Cost of Living: Reduce Energy Costs in the Kitchen

Some tips to help save energy and money in the kitchen

Energy Costs
Photo by Nicola Barts from Pexels

The cost of living is getting much more expensive (inflation is already over 10%) and for the foreseeable future prices are only going to increase. And then there are energy costs. With energy costs increasing by a massive 80% – Ofgem, Great Britain’s independent energy regulator, has announced (at the time of writing this) that the price cap will rise from £1,971 (£164.25 per month) to £3,549 (£295.75 per month) from 1 October 2022 for an average usage household – this has since been capped by the government at £2,500 (£208.33 per month). That’s an increase of £1,578 per year (based on the £3,549 original figure) or £529 (based on the new £2,500 figure) for the average customer and will rise again in April 2023 to £3000 per year. For a majority of people this is unaffordable, and we are all looking at ways to reduce our energy costs.

Most energy usage comes from heating, so over the winter months our home energy costs are going to really hit households hard with people already reporting that they will not be able to put the heating on over the winter months. But we also use an awful lot of energy in the kitchen, our kitchens are filled with some high-energy usage appliances with fridge freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, kettles and toasters and of course the cooker. We are going to look at some ways to try and bring the costs down, and even making the kitchen more efficient and cheaper to run.


Cooking can be quite expensive, especially if you use an electric cooker and hob – at the moment, an average gas oven costs around 9p for 20 minutes use, but an electric oven can cost up to 37p for the same amount of time. Using an air fryer can save you half the time and cost of an electric oven. Here are our tips to try and make cooking more efficient and cheaper.

Image by Mike Gattorna from Pixabay
  • Plan your meals: plan your meals for the week and only buy the food that you need. This not only helps with not cooking too much food, using more energy to cook it all, but also stops food wastage – approximately one third of all food produced is never eaten and goes in the bin. That equates to 1.3 billion tonnes worldwide. Having less food going to waste will save you money whilst conserving landfill space and reducing greenhouse emissions.
  • Cook meals for the week: batch cook larger meals, vacuum seal them and freeze for later use. If you do have to put the oven on then use it to its full advantage and cook more than one meal.
  • Reuse your leftovers: after cooking your dinners, don’t pile plates high just to use up the food and potentially throw lots away. You can use any leftovers to make another meal for the next day, adding leftover meat or seafood for fajitas, fried rice, pasta sauce, soup or even to make a tasty casserole. Leftover meat would also be great for sandwiches the next day. Leftovers potatoes can be mashed up and turned into hashbrowns for your next day’s meal. Be creative with the leftovers so that you are not having the same meal for days in a row.
  • Buy wonky vegetables for cooking meals: lots more supermarkets are now starting to sell wonky vegetables for less than the more aesthetically pleasing, more expensive ones. They taste just the same. If you can, try to grow as much of your own veg as possible – last year we successfully grew our own potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, baby corn and cucumbers.
  • Remove ingredients from the fridge before cooking: before cooking a meal, remove any ingredients needed out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. This reduces the time that they will take to cook.
  • Cook with pan lids on: covering pots and pans with lids is a simply money saving idea, the food heats faster using less energy and will make a difference to your monthly energy bills if you cook every day. Without the lid, heat and energy escapes, taking longer to heat the contents of the pan.
  • Use your microwave: using your microwave to heat a small amount of food, rather than a gas or electric hob is a much cheaper option (currently around 2p for four minutes use). Microwaves heat food far more efficiently than electric/gas hobs.
  • Use an air fryer instead of the oven: switching from using the electric oven to an air fryer can save you lots of time and money. A good air fryer will cook the food in half the time (and we find that it makes things like chips much crispier and tastier) and is half the cost of using the oven.
  • Use a slow cooker: slow cookers are very energy efficient to run and a meal can be cooking whilst you are out or busy, with little to no interaction.
  • Use a pressure cooker: pressure cookers have a sealed lid that traps steam and locks it into the pan, cooking your food faster, efficiently and cheaper than your oven. Takes a lot less time to cook your food over using the oven.
  • Turn off the heat: turn off the heat a couple of minutes before your meal is fully cooked, especially when using an electric hob. Electric hobs take time to cool down and your food will continue to cook in the pan.
  • Use the correct ring: when placing a pan on the hob make sure you use the correct ring with the pan covering it, this stops heat and energy escaping. Turn the power down once it has reached the correct temperature.
  • Keep the oven door closed: every time you open the oven door heat and energy escapes, extending cooking time. Keep the oven door closed as much as possible and look through the glass door to check if your food is ready.
  • Keep your oven clean: but don’t use the very expensive energy-sapping self-cleaning pyrolytic cleaning option your oven may have (uses very high temperatures to burn off grease). Clean your oven manually, the less built-up grease within the oven or on the hob rings creates a more efficient cooking environment and can help reduce cooking time.
  • Use the correct equipment: use the right sizes pans so that you are not using excess water, taking less time to heat. Use cast iron pots and pans as they retain heat and cook well at lower temperatures and make use of glass or ceramic dishes in the oven as they are excellent for conducting heat.

Fridge Freezer

Most of us have a fridge freezer in the house or even a chest freezer in the garage. These are appliances that are never turned off but there are ways to ensure that you are getting the best out of them and help to manage the cost of running them.

Image by difisher from Pixabay
  • Site it properly: when placing your fridge freezer in the kitchen, ensure there’s at least a 10cm gap behind your fridge. This allows the heat and hot air generated from it to flow away more quickly and efficiently. Why does it matter? It means the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the contents at the right temperature, using less energy and making it less expensive to run.
  • Keep the fridge at the optimum temperature: fridges operate most efficiently at 5 degrees Celsius. Use a fridge thermometer to ensure it remains at the correct temperature.
  • Keep the coils fluff free: if possible, make sure you clean the dust and fluff of the coils at the back of the fridge. Fluffed coils can reduce working efficiency by up to 25%.
  • Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly: this ensures that that the appliance doesn’t have to work harder to keep the food at the correct temperature.
  • Don’t overfill your fridge: your fridge works best at ¾ full. Overfilling makes it harder for the fridge to circulate cold air to keep the food cool and more costly to run.
  • Don’t leave the fridge door open longer than necessary: like the oven door, never leave the fridge door open unnecessarily, keep it closed so that the cold air isn’t escaping into the room.
  • Defrost food in the fridge: defrosting food acts as an ice pack, helping keep the fridge cool meaning the fridge is working less hard.
  • Never put hot or warm food into a fridge or freezer: let it cool down thoroughly first – to room temperature. Putting warm or hot food in the fridge means that the appliance has to work so much harder to get the fridge to the correct temperature, and it can cause other perishable food to be containment and spoiled.


We all need clean clothes so doing laundry is a necessity but there are still ways to reduce the cost of doing so without compromising on cleanliness.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
  • Wash clothes at 30 degrees: you can save money and energy by washing clothes at 30 degrees whilst still getting the clothes just as clean.
  • Wash full loads: reduce the number of washes per week by only washing full loads (or using the half load option if your washing machine has one). This not only saves money on your energy use but if you are on a water meter it will reduce the cost of your water bill.
  • Dry clothes outside: if you can, make use of your outdoor space and dry clothes on a washing line or clothes horse. It saves a fortune over using the tumble dryer or putting clothes on the radiators.

Other ways to save money in the kitchen

There are other ways to save money in the kitchen, here are just a few of them.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay
  • Don’t overfill the kettle: we all love a cuppa. Whether your favourite tipple is tea, coffee or hot chocolate most of us will boil the kettle to make it. Save money and energy by boiling just the right amount of water each time – don’t boil a full kettle of water for one cup of tea.
  • Use the dishwasher efficiently: run the dishwasher only when it is full. This reduces the number of times you need to use it and uses less water than several sinks full of dirty items. You can save at least £8 per year just by washing one less load per week.
  • Use appliances on Eco mode: if your washing machine or dishwasher has an Eco Mode make use of it whenever you can, it can use less water and energy, helping you reduce energy and water costs.
  • Switch off unused appliances: switch off unused appliances by the switches on the walls (if you have them). When leaving them plugged in and on standby they are still drawing some power. It may not be a lot but will reduce your annual energy bills.
  • Replace halogen bulbs: replace any halogen bulbs and light strips with energy-efficient LED light bulbs. They use less energy, last longer and reduce costs.

These are just some ways that you can try to reduce your energy costs in the kitchen. There are probably more that we are unaware of or have forgot to mention – leave a comment below with your ideas if you know of something else.

We hope that these ideas can help reduce your energy usage in a small way. Individually they may not seem like massive savings but over a month or year you should notice some difference – especially combined with savings in other rooms in house like not having televisions and games consoles in standby mode. The money is better in your pocket than in the pockets of the very profitable energy firms.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here