An important part of family life always comes back to managing your household budget and old habits sometimes die hard. If you live in a home with relatively new appliances, you can save time, energy and dollars on your power bill by doing things a little differently than what you may be used to.
One example is the improved efficiency of today’s ovens. In many cases, there’s no need to preheat excessively; place your food in the oven immediately. For added savings, turn the oven off a few minutes before cooking time is up and keep your food in the oven to take advantage of residual heat during the cool down phase.
Also take time to consider the size of the meal you’re preparing. If it fits into a toaster oven instead of a full-sized one, you can cut back on energy consumption by roughly two-thirds and still have a well-cooked meal.
When dining is over, resist the temptation to wash dishes by hand or to rinse before placing items in the dishwasher. You can save time and water, and wind up with clean dishes just the same. The average dishwasher load uses half the energy, one sixth of the water and less soap than highly efficient handwashing. Modern units use about half the energy of previous generations’ and generally get dishes cleaner as well.
Finally, whenever practical, get in the habit of unplugging your appliances and other electronics. Some devices can use up to 40% of their full running power when left on standby.