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Saving Money In The Kitchen

The kitchen is the one place in the house that uses a lot of energy and much of it can be saved by following a few simple steps.

When you have a family, husband, wife, and children, living together, especially when you are young, cooking is a chore that is almost impossible to get around. But the older you get, the easier it becomes to get by without cooking as much.

  • Not only is food expensive, buying groceries and preparing them can put a big dent in your budget. Depending on what you are cooking, it may be cheaper to eat out, or to buy food that is already prepared and all you need is a microwave to warm it up.

Look at the cost of preparing an apple pie.

  • First, you need the ingredients; apples, sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, corn starch, salt, and the pie crust. That does not include the trip to the store to purchase the ingredients, the time it takes to prepare it, and the gas, or electricity, it takes to bake it.
  • Just the cost of the ingredients may add up to the cost of buying an apple pie from a bakery.
  • The only problem with buying food from a restaurant or bakery is that it may not taste exactly how you want it to taste. But then again, most restuarants and bakeries have great tasting food. You just have to find the one you like.

But it's not just the cooking that costs so much, it's the energy usage. To cook, you use gas and/or electricity, hot and cold water, the stove and the oven, the hot water heater, electrical appliances, light, and other devices.

There are ways to save energy when cooking:

  • Keep the oven and burners clean. This makes them more energy efficient.
  • Cook more than one meal at a time. This keeps energy consumption down and keep you out of the kitchen.
  • If you don't have to, do not preheat the oven. Some foods can be put in the oven immediately because they simply need to be warmed up.
  • Don't open the oven door if at all possible because an open door releases heat.
  • Never use the stove for heating your home. It burns large amounts of energy, plus it is dangerous for children and adults alike.

Lights generate heat and use electricity, so when cooking, if they are not necessary, turn them off.

If you use a dishwasher, wash full loads. Dishwashers use less energy than washing them in the sink. If you don't have a dishwasher, you can start by not filling the sink all the way to the top. Fill it about a quarter full and as you are washing dishes by hand, rinse over the dirty dish sink. By doing this, the dirty dish sink will fill up as you wash and rinse your dishes.

Use energy efficient stoves, ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators. No kitchen should be without power surge protectors and other electricity saving devices that store and regulate power usage.

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