Cooking Up Energy Savings This Holiday Season

Cooking Up Energy Savings This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for family, friends, fun and, what else, food! Making that memorable holiday meal is no small feat. From savory sides to delicious desserts, it’s a meal that takes lots of hard work to pull off. And all of that cooking can really crank up your energy use and even your monthly bill.

Follow these simple tips and you can shrink your energy use in the kitchen:

  • Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and are more durable and longer lasting.

  • You'll use up to 80 percent 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 percent 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" pot on an 8" burner wastes over 40 percent 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.

Now that 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 four 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?

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