Published On: Thu, Feb 29th, 2024

Get switched on to greener cooking, hot tips for energy saving meals | Personal Finance | Finance

A free recipe book has been created to help households slash their cooking times and energy bills without the need to splash out on complicated air fryers.

By tweaking ingredients and ways of preparing meals, clever cooking can reduce energy costs by up to 80% compared to traditional recipes.

Research shows it costs £208.93 a year to cook for an hour a day, so the free book compiled by cooking appliance brand Belling could save individual families £49.32 a year – and the nation as a whole tens of millions. With high fuel bills and the cost-of-living crisis a concern to most, every saving helps.

A roast chicken dinner traybake can be out of the oven and on the table in just 40 minutes – simply by swapping a whole bird for chicken thighs – reducing cooking time by an hour and four minutes and using 62% less energy.

Or a Moroccan sausage and chickpea tagine cooked on the hob instead of traditionally in the oven could be ready a whole hour and 39 minutes sooner and cost 94p less. Baking orzo instead of constantly stirring a pot of risotto is another tip – with the bonus of whacking the ingredients for the whole dish – along with a side of garlic bread – into the oven and job done.

Swapping minced beef for pulses and transforming a Shepherd’s Pie into a Spiced Shepherdess pie cuts cooking time by 57 minutes and 54p on energy – without factoring in the lower cost of the ingredients.

According to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data there are 19.4m families in the UK and if each family cooked for just an hour per day under current energy tariffs, it equates to a £4.1bn collective annual energy spend.

The cookbook offers also offers tips on how to bulk out dishes with beans and pulses and uses for leftover vegetables rescued from the bottom of the fridge. And another housekeeping hack is revealed – it really does pays to be squeaky clean in the kitchen – and not only for hygienic purposes. Burnt on food absorbs heat so hobs and ovens need to kept spotless to keep bills down.

The size and type of pots and pan used can also impact on energy use, glass dishes hold heat better than metal ones and packing a saucepan too tightly means it will take longer to boil.

Amy Hutchinson, spokesperson for Belling said: “Energy prices remain high and many households are feeling the pinch, but every family deserves good quality home-cooked food on the table. We’ve been at the heart of British kitchens for more than a century, so we’ve used some of that know-how to create lower-energy recipes that everyone can enjoy whilst saving money.

“Each dish is a time and money-saver which, over the course of a year, puts a nice sum back in the pockets of families across the country – and if every family got involved, collectively it’s a serious saving.

“Not every household has access to slow cookers and air fryers, which can contribute to energy saving, but most households have an oven. Our free, downloadable Belling recipe book helps save money in the kitchen, without sacrificing taste, nutrition, and enjoyment”.

 The Belling Energy-Saving Recipe Book is free to download from

Top ten energy-saving recipes vs traditional recipes:

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