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No one wants to spend more money than they have to, especially when they’re on a budget. Fortunately there are ways you can save money in your kitchen and help the environment out in the process.

How many of you have those high tech refrigerators that make ice seemingly out of thin air? Have you ever noticed how when you need ice there never seems to be enough and in times like the winter, there seems to be so much that it’s practically overflowing. Are you ever afraid that you’re going to open the freezer door one day and you’re going to get bombarded by millions of ice cubes? Okay, so maybe that will never happen, but you need to realize that the automatic ice maker in your freezer consumes energy. So if you see that your appliance is producing too much ice, turn the automatic ice maker off, especially if it’s winter. By doing this you can save up to 20 percent from the cost of your next electric bill.

The dishwasher is another kitchen appliance which is quite useful but can consume too much energy if you’re not careful. Leaving dirty dishes in your dishwasher isn’t nearly as bad as leaving them piled up on the kitchen sink. In fact, it’s recommended. Dishwaters not only use up the precious water supply, but also leaves a carbon footprint as well. It’s extremely energy consuming, especially because it uses heat to dry the dishes once they are washed. The same happens when you dry clothes in your dryer. There are a couple of things you can do to go eco-friendly. First of all, when you pile the dishes, make sure they are piled up properly.

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There’s a reason why there are slots for dishes, pots, cups, and silverware. So use them. Otherwise, an overflowed dishwasher can result in your dishes not being cleaned well. This will mean you will have to wash your dishes all over again wasting twice as much energy for what should have been one load. Also, don’t assume that you have to wash dishes after every meal. Wait until you have enough dishes stacked in the washer and then start a cleaning cycle. Of course, you can always go the old fashioned way and wash your dishes with a sponge once and a while.

If you like to bake like Martha Stewart then invest in an oven that actually has a light that allows you to see how the baking is going. If you have the bad habit of opening the oven door to check, you are basically wasting a whole bunch of energy. While you are at it, let us go topside to the coil size. Most stoves have four tops with different coil sizes to match the size of your pot or pan. So make sure that the size of your pot or pan matches the coil. If you want to fry an egg and you use a small pot on a big coil, you will end up producing a lot of heat in your kitchen. This will either make you turn your fans on higher to lower the heat or he air conditioner.

Common sense when using these appliances will not only save you money and electricity, you will also be reducing the carbon footprint that threatens our planet. So sit down with your family to enjoy a nice cooked meal from the oven, a cold drink from the fridge, and then hand wash the dishes together as a family. Ahh, who am I kidding? Put them in the dishwasher. Go enjoy a movie.