I've cut bills by £200 a year by ditching energy-guzzling appliance and barely use heating either – how you can too | The Sun

A SAVVY mum-of-two has slashed £200 off the household bills by turning off her oven and using an air fryer instead.

She’s then made further savings by dramatically reducing the amount of time she has the heating on.

Bryony Lewis lives in Fareham, Hampshire, with her husband, seven-year-old son, and five-year-old daughter.  

The 39-year-old is a self-employed e-commerce business owner.

She runs T & Belle, a firm which creates and sells gifts and keepsakes for new mums and parents. 

With the cost of living on the up, Bryony was determined to find ways to keep a lid on rising bills.

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She told The Sun. “When energy prices started to go up, I looked at which appliances in our house had the highest energy consumption.

I wanted to see if there were areas where we could cut back in order to lower our usage.

"We used our smart meter to find out where our money was going.”

Some appliances use more energy than others to run. 

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Bryony found that her electric oven and gas central heating were among the worst culprits, driving her bills sky-high.

“These energy-guzzlers were costing us a fortune, so I set about finding alternatives,” she said.

“Our washing machine also featured near the top of that list, but as there's no real alternative to this appliance, we decided to focus on the others.”

According to Uswitch, under the July 2023 price cap, it costs around 60p to run a 2kw oven for an hour.

The price cap is currently £2,074 a year on average, but from the start of October, is due to fall to £1,923.

Bryony added: “We probably used to use our oven around 10 hours a week, meaning a weekly cost of £6.”

Over a year, this could mean the family was spending a whopping £300 on this appliance alone.

“Once I’d discovered how much it was costing to use the oven, I was quite shocked,” said the money-saving mum.

“This prompted me to start looking for alternatives to try and save money.

"I’d heard a lot about air fryers but I took a bit of convincing.

"Now I’ve got one and have seen just how easy they are to use, and how evenly they cook stuff, I’m a complete convert.”

Around a year ago, the family invested in a 7.6-litre Ninja Dual air fryer when it was on offer on Amazon. They paid around £160.

Under the July 2023 price cap, to use a 1.4kw air fryer for 20 minutes costs just 14p, meaning using it for an hour would cost 42p.

Bryony said: “As it’s a lot faster to cook with the air fryer, we probably only use it for a total of three or four hours a week,” she said.

This means the family is spending less than £2 per week on their air fryer, adding up to a yearly cost of under £100.

This is an annual saving of £200, compared to using an oven.

Bryony added: “As a result of this purchase, we only use the oven very occasionally now, typically just when cooking pizza or baking cakes, as those won’t fit in the air fryer.

"Ditching the oven has significantly reduced our energy usage.”

'We rarely use our central heating'

Making the switch to an air fryer is not the only step the family has taken.

They’ve also made another big change in a bid to slash their energy bill.

“We got a log burner fitted last autumn,” said Bryony.

“This means we rarely have to use the gas central heating any more, only switching it on when we really need to.”

As a result, the household now makes big savings there, too.

The savvy mum added: “It cost us around £800 to purchase the log burner, and as we already had an existing open fireplace, installation was pretty straightforward.

"In terms of running costs, we spent just £85 on logs, kindling and firelighters last year, which lasted us the whole winter season.”

This compares to spending hundreds of pounds on gas central heating.

In fact, figures from Uswitch show that based on typical consumption, the average household with gas central heating spends around £400 for three months of heating.

For those who have it on for closer to six months, this figure could almost double to £800.

“During the colder months, we used the log burner every day when the children got home from school,” said Bryony.

“We invested in good-quality logs which meant the unit gave out a lot of heat.

"We were able to heat the whole of the downstairs, meaning we could get away with using the central heating very sparingly, usually no more than one hour per day.”

Aside from topping up on logs and kindling as and when needed, the only other real associated cost is getting the chimney swept regularly.

Bryony said: “Getting a log burner really has been a very sensible option for us.

"In fact, both this, and the air fryer have helped tremendously with our energy bills.

"With all the price rises, these purchases have been a godsend.”

Now that they are so much more aware of the big energy guzzlers, the whole family has become more diligent about the steps they take to be more efficient.

“We are careful to always switch appliances off at the plug,” said Bryony.

“This is a simple step that anyone can take.

"I’d definitely urge other people to check their appliances, as if you’re leaving things on standby, this could be costing you a lot of money.

"A few pence a day might not seem like much, but can soon add up.”

What else can I do to slash costs?

When it comes to cutting energy spend, other quick wins include ditching the tumble dryer and hanging clothes outside if you can.

If this isn’t an option for you, an indoor airer or even a heated airer will still work out a lot cheaper.


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Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can be another easy way to save £100 a year.

For lots more ways to save, read ‘Full list of energy tips which could slash your bills.

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