Oven Saving Strategies

file341259341167With the warm weather coming, I am reluctant to use my oven. Not only because the heat of it will add to the warmth of the house when we don’t need it, but also because of the cost of the energy involved. With summer, our electric bills rise because of the need for air conditioning. Using the oven in a smart way, or finding alternatives is one way to balance out the extra summer energy cost.

Using the Bread Machine

If you have a decent bread machine, you may be able to use it for cooking items other than bread, meatloaf for example. Look online for recipes. You may also be able to make cake in your bread machine.

Using the Crockpot

Crockpots use less energy and put out less heat than do ovens. Plus, I find them to be so much easier. Just place your items in there, set it and get it done. This is how I take advantage of all of the cheap whole roaster chickens at this time of the year without heating up the whole house.

Forgetting the Preheat

Unless a recipe insists on preheating the oven, such as with sensitive baking items, skip this step. Most casseroles, main dishes and side dishes won’t suffer by being put in a cold oven. Trust me. Shut the oven off during your last five minutes of cooking. The oven should be able to maintain the temperature without using additional electricity.

Do Bulk Cooking

It takes more energy to get an oven up to temperature than to maintain that temperature. Therefore, if you are going to use your oven, you might as well take advantage of the fact that it is already heated. Double or triple your recipes or plan on baking rolls while you have a casserole in the oven. Extras can be frozen and thawed or reheated in the microwave later.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com