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Grocery coupons save money, but an energy-efficient kitchen also saves money

Grocery coupons aren't the only place to save money in the kitchen. A reduction in energy use can bring your monthly bill down. Plus, it's good for the planet. Here are some tips from Progress Energy Florida that will get you started:

• Pick the right pot. Match your pot size to the burner because heat is lost when small pots are used on large burners. Copper-bottomed pots and pans use heat more efficiently. Warped pans are less efficient than flat-bottomed pans.

• Keep stove reflector pans clean to reflect more heat upward toward the pan. This will help cook your food faster.

• Turn off the oven or burners when the food is almost ready and let existing heat finish the cooking.

• Shorten the cooking time and save energy by using tight-fitting covers on pots and pans.

• Keep the oven door closed. Oven temperatures drop 25 to 30 degrees every time the door is opened to check on food. When the temperature drops, it will take longer for food to cook.

• Use microwaves, toaster ovens and slow cookers whenever possible and save up to 30 percent of the energy required to cook in a conventional oven.

• Choose the "air dry" setting on the dishwasher to save energy and keep your dishwasher from heating up your kitchen.

• Set your refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38 degrees to keep foods safe and increase energy savings. The refrigerator uses the most energy of all household appliances.

• Keep your refrigerator running efficiently by regularly vacuuming the coils.

• Shop in bulk and stock up during sales to keep your freezer full. A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with containers of water when space permits.

Grocery coupons save money, but an energy-efficient kitchen also saves money 03/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:30am]

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