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8 cost-saving gadgets to speed up cooking, heating and drying clothes

Switching up how you cook and keep warm can really help with the energy bills, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

To say we’re all looking for ways to save money this winter is an understatement.

Thanks to soaring energy bills and rising food prices, we’re changing the way we cook and heat our homes – and we’re eyeing up electrical appliances like never before.

“We’re all feeling the pinch right now, but we’ve got lots of ideas to help customers save energy, reduce food waste and use the things they buy for longer,” says Wendy Miranda, consumer expert at Lakeland.

“Helping those hard-earned pennies go so much further, sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference,” notes Miranda.

She says customers are using the information from their ‘Spend smart, live well’ campaign to make informed decisions – and buying products such as air fryers, Dry:Soon airers, and items to aid cooking with the microwave.

Elsewhere, Cira Jones, assistant brand manager at Russell Hobbs, says: “We’ve witnessed a huge spike in demand across the board for more energy-efficient appliances.

“Our small kitchen appliances, multicookers and air fryers have been consistently selling out, which is almost certainly reflective of a consumer shift towards more energy-efficient cooking methods during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis,” suggests Jones. “Without compromising on flavour.”

Here’s what’s hot and selling super fast…

1. Homcom Multifunctional Airfryer, £71.99 (9L), Groupon – available beginning of November

Selling like hot cakes, air fryers are enjoying a moment in the sun – big time. This beauty boasts seven programmable menus, with presets for favourites, such as chips, chicken, shrimp and steak (for days when you’re treating yourself), baking and dehydrator. With a preheat function, it’s said to cook food 50% faster than a conventional oven with a saving of 36% on energy. We’re in.

2. Good To Go Multi-Cooker, currently £69.99 from £79.99, Russell Hobbs

It’s a win-win with this super versatile kitchen kit. There are eight functions to inspire a fusion of global recipes, with options to sear, roast, sous vide, slow cook, steam, rice, boil and keep warm. Better still, when everything’s cooked to perfection, the cast aluminium housing pot can be brought straight to the table. Genius.

3. Lakeland Microwave Cookware: Soup Mug, £4.99 (690ml); Lidded Saucepan, £7.99 (900ml); Multi-Steamer, £12.99 ( 2.1L); rest of items from a selection, Lakeland

Whether you’re heating up a mug of soup or steaming veggies, rice, chicken or fish, this microwave cookware range in racing red is bright and beautiful. And another great alternative to firing up the oven.

4. Enfinigy Glass Kettle Black, £149, Zwilling

The humble kettle may be one of the smallest kitchen appliances, but it’s an energy eater. Typically, an electric kettle consumes between two to three kilowatts (kw) – and the higher the kw, the bigger the bill.

Zwilling’s stylish eco glass design outputs 1.5kw, features 10 programme settings, along with six temperature levels. Including handy markers, so you only boil the exact amount of water you need – and the keep warm function means water stays at the same temperature for 30 minutes without needing to re-boil. What’s not to love?

5. Russell Hobbs Ceramic Black Portable Upright Fan Heater, £29.99, Russell Hobbs

Cute and compact, this energy-efficient ceramic fan heater can be carried from room to room, so no need to heat the whole house. Lightweight, with built-in adjustable thermostat and two heat settings, it’s suitable for a standard sized room, up to 15m².

6. Duux Threesixty 2 Smart Fan Heater White, £99.99, Duux

Available in stylish winter white or piano black, this Threesixty is the supercar of personalised heating – showcasing power and efficiency. With WiFi connectivity, smart app compatibility, adjustable temperature and ventilation settings, it’s said to have the capacity to heat a room 30m² twice as fast as conventional heaters.

7. Dry:Soon Drying Pod, £99.99; Dry:Soon Mini-3Tier Heated Airer, £129.99; rest of items from a selection, Lakeland

Designed to hold up to 12 items on hangers, this prized pod flows hot air around your clothes and is cited as costing 34p per hour. While the 3-tier airer holds up to 15kg of washing, costs 7p an hour and can be neatly folded away, so it doesn’t take up lots of space.

8. Bedsure Electric Heated Throw Blanket (130x160cm), £54.99, Amazon

When it’s time to snuggle down on the sofa, you can’t beat a heated throw blanket to stay warm and cosy. With six heat settings and a savvy auto off timer, you won’t use too much power and can keep the heating off.


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