4 Ways to Save Money and Energy While Cooking (Guest Post by Pam Johnson)

By Guest Blogger, April 23, 2013, Energy Efficiency, Save Money

Kitchen InteriorCooking is a favorite pastime for so many people – it’s relaxing, fosters creativity, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. But we also worry about the money and energy that’s being spent, especially if we’re being a bit wasteful or not as energy-efficient as possible. With these simple changes, your energy-efficient cooking endeavors can also be friendly your budget.\

Turn Those Lights Off!

How often does the following scene happen in your house? You walk into the kitchen, turn on all of the lights, prepare the food, put it into the oven, and then walk away so that you can sit in another room. If you are going to be hanging out in the living room reading or watching TV with your family for the next 40 minutes or so while your food is cooking, you don’t have to keep those kitchen lights turned on – you’re just wasting energy that way. Instead, just remember to turn the lights off when you’re not in the room, and then turn them back on when you re-enter the room.

Water Boiling
Cooking SpaghettiWhen you have the stove on for an excessive amount of time, you can also use up way too much energy. For example, many cookbooks instruct you to boil water before putting the pasta in there. Next time, try putting the pasta and the water in at the same time. Generally, the pasta is going to taste the same as if you had waited for the water to boil. Just leave the pasta in for about 18-20 minutes, and enjoy the fact that you’ve engaged in energy-efficient cooking.

Consider the Costs of Your Proteins
Now, let’s look at some ways that you can save money when you want to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Of all the foods, you’re probably going to find that the proteins are the most expensive items in your grocery basket. In order to save more than a few dollars on your groceries, consider buying only chicken instead of beef, pork, or fish. You can buy the other proteins when they are on sale, or for very special occasions. Even with chicken, you can frequently find deals that offer a family sized portion of meat for a very low price. You can also individually wrap and freeze the pieces of chicken so they can be safely stored for later use when cooking a variety of different dinners and maybe even some lunches.

Avoid Some Organic Food
Basket of VegetablesSome people are absolutely insistent that they must purchase only organic food. However, when you are looking for a way to save money and still enjoy tasty food from your kitchen, it could be time to scale down on the amount of organic food that you purchase for your home. Granted, you should check out the Dirty Dozen list for a refresher of those foods that you should always purchase in its organic option.

Aside from that, you want to research your foods and find out what is going into them, but you can have a little bit more flexibility with your foods. Looking into a farm share from a local farm is another option that you might want to consider to ensure that your family is eating fresh and healthy foods.

Trying to save money and energy is a worthy goal for so many people. It’s important to live within our means and know when and how to cut back the budget for different areas of life. You might think that it’s difficult to accomplish this objective when it comes to working in the kitchen; however, following the aforementioned tips will help you to save money and engage in some energy-efficient cooking.

Author Pam Johnson is a chef on a budget. For more information on this career path, visit How To Become a Chef.

Spaghetti image courtesy of Hanataro.

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