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What’s cooking this holiday season? Savings!

The holiday season has arrived and for some of us, that means cooking and preparing meals for our loved ones. You can save energy while you cook when you adjust how you use your kitchen appliances and cookware.

To be more energy efficient in the kitchen, use these energy-saving tips below.

  1. Preheat the oven to the exact temperature you need. The oven won’t heat up any faster at a higher setting.
  2. Put lids on pots and pans to prevent heat loss.
  3. Turn off the oven 10 minutes early – the food will keep cooking as long as the door stays closed.
  4. No peeking! Whenever you open the oven door, the temperature drops by about 25 degrees.
  5. Use glass or ceramic dishes if possible. They retain heat better and cook food faster.

When you’re ready to clean, make sure your dishwasher is full before running it. It’s more energy efficient.

Cut back on energy, not the sweets!

Enjoy these post-feast dessert night-caps without the hassle, risk or expense of additional baking.

Samoa Bars
Here’s a new take on the favorite Girl Scout classic (via The Cookie Elf).

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 10-ounce bag marshmallows (6 cups)
  • 5 cups crisp rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies®)
  • 3 cups shredded coconut, divided
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) caramel sauce or caramel toping
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Full recipe here.

Cheese Cake
Unlike a regular cheesecake, this recipe doesn’t include eggs, giving it a more pudding-like consistency, but tasty nonetheless (via Just a Taste).

Ingredients Check-List:

  • 2 sleeves (18 sheets) graham crackers
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  • Full recipe here.

Key-Lime Pie
It’s not really Thanksgiving without a pie, but apple and pumpkin creations can be a lot of work. This key-lime concoction is low in fat and fuss (via A Taste of Home).

Ingredients Check-List:

  • 1 package (.3 ounce) sugar-free lime gelatin
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cartons (6 ounces each) Key lime yogurt
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
  • Full recipe here.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie
In case you want something chocolatey, try this recipe. It’s easy as, you know… (via Eating on a Dime).

  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 (8oz) container Cool Whip
  • 1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
  • 1 bag of miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups-crushed
    (You can actually use any candy bar and change it up…for example Butterfinger Pie)
  • Full recipe here.

Still on the hunt for additional ways to save?

PSEG Long Island