Personal Finance

Could YOU save £604 a year by changing how you cook food? New workshops give tips to Britons

Supermarket Iceland and Utilita Energy are offering free workshops to families to offer ways to cut bills with savvy cooking tips.

Thousands of free lessons will be available up and down the country, with the pair claiming their 15 ways to cut energy use could help to save households up to £604 a year.

In one example, Utilita and Iceland calculated it costs a household £316 a year to use an oven for cooking, while changing to a microwave, which is more efficient, would cost just £30 a year to use.

In another tip, they claim batch cooking meals—cooking lots of portions in one go to freeze or eat through the week—can save up to £158 a year.

Iceland and Utilita carried out research that found households spend about 43 minutes a day cooking, with 42% using their oven by default.

They ranked household cooking appliances on their usage costs and found ovens were the most expensive to run, despite being used the most.

Cooking energy usage could be cut by between 60 and 90% if habits were changed, they estimated.

How much does it cost to use your cooking equipment?

  • Electric cooker: 87p a day, £316 a year
  • Gas cooker: 33p a day, £120 a year
  • Slow cooker: 16p a day, £58 a year
  • Air fryer: 14p a day, £51 a year
  • Microwave: 8p a day, £30 a year

The figures assume an oven is being used for the average 43 minutes a day, while microwaves are used for about 20 minutes a day.

Other tips Utilita says will save money while cooking:

  • Batch cooking: Save £158 a year
  • Using the correct size pan with a lid: Save £72 a year
  • Simmering rather than boiling: Save £68 a year
  • Filling kettle with just the water you need: Save £19 a year

Latest figures from the ONS show inflation hit 10.1% in July, largely pushed up by food and non-alcoholic drinks. Bread, cereals, milk, cheese and eggs are the fastest rising prices, the BBC reported.

Acknowledging the energy efficiency of air fryers, Iceland and Utilita will be selling a 4.5 litre Tower Housewares fryer for a discounted price of £35, which they say will be repaid in savings in just 47 days of not using an oven.

And to encourage the use of it, Iceland is changing its packaging to give cooking instructions for more appliances, including the air fryer.

Richard Walker, Iceland's managing director, said: "The cost of living crisis continues to be the biggest national issue facing consumers and as a private, family-run business, we're constantly looking at both short, and long term initiatives that can offer any support."

Bill Bullen, Utilita's founder and boss, said: "For as long as we can remember, our kitchens have been designed around the oven being the main cooking method, which isn't the case for many households today.

"Much more economical cooking appliances such as air fryers, slow cookers and microwaves have become increasingly popular. However, the cooking instructions on food packets haven't reflected this.

"Utilita and Iceland are closely aligned in our mission to help households make their money go further. There are so many factors that neither Richard nor I can control today, but the cost of cooking is mutual ground that we can help consumers with. This unique partnership will hopefully urge other supermarkets to do the same and help consumers choose the most economical cooking methods."

Read Nimblefins’ 11 ways to save energy in the home here.


Our team of writers has expertise in business, car, travel, home and pet insurance as well as personal finance issues.


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