Easy Ways to Conserve Energy and Reduce Waste in the Kitchen

If you’ve got a family of any size you’re probably intimately familiar with the importance of budgets. These days it’s just impossible to get by with the same impulse spending as in previous years. Most families are trying desperately to make do with less, all while the standard purchases necessary to keep a household running continue to get more and more expensive. The key is finding ways to cut down on wasted resources and conserve what you do have. There’s no reason you can’t make things work, especially when you consider people in less fortunate parts of the world that somehow get by. So here are a couple of easy ways to conserve energy and reduce waste in the kitchen to help get you started.

First and foremost, consider doing your grocery shopping from home through a delivery website. These days there are several services that will help you save both time and money, all while making your life a little bit easier at the same time. So what’s the big deal about doing your shopping in person? Even if you bring a list along, there’s always the chance you will get swayed into choosing some last minute additions. Food companies spend millions of dollars a year enticing you to buy from them, and children are also unwitting and innocent targets. If you head to the store with the kids in tow it’s more than likely that a couple of stray goodies will end up in your cart, sapping money from your monthly budget. And since many of these services will tack on free shipping if you spend a certain amount, you’ll conserve the gas you would have used getting to the store as well.

This isn’t the only way to cut down on energy usage and spending where food is concerned. Another fantastic idea is to write down all of the week’s meals in advance. You’ll only spend an hour or so figuring out what the family will eat all week, but you’ll vastly reduce food waste. People buy all sorts of things while shopping when they don’t have a clear plan for actually eating them. It’s not uncommon for the average household to throw out as much as 20% of the food they buy, either as unconsumed leftovers or spoilage. By specifying all of the meals you’ll cook in advance you will have far less waste, and won’t buy anything that you don’t actually end up using.

Now it’s time to turn your attention to the kitchen appliances. You may not have enough room in the budget to buy all new, Energy Star-rated devices, but you can get more out of your current appliances. Start with the dishwasher. No one is saying that you have to go back to hand-washing, although it will save a ton of water in most cases. But you should forgo the heated drying cycle. It’s a waste of electricity, and everything can simply dry on their own with a little bit more time. And in the dead of summer, that hot dishwasher will be battling your air conditioner, making that appliance work much harder as well. You can make an exception if you’ve cooked upĀ raclettes and you have a particularly pesky dish to clean, although that problem could easily be solved with a good soaking and some elbow grease.

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