We're less than a week from Thanksgiving! It's a time for families to gather, enjoy turkey and other classic fixings, maybe watch some football, maybe prepare for Black Friday shopping, or take part in some other tradition during this time of year. If your Thanksgiving tradition involves gathering at your home, your energy bill might be getting a heavy workout. More people coming in and out of the house while the South Dakota temperatures are slowly getting colder can have a big impact. Between the extra charging of digital devices and other gadgets and the oven running non-stop, there is going to be plenty of reasons for your electrical bill to go through the roof. So, I thought I'd share a few tips to save some cash on your energy bill.
1. Game plan - prepare side dishes that can cook simultaneously with the turkey. Cooking dishes at the same temperature at the same time will reduce the amount of time the oven needs to run while also lightening the load for the cook.
2. Lower the thermostat - With the oven running to cook the turkey and side dishes, the extra heat it generates will help keep the house warm. Drop the temp a couple degrees on the thermostat and save on energy usage.
3. Use ceramic or glass pans - The oven is a common theme during Thanksgiving. Using ceramic or glass pans will allow you to reduce the oven's heat by up to 25 degrees and get the same results. Less energy to achieve the higher heat is savings in your wallet.
4. Alternate cooking options - Use the microwave or a slow cooker whenever possible. The microwave can get the job done quickly while a slow cooker, although it takes much longer, will still use less energy than the oven. And try not to peek in the lid of the slow cooker. Each time you sneak a peek, you could be releasing enough heat to add 25 minutes of cooking time.
5. Hands-off dishwashing - You read that correctly. You should use your dishwasher, not your hands, whenever possible. The dishwasher actually saves energy and water. You should only hand-wash things that aren't dishwasher safe. And, of course, wait until you've got a full load to turn it on. As a bonus, stop the dishwasher before the heated dry cycle. You can save a little extra energy cost by letting your dishes air dry.
Following these tips can help you save a little cash during the holiday next week, and other upcoming holidays as well.
Whether you travel to a large family gathering or stay home for a low-key get-together, I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!