Five Tips to Save Money on Energy This Thanksgiving
From food to decorations, preparations for Thanksgiving can quickly gobble up your holiday budget! Here are a few ways to save money on the big day - you can thank us later!
When planning the Thanksgiving menu, don't just think about what you are going to serve, but also how you're going to make it. Plan side dishes that can be cooked at the same time as the turkey. Not only will this save you time (after all, who wants to spend their entire holiday in the kitchen?), but it will also save you energy.
For the Extra-OrganizedGive your oven and stovetop a good scrub and check to make sure everything is in good working order a few days before Thanksgiving.
Turn it Down
With the oven fired up for the turkey and with the added body heat from guests, your home is probably going to get pretty toasty on Thanksgiving day. Turning the thermostat down by a couple of degrees will make both your guests and your wallet more comfortable. You might also want to consider turning your ceiling fan on (making sure that it's rotating clockwise) to keep air circulating and so that heat is evenly distributed throughout the room.
Cooking Tips - Don't Peek!
Patience is a virtue, and helps you save money. Resist the temptation to open the oven door to check up on how things are going - opening the door can lower the temperature inside the oven by as much as 25 degrees, which wastes energy and increases cooking time! Instead, turn on the oven light and check through the oven door window.
Since cooking a turkey takes a few hours, you don’t actually have to worry about pre-heating the oven. It’s not really necessary when slow-roasting food.
Similarly, when cooking on the stovetop, make sure to use lids on pots in order to retain heat. This will help speed things up when heating food.
Get Creative About Cooking
Don't overlook other kitchen appliances that are more energy efficient than the oven or stovetop. Did you know that microwaves use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens? They can be handy for quickly and efficiently steaming vegetables or pre-cooking potatoes. As a compromise, try starting dishes in the microwave and finishing them in the oven for a crispy, golden crust.
Don't forget to take advantage of the wonders of your crockpot, if you have one. From side dishes to turkey to dessert, slow cookers are versatile, and incredibly energy efficient!
You could also go one step further and ditch the oven altogether! Grilling food on the barbecue is both a cheaper and healthier option, and can be just as delicious!
Get Stuck on Size
Make sure to match the size of the pan to the heating element, in order to ensure that less heat is lost to the surrounding air or that you're not wasting time heating up the pan. Also, try to use flat bottom pans when possible, as the more contact between burner and the pan, the more efficient cooking is.
Take it Easy When Cleaning Up
Chances are that after all of that food, cleaning up is going to be one of the last things you feel like doing. So make things easier on yourself by cleaning in an energy-efficient manner. Use your dishwasher to clean dishes after the big meal, first making sure to scrape them instead of rinsing them with hot water (which isn't really necessary unless food is really stuck) to save energy. Wait for food to cool before putting it into the refrigerator, so that it doesn't have to work harder than it needs to.
Bonus Tip!Depending on where you live in the US, you may be able to save on your energy bills by securing a lower rate for your electricity and/or natural gas supply! Call us at phone currently not available to find the lowest rates available in your area code