heat up so rapidly that they can bake or broil foods from a cold start. You won’t even have to lengthen the cooking time.
Buy an electric kettle
If you frequently boil water in a kettle on an electric stove, consider using an efficient electric kettle instead. Because the heating element is dedicated to the kettle, less heat is lost and your water will boil sooner.