Love following the latest TikTok trends in the kitchen, but worried about your energy consumption? If healthy meals are your bag, but you're worried about how the cost of living crisis will affect your bills, then worry not as we've looked at the best money and energy-saving options for you.
As well as following these TikTok hacks when it comes to cooking, here are some ways to change up how you cook to save you pounds over the next few months.
Switch from a traditional oven to a slow or pressure cooker
Using an oven is a big job - just think about how long it takes to warm it up, while you're also heating the whole oven, even if it's just for one tiny meal. Pressure or slow cookers will take up less space and save you money in the long run.
'A 3kWh electric oven costs £1.02 an hour to run when running at full power, while a slow cooker costs just 5p per hour. If practical, consider cooking the meat the day before during off peak hours for an even greater saving, when electricity can be up to half of the normal peak hour cost,' says Ava Kelly, energy saving expert at Love Energy Savings.
Worried about not getting as many nutrients from your foods if you use a slow cooker? The slower you cook your food the better it keeps in the moisture and all the vitamins - so it's win-win.
Healthy cooking in an Air fryer
There's a reason why air fryers are flying off the shelves at the moment - in fact, according to Argos, they sold 1.6 air fryers per minute in the first week of September 2022 alone. The devices use a smaller space to heat up food, so of course, they'll use less energy than a traditional oven would. And they have a host of celeb and healthy food influencer fans - including WH fave, Drew Barrymore.
'For a Sunday roast or your Christmas dinner, alternative cooking methods can be incorporated to save money,' adds Ava. 'Cooking roast potatoes in your air fryer will be cheaper than turning on your oven, and air fryer fans swear by the crispy coating they’ll be given using this method. You could also use an air fryer to cook parsnips, pigs in blankets, and stuffing balls.' Anyone else's mouth watering?
As you use less oil in air fryers they can also be healthier than frying or baking - especially if you're looking to cut calories.
And, better still, you can cook pretty much anything in an air fryer - from a whole chicken to broccoli, and cauliflower steaks to salmon. And we just know you're going to fall down an air fryer recipe TikTok hole.
Only ever use your microwave to heat up your cold tea or do the odd baked potato? It may be worth upgrading to a newer model; using one could cost just 8p per day, tallying up to a saving of £287 per year.
However, are they as healthy as other kitchen tools such as steamers and air fryers? They can be. Again, it depends on the specific product you choose. For our money, you're best off plumping for a newer version with a steamer setting, so you can make sure all the key nutrients will stay present and correct in the veggies you cook in it.
'It reduces the need to have multiple appliances,' she tells WH. 'And the steaming for me was the most extraordinary feature as it was so fast and you can achieve such healthy and tasty food.'
If you do use an oven...
'With a conventional oven, be careful to only preheat for the designated time,' says money-saving expert, Mrs Mummypenny, who has teamed up with Samsung.
'If possible, cook multiple dishes in your oven at once,' she suggests. 'And with Samsung’s Dual Cook technology, you can run a single oven at two different temperatures, effectively giving you a double oven without needing more space.'
But for those of us who don't have the budget (or the will) to get a whole new oven fitted? She also has some simple tips you can action right away.
'Avoid opening the oven door whilst cooking – doing so drops the oven’s temperature by 25 degrees each time,' she suggests. 'But when you have finished cooking, open the oven door to heat up the kitchen a little.'
The best money saving kitchen gadgets to invest in - and save
Now you're all clued up, he
re are the best money-saving gadgets to help you cook healthy meals in no time.
The best air fryers
The best pressure and slow cookers
The best microwaves
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