Whisper it, but the right kettle really could save you some cash, as Boris declared this week.
So whether you’ve been thinking about replacing that grotty old microwave or if you want a whistle kettle to tell you when your tea is ready, these smart moves could save you money in the long run.
From stovetops to air fryers, here are a few smart substitutions to help cut down your energy bills.
Try an air fryer
Air fryers have exploded in popularity recently and with good reason. Essentially miniature affordable ovens with heating elements and a fan, they provide crispy, juicy results at lower temperatures and faster cooking times compared to traditional ovens. Not only that, but they’re also noticeably more efficient, making them cheaper to run.
While exact costs will vary depending on your appliances and rates, once you take a standard oven’s longer preheat time, cooking time and higher required temperature into account, the humble air fryer will come in about twice as cheap to use.
According to recent research conducted by Iceland and energy supplier Utilita, an average air fryer will cost a mere 14p a day (or £52.74 a year), with typical use. Considering the fact that electric and gas cookers cost about £316 and £264 a year respectively, it might even be time to start cooking your weekly steak in the trusty air fryer too.
The new Dual Basket Air Fryer comes with two separate baskets for cooking different food at the same time – giving you twice as much in the same amount of time.
Buy it for £139.99 from Lakeland.
Give a little whistle
If you’ve got a gas hob, you might want to consider switching from your power-hungry electric kettle to a traditional stovetop alternative instead. The considerable price difference between gas and electricity means you could pocket some extra cash.
One engineer and academic even demonstrated this on his TikTok account (username: dinosaurdannyx), by working out the energy/price differences between boiling a kettle’s worth of water on a gas hob and comparing it to a regular electric kettle.
The end result shows that while a gas hob uses up more energy, it’s around half the price – 1.99p versus 3.94p – due to the cheaper price of gas. Boris yesterday urged savers to buy a new electric kettle. And if you’re using a plug-in, just measure the water you need as boiling less saves energy.
You can pick up a stylish stainless steel, grey marble effect kettle with a built-in whistle from Amazon.
But if you’re measuring water useage in a plug-in kettle, Dualit’s Classic Kettle includes a superfast 3KW element for quick boiling.
Buy it for £134.95 from Dualit.
(Don’t) pull the plug
Investing in a set of smart plugs with energy monitoring capabilities is a superb way of keeping an eye on how much energy your most-used devices are taking up, even in standby mode.
Beyond learning where you can reduce consumption, they’re a great way to automatically turn everything off with a mere voice assistant command too. And if you’re the type to worry whether you’ve left your hair straighteners on, remotely checking on them with an app is a godsend.
TP-Link’s Tapo Smart plug lets you remotely control your devices by turning them on and off at your leisure, with the added bonus of displaying how much energy each device is using in its handy app.
Buy it for £9.49 from Amazon.
Cooking with gas
If you’re lumbered with an electric hob, then you’ve got one of the most expensive cooking implements around. While the thought of replacing it might fill you with dread, you could always snap up a portable gas hob from as little as £15.
With easily replaceable gas canisters, they’re the same ones people use when camping. You might even already have one knocking around in the shed.
Better yet, if you’ve got a gas barbecue tucked away in the garden, give it a new lease of life as an outdoor stove. Close the lid, and you’ve essentially got a handy (and cheap) outdoor oven as well.
A mere £15 can net you a portable gas camping stove small enough to pop in a cupboard when not in use but mighty enough to cook up a storm. A four-pack of extra gas canisters costs £10.
Buy it from Halfords for £15.
Ride the wave
There’s far more to microwaves than reheating dishes and disappointing ready meals. Used properly, they’re a formidable culinary tool in their own right and there are plenty of delicious microwave-friendly recipes out there.
A few staples include microwave rice and steamed vegetables, both of which are incredibly easy and quick to make. The real benefit, though, is how cheap they are to run. According to Utilita’s research, a microwave is even cheaper than an air fryer, costing about 8p a day, or £30.03 a year, on average.
Russell Hobbs’ microwave has a sleek, minimalist design, while providing all the microwave functions you could ask for. At 800W, it’s powerful enough to handle all you’ll care to throw at it
Buy it for £69.99 from Amazon.
If your washing machine has recently given up the good fight, you could replace it with a higher capacity, more efficient model. The new Samsung Series 5 might seem pricey at first but its huge 11kg capacity means you can wash more at once, using less water and energy in the process.
You can also play it smart and wash at off-peak times between 10pm and 5am (smart washing machines with timer functions are great for this), further helping to keep costs down. If clothes aren’t too soiled, you can also wash at 30C to use less energy, and do back-to-back loads to make the most of the retained heat from the previous load.
Buy it for £529 from Samsung.
Dry your tears
Tumble driers aren’t energy-saving devices but several tricks can help. When buying a machine, check the energy rating, which ranges from A+++ to G. Help your current machine by keeping air filters free of fluff and making sure your washing machine drains as much water as it can from a load.
A short extra spin cycle will save the expense of more time in the tumble drier. Pop duvet covers together to prevent smaller items getting lost inside, untangle clothes so they dry faster and keep your drier in a well vented room.
Drying clothes is a huge expense, as well as hassle, but the new Miele TEF765 WP 8kg Eco Speed Green Performance Tumble Dryer claims it can reduce drying time with a full load by 40 minutes and eliminates 99 per cent of all bacteria.
Buy it from around £999 from Miele.
This article contains affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.
If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.