The holidays are a great time to gather with family, friends, and neighbors. And these gatherings usually revolve around food cooked in the host’s kitchen. While the time spent enjoying the holidays is priceless, the costs of the holiday meal can be quite expensive. While we can’t help you with your grocery costs, we can provide some tips on how to lower your energy expenses during your holiday gathering.
Turn down the temperature in your home by a few degrees if you plan on cooking a big meal and having several guests in your home. The heat produced by your cooking and the extra people in your home will compensate for the lower temperature setting and your furnace won’t have to work as hard to keep the house comfortable.
Group certain dishes together based on the desired oven temperature for the recipe. By baking the green bean casserole and pumpkin pie at the same time, you save time and energy.
Keep the oven door shut while you are cooking. Use the oven light and a meat thermometer to know if your turkey is done. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside can drop by as much as 25 degrees, which slows down your cooking time and requires your oven to work harder to cook your meal.
Use glass and ceramic baking dishes when possible. These materials retain heat better than metal, and you can actually reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees if you are using a glass or ceramic dish, because they will continue to cook your food after they are removed from the oven.
Try using a slow cooker when possible. Slow cookers consume significantly less heat than ovens and are very easy to use.
Clean the burners of your electric stove. Clean burners are more efficient.
Use lids on anything you are cooking on the stove. Your food or liquid will heat faster and retain their temperature longer.
Let leftovers cool before putting them into the refrigerator. Putting hot foods in the refrigerator will cause the refrigerator to work harder than normal to cool the inside.
Use a dishwasher to clean the dishes. You don’t need to pre-rinse your dishes if you are using a dishwasher. All you need to do is scrape food from the plate into the garbage and then put it into the dishwasher. You’ll save time and water and your dishes should come out just as clean as pre-rinsing.
Enjoy yourself and your company! The holidays can be stressful, but try to find time to relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family. And schedule a massage for the day after!