Drum up savings
Never fill the drum? New washing machines can detect half and quarter loads of laundry and dose accordingly. Check your manual to see if yours has this technology. If you regularly need half-load washes you could be saving £39 over the year on energy, water and detergent.
Spare those hands
A dishwasher uses 15 litres to wash 15 place settings but hand washing uses 126 litres. Save £46 on your water bill by ditching those marigolds and filling your dishwasher.
Keep it tip top
Clean filter: A clogged filter can mean residue is left on your dishes. The filter’s job is to protect the pump from leftover food, so wash it regularly. Remove the bottom tray, lift out the cylindrical filter and wash it in warm water. Job done. A new pump can cost £100 to supply and fit.
Clean spray arms: Save having to replace spray arms by cleaning them every month in warm water to keep them free from small food particles. Clean by extracting the spray arms after pulling out the low tray.
Tumble dryers do cost a bit to run but if you invest in a heat pump rather than condenser model you could save yourself £100 in annual running costs. Otherwise use your dryer a bit less and deploy some good old-fashioned air drying.
Vacuum cleaners are cheap to run – that’s welcome news – costing as little as £6 a year, half that of a decade ago. But our experts have more ingenious ways to cut down on running costs:
Become a “shoes off” home to reduce vacuuming
Only use “turbo” when absolutely necessary – never on hard floors – as it uses more energy. It also drains the battery faster on cordless models meaning more frequent recharging.
Savings to make you sing in the shower
5 minute rule
You can save money by showering a few minutes less each day, in fact just by making sure the members of your household have an efficient 5 minute stint can save £92 annually.
This is equivalent carbon saving to 118full loads of washing dried in a 9kg tumble dryer, a water saving equivalent to 15,166 litres of water and a carbon footprint saving of 253 diesel car miles.
With ovens, it’s all about using them right to save yourself a lot of energy and money. Switching up your cooking routine with small changes will decrease those energy bills. Plan your meals and embrace batch cooking – both warming up meals and cooking larger quantities saves energy.
Taking out any unneeded accessories — trays and grids – can save up to 20% on energy
Avoiding preheating can save another 20% – most dishes like roasts and casseroles can be placed in the cold oven, especially a fan-assisted one.
Take advantage of your oven tech. Thermometers, timers, automatic cooking programmes or sensor-controlled processes all help control the cooking time, avoiding wasted energy and overcooked food.
Preparing several dishes at a time and loading them side by side can reduce energy by up to 45%.
Checking the food through the glass door, rather than opening it, can save you up to 25% in lost energy.
Being canny with your residual heat saves up to 10% of energy. So, for a roast with 60-minute cooking time, turn off the oven after 50 minutes and use that 10 minutes of free heat!
Embrace your small cooking appliances
Use special appliances such as egg cookers, coffee machines and microwave ovens for small quantities and short cooking times to save money.
It costs just 3p to microwave cook a baked potato versus 55p in the oven. Combi microwaves with built-in convection ovens are even more versatile. Roasting a chicken with one will cost you 25p compared to 68p in the oven.
Inexpensive to buy and run, they can make healthy meals from grocery-budget-friendly cuts of meat and cheaper varieties of vegetables (carrots, shallots, celeriac, swede). Average cook time is a long 8 hours, but flavours are retained as nothing really evaporates if you avoid lifting the lid. It can cost you just 46p a meal.
When whipping up pasta for your kids, use your kettle to boil the water. It will cost you £1.99 twice weekly over a year versus £9 on the hob. But remember to descale your kettle regularly, especially in hard water areas – limescale means longer boil times and greater energy use.
Air fryers make tasty fried food with less oil and less energy because they heat a smaller space. Cooking fried chicken quickly and healthily for 15 minutes consumes only 0.35kwh, costing just 9p – half the price of using an electric, fan-assisted oven. Air fryers are also great for baking sweet treats like brownies and biscuits.
Unlock your savings shows you how induction hobs save you money but here are more tips from our experts to help you save money whatever hob you’re cooking on.
Hob power: It’s more energy efficient than your oven so prepare small roasts here instead.
Think small: Smaller pieces of food cook more quickly so cutting up more could save you energy.
Keep a lid on it! Cooking with lid on saves up to 25 % energy. Glass lidded pans help you supervise without having to lift the lid. Make sure that lid is well fitted.
Waterwise. Being economical with water in a pan can save you up 20% energy. It takes a lot to heat up water.
It’s all in a pan. The correct size pan for the amount of food you’re cooking can save up to 20 % energy. Ensure your pans are made of heat-conducting materials – steel or enamelled cast-iron pans and pots will heat quicker and consume less energy than glass and ceramic cookware.
COOL WAYS TO SAVE
Combat food waste
As a nation we pour £600k of milk down the drain daily. Use your fridge right and you can ensure you don’t waste food and money!
Store food in the allocated areas that new fridge technology provides. For example, lower temperature zones and salad bins with moisture control keep certain foods in the perfect preservation environment and extends the life of those items.
Minimise door opening! The temperature inside a fridge rises significantly each time the door is opened. Make sure you shut the door when you get your milk out to make a cuppa.
Utilise easy access shelves, pull out shelves and folding shelves to ensure no food items are forgotten at the ‘back of the fridge’ and end up in the bin.
Look forward to smart technology that will eventually enable use-by dates to be scanned allowing the fridge to warn their owner to eat up.