Spend $60 to Save Long Term on Energy

We don’t use a microwave, so all of our baking and food warming happens in our oven. My son cooks himself a hot lunch daily, so it’s not unusual for the oven to be warmed up to 350 degrees a couple of times a day. Even though I usually try to combine dinner preparation with a round of baking, it seemed like we weren’t exactly being efficient. After pondering it for six months or so, I finally forked out for a toaster oven, deciding on an Oster Six-Slice Extra Capacity Convection Toaster Oven. Yes, it came packaged with a couple of slabs of Styrofoam (cringe).

My son uses the toaster oven for making lunch, I’ve cooked many dinners in it (casserole dishes actually fit), and even baked a loaf of bread. It’s convenient and takes less time to warm up than the full sized oven, but I’ve been waiting to see if it would actually make any difference in my utility bill. The answer: absolutely!

Household energy usage this past month (the first full month with the toaster oven) is down by about 75 kilowatt hours, netting a $30 savings. In just two months, I’ll have recouped what I spent on the oven. After that, it’s pure savings for my checkbook, plus I’m using less of the diesel-powered energy provided by my local utility company. In the long run, I think I can be forgiven for that Styrofoam, yes?

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  • Robin I. Mack ,

    I see we bought the same one/size/brand, Mine is last years model though.

  • Gina Rochelle Cubbage ,

    I have a smaller one & find it perfect for everything. & yes the heat up time is so much less.

  • Brette Sember ,

    We use our toaster oven a lot. I like that it heats up more quickly than the big oven and things cook quicker too. We use ours for things like pizza and heating up pancakes or French toast, as well as lots of bagels. It’s also nice for making toasted cheese sandwiches. And I like that I’m using less energy. It is definitely worth it to buy one of the higher end models. I used to buy the cheap $20 ones and they never lasted more than 6 months. Our last one just died after 10 years and I had to replace it. 

  • Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve never measured how much I’m saving using the toaster oven, but I definitely love mine and don’t miss the microwave a bit! 

  • Irene ,

    Looks like a great addition to your kitchen and your lifestyle.
    Would you recommend any particular type?

  • This is so smart. Who needs a big blast of heat when a small one will do?

  • glad you made this experiment. I’ve never owned a microwave, but then I’ve not had a toaster oven since I was at university, either. good to know of tghe energy savings.

  • I had one once but ended up returning it because it just took up too much counter space. I’ll have to look into it again–that’s some serious savings.

    • It does take up counter space, something I’ve got precious little of already. But I decided it was worth it for the energy (and bank account!) savings.

  • A toaster oven! That’s cool. You don’t hear much about toaster ovens these days. 

  •  @Attainable Sustainable has a great idea. She bought a toaster oven and now doesn’t have to heat the entire oven for much of her cooking.

  • We don’t have a microwave either. I love our toaster oven. It works for cooking meat, warming up food, and even some baking projects!

  • Our microwave broke and now we’re all set to buy a toaster oven. I hadn’t thought about the energy savings.

  • merr ,

    You are making me very interested in buying another toaster oven. We have a pop-up toaster right now, and it’s fine, but I recall using the oven format quite often when we had it. Hmmm.

  • What an interesting tip. I have a toaster/convection oven that gets way too little use. It didn’t occur to me that it could be an energy-saver as well as an inconvenience. Time to teach the kids how to use it!

  • I use my toaster oven quite a lot.  I’ll agree with a previous poster that is it worth the investment to get a higher end model.  I’ve cooked everything from muffins and casseroles, to pizza in them.  I would also recommend a $20 splurge on toaster-oven-sized bakeware.  Living in Florida, it is a huge savings not to turn on the conventional oven during summer months while the air conditioner is running, since it heats up the whole apartment.  

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