How to Save $300+ Per Year In Your Kitchen

Frugality at Home: Part 1 – The Kitchen


Stay chilled with fridge savings

It’s estimated that your fridge is one of the biggest drains on your energy within your home, don’t ‘fork up’ your finances, employ these simple steps and cut spend by up to 30% every month.

  1. TEMPERATURE – Double check your fridge temperature, it should be maintained at 1-3.5°C and freezer at 0°C – over-cooling fridges by 5 degrees lower than needed (or freezers set 2 degrees lower than needed) can increase energy use by as much as 20-25%.
  2. POSITIONING – Position out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. An ambient temperature of over 21°C will increase energy use by 2.5%.
  3. CIRCULATION - Make sure there is room behind the fridge for air to circulate – at least 1 inch all the way round. This helps with the cooling process as hot air will not become trapped. Similarly ensure you keep your fridge and freezer relatively full again ensuring there is enough room for air to circulate. Should you not have enough food to store place bottles of water inside – the fridge will not have to work at hard to keep items cool.

  4. MAINTENANCE – Ensure to defrost your fridge at least twice a year, too much frost increases the running of the motor so this will enable it to run at the optimum level. Clean the coils at the back of the fridge several times a year to keep dust away – this can decrease energy consumption by 6%. Make sure the doors are sealed tight to stop cold air escaping and costing you money, get them repaired so save money in the long run. A little vaseline around the seals can help in the meantime.
  5. REPLACEMENT - When upgrading look for a fridge with an automatic moisture control without using a heater (which can use 5-10% more energy). Select a fridge which is an energy star rated model – these use less than 15% energy than a conventional model which could save you up to $150 a year.


Don’t overcook your oven expenditure

Although cooking is not the most expensive aspect of your kitchen, by implementing a few tips and swapping to cheaper methods of cooking, your monthly savings will soon add up.

  • MAINTENANCE – Similarly to the fridge, it’s important to make sure the door seals to your oven are working properly. The amount of heat as well as extra cooking time you can lose each year can amount to $ . Seals are a fraction of this price, give them a quick check.
  • CLEANING – Nobody enjoys cleaning, but it’s important to get the most from your appliances. Clean the oven regularly, particularly the back and ensure there is room for air to circulate around the whole oven. This will keep your oven working efficiently and save you time and money. Also keep stove reflector pans clean to reflect the heat upward during cooking.
  • PRIORITY – Use smaller kitchen appliances first. Microwaves, toaster ovens and slow cookers use 75% less energy than your large electric oven. A typical stew will cost a third of the price to cook in a slow cooker than in the oven – if time is on your side it’s worth the saving.
  • REPLACEMENT – When you need to replace your oven choose a convection oven. These save energy by circulating the heat around the food and cutting cooking time, as it uses quarter the energy of your conventional oven. Just something to bear in mind; oven temperature drops 25-30 degrees every time you open the door. An oven light and a glass window in the door will let you check on your food without opening the door.
  • USE – Consider using glass or ceramic pans when baking as they will retain heat much better than metal so you can lower the baking temperature by around 25 degrees.


Keep appliances from consuming cash

The kitchen is full of more than just a fridge – check out these appliance efficiencies.

  • DISHWASHER - New models of dishwasher actually use less water than washing up in the sink, so combine cleanliness with water saving (and indeed time saving) and use your dishwasher. Typical savings are 50% less water and 28% less energy!
  • DISHWASHER - It goes without saying to stack your dishwasher properly and make such it is full, before use BUT if you stop the dishwasher before it goes into drying mode and allow dishes to air dry, it’ll cut back on energy use.
  • WASHING MACHINE - When washing your clothes, don’t underload or overload – there should be about 25% space for the clothes to move and wash properly. Consider washing on a cold setting – this could save 64c a time, so if you wash 3 times a week, this can add up to a staggering $100 a year!
  • TUMBLE DRYER - Vent your tumble drier to the outside to prevent house becoming warm and over-working your air conditioner.


Kitchen considerations for extra savings

Extra ways to save a few more dollars.

  • CONSIDER - Replacing your electric water heater with an instant hot water boiler, so you only heat water as you need it – research has shown they could save you $70-$80 a year (but you need to shop around for a bargain – they can be expensive to install).
  • CONSIDER - Running your electrical appliances off-peak – you could see an extra $58 in your pocket each year.
  • CONSIDER - Stopping buying bottled water to buy a water filter and keep it in the fridge – the savings depend on how much bottled water you buy, but it could be as much as $1400 a year.


Put debt on the chopping board using these simple tips. These alone could add up to over $300 a year, and as much as $1700! Next room to cover, the living room.