Keep your energy costs low and your holiday spirits high with these simple kitchen cooking tips.
- LEDs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs and are more durable and longer lasting.
- You'll use up to 80% less energy by microwaving smaller servings. You can also use the toaster oven.
- Set your freezer to 0°F. If the temperature of your refrigerator is 10 degrees colder than necessary, it can use 25% more energy.
- Baking lots of cookies or a couple pies at one time saves energy. If you've got an oven window, take advantage of it! Opening the oven door wastes energy and lowers the temperature as much as 25°F.
- To save energy and water, don't run the dishwasher until you have a full load. Be sure to scrape, not rinse, your dishes before loading them.
- Faucet leaks waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste up to 1,660 gallons of water over a year — and waste up to $35 in electricity or natural gas.
- Covered pots and pans cook more efficiently and keep the kitchen cooler.
- A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40% of the burner's heat. Using the right-sized pot on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range or $18 for gas.
If your appliances are old or need replaced, opt for energy-efficient models. Look for ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances.
Once the cooking is done and another great dinner is in the books, it's time to talk leftovers. Check out these quick tips on how to store and serve up those extra holiday helpings.
- Wrap leftovers or place in storage containers and get them into the fridge or freezer within two hours. No need to wait for hot foods to cool on the counter.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for about fours days and in the freezer for about four months.
- To be safe, make sure you reheat leftovers to 165°F.
- Don't have enough room for all those leftovers? Pack to-go bags for your guests!
- Spice up your leftovers with herbs and seasonings. Try adding garlic to turkey, rosemary to mashed potatoes or ginger to cranberry sauce.
- Use lots of different leftovers in one place with a salad, casserole or soup.
- Get creative! What about a turkey sandwich with avocado, tomatoes and cheese? A toasted dinner roll with sweet potatoes and honey?