Saving Cash in the Kitchen – Fridge and cooker, Andy Hamilton

Saving cash in the kitchen – Part 1.

Hawthorn berries boiling on a hob
Hawthorn berries boiling on a hob

I can never understand why people would waste money by wasting electricity. Let’s put aside any environmental benefits for one second and think in just monetary terms. You could be working overtime, or worse doing without a night down the pub just because you don’t run your kitchen in an efficient manner. Well I hate to waste things, especially a night down the pub so here are a few practical ways to save you a bit of cash in the kitchen.


It is possible to do without a refrigerator and just use the pot in pot cooler instead, but for the rest of us we rely on a good old fashioned fridge. There are simple ways of getting this to run more efficiently my favourite is to fill it with beer. If you think your fridge spends all of its energy trying to keep things cool, if you have some bottles or cans of beer in there once these are cool they radiate coldness. This means that your fridge not only has less of an area to cool down but that area is radiating coldness too, so of course your fridge does not have to work so hard (you can also use bottles of water or any liquid).

Also keep your fridge in a cool place so that it can work less, some folk keep theirs in an outbuilding. I have also heard of people cutting a hole in the floor beneath their fridge, to keep it cool. Possibly not great for keep your house warm or to keep the landlord happy.

You should also keep the back of your fridge clean as again it will have to work harder if covered in dust.

Cooker – Hob

Think flat bottoms and crusty rings here. If you have food deposits on your electric ring then all the heat will not be getting to the pan. It stands to reason that the nearer your pan gets to the heat source the hotter it is. In the same respect your pan should be flush with the ring, if it has a flat bottom rather than a rounded bottom it will fit flush with the ring. So to recap; crusty rings and round bottoms are bad but a good flat bottom and a clean ring is good.

Cooker – Oven

The main area of your oven needs to be kept as airtight as possible. Frequently check your door to ensure that it seals properly. You could try putting a bank note in the door then closing if it stays in the same place your seal is fine, if it drops out then your seal possibly needs replacing.

You should also consider cooking as much as possible in the oven. Nev cooks loads of food in his in one go (such as three casseroles) then freezes it for later use. I always try and dry herbs or fungi in mine after I have used it as the temperature stays pretty warm for a good while after cooking.

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2 Comments on Saving Cash in the Kitchen – Fridge and cooker, Andy Hamilton

  1. Great article, thanks. Couldn’t agree more about wasting electricity!

    Few other tips:

    Hob – cover pots with a lid when bringing to the boil to conserve energy. Turn right down as soon as it’s boiling and hover around for a bit, lifting the lid now and then to prevent the liquid from over-boiling.

    Oven – bake your pudding in with your main meal (baked pear halves with a dollup of soft goat’s cheese and cinnamon is easy and good). It doesn’t taint the flavour at all.

  2. The Thermostat went on my fridge so I removed the faulty part and plugged the fridge into a plug in multi-timer at the power socket,(it cost me £3 from B+Q as opposed to £120 for a new thermostat, or ££££ for a new fridge)

    Working out the duration for each ‘on’ cycle wasn’t too hard, I just used two 99p greenhouse thermometers, placing one at highest point and one at lowest point in the fridge to get an accurate reading over the various times I set the power to be on. Starting power until a steady low temp is reached, set that time as on. kept checking temp until it had raised 2 degrees in the off state, and set that as my off time. repeated the cycle to fill the remaining 24hr time slots.

    It now costs roughly HALF the electricity it did before. I’ve saved a fortune, and helped one more fridge not end up in a landfill or whatever they do to them. It’s perfectly safe as there’s no extra strain on the motor, it’s just getting it’s power on signal from the timer socket instead of the thermostat.

    When winter is here, I’m going to save even more !!!! :o)

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