We have been working on our 2024 budget plan for a few weeks now. With inflation as high as it is, we have three main categories that are our largest expenditures: Food, Utilities, and Cable TV and Streaming Services. Today, we are going to talk about utilities and how we are planning on lowering them.
This purchase in the picture is our latest attempt to do that. You all know that I have accumulated a lot of small appliances over the years. They are always more energy efficient than using the natural gas stove top and oven. This new oven will replace a number of other small appliances especially my toaster oven, air fryer oven, and rotisserie. So besides saving energy, it frees up my cluttered counter space. And as we are trying to live a simpler life, this will definitely benefit us. Sometimes, you just have to spend money to save money.
It air fries because it is a convection oven so things cook faster. It broils and bakes. I cooked our homemade pizza for dinner last night in the air fryer rack which you see in the top of the oven part. It not only got done quicker than in the regular oven or toaster oven but the crust was nice and crispy. It will also do a 16 inch frozen convenience pizza. What really amazed me is that it took only 1/2 the time to preheat than my large oven does. I know that makes sense but when we were weighing the pros and cons for buying this, I didn’t think about that.
I could get a small piece of meat or a small casserole in my toaster oven but I could not cook a large roast or small turkey or whole chicken in it. I can get two chickens at a time done in it and cook up to a 15 lb. ham. A 12 x 15 casserole dish will fit in it. Eleven of the cooking functions are preset to make it easy for me: air fry, slow cook, bake, toast, broil, roast, warm, turbo convection, wings, pizza, and grill. This will replace my indoor grill also.
We have looked at this appliance for over 6 months now. It was not a hasty purchase. When I was looking at it back then, it cost more than I paid for it when I ordered it. Plus the only color I could find at that price was red. Not in my kitchen because I have mostly stainless steel appliances. So when Hubby saw it was on sale for less than when we looked before and they had the stainless steel, we pulled the trigger and ordered it. And I know I will not regret this purchase.
I believe I will never have to turn on the big oven again except for a very large turkey. I also think we are going to save much more money in the long run than we spent to buy this which was $ 219.98 + tax. Hubby and I don’t exchange gifts for Christmas because we buy what we need when we need it. But we are calling this our early Christmas gift. The best part is Hubby unboxed it and washed all of the pans and trays and the inside and outside of the oven. That was a bonus for me! So it is now in full use.
I am not going to show you all the ways again that we try to save on our natural gas and electric bill because I have done that many times on here. Just search the tags for saving on utilities or natural gas or electric.
Bottom line, we will do our very best to save on our energy bills even though we have had a rate increase and an increase of $ 2.00 each for our electric meter and gas meter. Winter bills are very high here because we live in a very cold and snowy climate.
We spent $ 2145.60 in 2023 for our natural gas and electric bill . We are allotting $ 2250.00 in our budget for 2024 but hoping to spend less than that with all of the things we do to decrease it. That works out to $ 187.50 per month.
There will be a number of posts over the next 16 days showing you what we are doing with our 2024 budget. They will all be titled 2024 Budget Plan.