Alternatives to The Oven: Ways to save money when cooking!

With the cost of living crisis occurring and energy bills skyrocketing, for students in student housing paying bills – you…

With the cost of living crisis occurring and energy bills skyrocketing, for students in student housing paying bills – you may want to look for alternate ways of cooking that require less energy and therefore cost less. I wanted to give you an ultimate guide on ways to cook your favourite student meals but for less!

Air Fryers

Air fryers have hit a new trend with families up and down the country buying them to save money in the long run! With the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale continuing and the Boxing Day sale approaching, it may be worth looking out for some good deals. Not only will this save money but it’ll cut down time. The average air fryer takes half the amount of time to pre-heat.

Statistics say that an air fryer will require less kilowatts per hour to reach its maximum temperature and that they cook things much more quickly due to the amount of surface area they use.

Slow Cookers

What could be more easier for a student than to shove everything in a pot and then leave it for 6 hours? Slow cookers are not only life savers for time saving but also for saving energy. The Energy Saving Trust have stated that on average, a slow cooker draws about the same amount of energy as a standard electric light bulb. This way, keeping a slow cooker on for a long period uses up very little energy.

There are some fantastic slow cooker recipes found online, my personal favourites are the BBC Good Food’s selection found here.

Sandwich Press

There are so many options for toasties and paninis when it comes to student lunches. I know it’s usually my go-to and sandwich presses can be super affordable. They can be ordered on Amazon for as little as £20. The higher the wattage, the more efficient it can be in reducing the time it’ll take to toast a sandwich (or sandwiches if you get a large enough one).

With the average sandwich press being roughly 700 watts, it can cost as little as 9p per hour to run. You will definitely not need it on for an hour, maybe 15 minutes at the max so that’s just 2.25p per sandwich.


Now, I don’t condone living off microwave meals but let’s be honest, we’re students – it’s in our nature. However, microwaves can be incredibly efficient. Almost every student accommodation contains a microwave (or two) and with the settings available, you can create an incredible amount in a microwave.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, they have stated that a microwave is more energy efficient than a standard gas or electric oven. However, they’ve also stated that it will use an incredible amount if left on standby so ensure you turn it off at the wall! Again, BBC Good Food have some brilliant microwave recipes here.

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