Best Appliances To Save You Money On Bills And How

Swap your oven for kitchen appliances that are designed with energy efficiency in mind.

Best Appliances to save money

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

Energy bills have gone up, so it's good to know that you can reduce your consumption by using the best appliances to save money on bills. By switching to appliances that run on a lower wattage and cook faster you can save money on household bills and enjoy new and innovative ways of cooking.

The reason it's worth investing in the latest kitchen gadgets is that they consume much less power than standard ovens and older appliances. There is no pre-heating with standard microwaves, halogen ovens or pressure cookers, and air fryers take a fraction of the time compared to an oven.

Best Appliances To Save Money On Bills At A Glance

Best air fryer for versatility: Salter Professional EK5106 AeroGrill Pro – View on Amazon UK
Best dual air fryer: Ninja Foodi AF300UK Dual Zone Air Fryer – View on Currys
Best microwave for every day use: SHARP YC-MG02U-S 800W Digital Microwave – View on Amazon UK

It can also be a chance for you to embrace creative and healthier ways of cooking. And this list is not exhaustive, there are other equally energy-efficient cookware appliances, such as digital soup makers, healthy grills, panini makers and food steamers that can replace conventional household appliances. Scroll to the FAQs at the end of this guide for more advice about the cost of living crisis and how levelling up your kitchen appliances can save you money.

Best Appliances To Save Money On Bills

©Photo credit: Natalie Knowles

Best Money-Saving Air Fryers

An air fryer is a countertop convection oven, mostly known as a smart appliance for making healthy chips. You can cook so much more with models that even have a rotisserie, baking, reheating, and grill setting. The wattage of an air fryer ranges from 1300W to 1700W. In general, air fryers retail from around £50, multi-functional air fryers are around £130 and large capacity air fryer ovens between £100 to £200+. It cooks faster and because less oil is used, can be healthier, plus you'll benefit from an appliance that is a lot more cost-effective than a standard oven. And they're cleaner, safer and use up to 99 per cent less oil than a deep fat fryer.

Best air fryer for versatility

The Salter Professional EK5106 AeroGrill Pro multicooker has 16 cooking functions including air fry, grill, dumplings, chips, beef, pork, chicken, drumsticks, wings, fish, shellfish, sausage, BBQ skewers, pizza, bake and dehydrate. The touch control LED display means you can adjust the time and the temperature with precision. This is a great feature if you're cooking fish or meat and are particular about how thoroughly it's cooked. Salter claims that this appliance can save you 68 per cent on your energy bill for cooking*.

*Comparing the energy used (kWh) per kg of chicken using a 1.8 kW oven.

Our review: "After living without an oven for a very long time, this AeroGrill is the answer to my prayers. With a thorough read of the instruction booklet, I was enjoying baking, roasting and grilling again. The model I tested filled my kitchen countertop and it is undeniably a large appliance. I was initially thrown by it needing to preheat because I'm so used to cooking in air fryers, microwaves and slow cookers. The non-stick surface is exceptional, the grill tray is practically wipe-clean, with no need to soak. In short, I'm impressed… and it's infinitely improved my baking."

Read our full review of the Salter Aerogrill.


  • Uses little to no oil
  • Energy-efficient
  • Healthy cooking
  • Multi-functional
  • Accessories included
  • Easy to clean


  • It has to preheat if you're heating up some flatbreads, for example, it's quicker to use a toaster

Best small air fryer

This fantastic 4.5L air fryer is a standard circular design and contains an easy-to-clean non-stick cooking basket, an easy-to-use touch-sensitive display and seven pre-set functions that make cooking up a storm a breeze. The Salter EK4221 XL Digital Air Fryer circulates hot air around to cook the food through and makes an excellent alternative to a deep-fat fryer, making it a healthier choice to cook your meals quickly with little or no oil needed. Featuring 1300W power and a capacity of 4.5 litres, this air fryer is a user-friendly device with seven convenient and straightforward cooking functions, a touch-sensitive display and a 30-minute timer. It is a suitable size for families.

Our review: "This air fryer from Salter comes at a reasonable price for its features and capacity. The rounded body of the central unit does come across as a little clunky compared to more structured boxy models, but it could work in favour for other people's kitchen layouts. The easy-to-use blue digital display looks good and makes navigation simple. The air fryer comes in black, so it would blend into most kitchen décor, though greasy fingerprints on the high-gloss finish might bother you if you don't wipe the LED display after use. In terms of its functionality, it does everything an air fryer should do with ease and has been a pleasure to use."

Read our full review of the Salter EK4221 XL Digital Air Fryer.


  • Large 4.5L capacity
  • Easy-to-navigate touch-sensitive display
  • Simple to clean
  • Affordable price for the size


  • The circular design feels a little clunky

Best dual air fryer

Ninja Foodi AF300UK Dual Zone Air Fryer, 7.6L
Price: £149.99 (was £219.99)

Ninja is the leading brand when it comes to mid-range air fryers and the Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer has everything you need to make the switch from cooking meals in your normal oven. With two independent cooking zones, you can mix and match cooking programs, times and temperatures to create delicious meals in moments. You can even sync them so your whole meal will be ready at the same time. Washing up is easy thanks to non-stick, dishwasher-safe parts.

Customer review: "Best kitchen appliance ever. I've used it nearly every day since I bought it. Unlike other appliances which have ended up either in the garage or in one of the top cupboards never to be used again."


  • Dual zone makes cooking lots of different components easy
  • Programmable times and temperatures
  • Easy instructions


  • Takes up room on side

Best Microwaves To Save Money On Bills

No longer a humble kitchen appliance used to make porridge once in a blue moon. A good peruse of the manual will open your eyes to fantastic new ways to poach fish and eggs, melt chocolate and par-cook baked potatoes before finishing in the oven. But if all you need is a simple and quick way to reheat a meal, then a microwave does just that. A basic freestanding microwave costs around £60, that's with around a 20-litre capacity and 700 watts of power. A combination microwave with a 40-litre capacity, 900 watts, grill and oven functionality costs around £250.

A microwave oven uses electromagnetic radiation from microwaves to heat and cook food, and are hugely efficient because the cooking time is so short. Expect grill and convection oven functions to use more power. This essential kitchen appliance can defrost and cook food very quickly. Higher-spec models have convection oven functions which means you can grill, roast, bake, steam and air fry too.

Best microwave for everyday use

Fast and convenient this aesthetically pleasing SHARP YC-MG02U-S 800W Digital Microwave is an excellent middle-of-the-range appliance with timer and grill functions that you'd expect to find in some of the more expensive combi microwaves. Its size makes it perfect for a small household. Practical and ideal for busy lives or if you need the ease of being able to heat a ready meal.

Customer review: "Smart, small microwave that is large enough inside for a full-size dinner plate and does everything you could wish."


  • Space-saving
  • Features a 1000W grill
  • Good value for money


  • Buttons are a little too small to read

Best microwave for ease of use

ESSENTIALS CMW21 Compact Solo Microwave
Price: £51.99 (was £64.99)

Best for ease of use, this ESSENTIALS CMW21 Compact Solo Microwave has six power settings and easy-to-use dials to control the cooking time. The turntable diameter is 24.5cm. From popcorn to melting chocolate, that ping of plenty can be for so much more than ready meals and reheating cold cups of coffee.

Customer review: "I bought this microwave for my elderly parents, and they really like it. They have said that it's very easy to use and does the job."


  • Compact
  • Dial controls
  • Ideal for one person


  • It's small so consider if this is big enough for your household

Best Pressure Cookers To Save Money On Bills

A pressure cooker is a pot with a tight-fitting lid that allows steam to build up under high pressure. The pressure makes food cook very quickly, which means less energy is used compared to conventional stove-top cooking. Curries, casseroles and chillies, which you normally make in a slow cooker, can be made in even less time in a pressure cooker. Food is nutritious because all the goodness stays in the pot. Imagine an authentic lamb biriyani in as little as 40 minutes. Savour all of the flavours of a delicious one-pot meal, with deep melt-in-your-mouth appeal, in a fraction of the time.

There are two types of pressure cookers. The cheapest option is a lidded pot powered by your stove, retailing at around £40. There are also electric pressure cookers that work independently of your stove, prices start at £60 and on average they run at 1000W. At the top end of the range, there are models with additional features - such as rice cooker and steamer settings - for £200+.

It makes you think twice about having a hob full of pots and pans bubbling away and how inefficient that cooking process is.

Best mid-range multicooker


Crockpot Turbo Express Pressure Multicooker
Price: £120.88 (was £137.99)

The Crockpot Turbo Express Pressure Multicooker has a Turbo function, which makes cooking 40% faster than standard high-pressure cooking. Also, this appliance offers versatility with 14-in-1 functions. It's the 5.6L round model which has the capacity to feed 6+ people. In short, the Crockpot multicooker is one space-saving appliance that does the job of multiple appliances.

Our review: "With 14 ways to cook, this is the right tool for multiple cooking jobs. The locking, air-tight lid stays sealed under pressure for peace of mind. Just be aware of the safety guidance and don't misuse the appliance. I love the design of the multicooker, being circular, it fits snuggly into the corner of my worktop and gives me a little space to put a plate or chopping board next to it.

"This multicooker really comes into its own when you use a combination of functions. For example, browning meats and onions first before slow cooking. Or switch to the Brown/Sauté function at the end of slow cooking to thicken the gravy with cornflower.

"It's ideal for a small kitchen where there's no room for a freestanding cooker. Finally, as an impatient person I love how fast it can cook, especially using the Turbo setting."

Read our full review of the Crockpot Turbo Express Pressure Multicooker.


  • Versatile
  • Fast and efficient
  • Lightweight, durable and non-stick cooking pot


  • Trial and error to get the cooking times right

Best energy-efficient pressure cooker

The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Smart Cooker is great for small households. It's a multi-cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté functions and more. It's an ideal investment if your kitchen space is limited because it has the functionality of several appliances. The Instant Pot has built-in safety features to prevent it from overheating and it has a safety locking lid. Reviews rave about its versatility and there is some wonderful recipe inspiration online.

Customer review: "What I used to accomplish in eight hours in my slow cooker, I can now accomplish in my Instant Pot in an hour and a half or less with pressure cooking. I have made brisket, steamed vegetables, potato soup, a whole chicken, chilli, rice, roast beef, lentil soup, steamed eggs, beans, and proven dough."


  • Cooks meals 70 per cent faster
  • Easy to clean
  • Reliable


  • Some reviews have commented that it would benefit from a glass lid so you can see the food cooking

Best Slow Cookers To Save On Bills

With a slow cooker, you get the joy of coming home to a hot dinner that's ready and waiting for you, getting the maximum flavour out of the cheapest cuts of meat saving extra pennies. They tend to have a toughened glass lid so you can check on your meal without letting the heat and juices escape, and it means you only need to add a third of the usual amount of liquid. Basic models have low, warm and high settings and some models have timers. Food won't burn as slow cookers don't get hot enough - you can leave them running all day long. In addition, you can bring the ceramic cooking pot directly to the table and reduce the number of dishes you have to wash up.

The price of a slow cooker starts at £20 and with added functions the price increases to around £80. This makes them the cheapest small kitchen appliance in our guide. Just because it's on for longer doesn't mean it's consuming more energy. A slow cooker's power consumption is the lowest too - around 200 watts being the average. Slow cookers are - without a doubt - the most energy-efficient appliance.

Best family slow cooker

If you tend to be forgetful about what you're cooking Salter's fabulous Chalkboard EK2842 Slow Cooker has a surface that you can write and draw on, and it also claims to cut 81 per cent off your energy bills*. Simple to use, just pop your ingredients in the pot and let them stew. You'll come home to a hearty meal every time.
*Comparing the energy (kWh) used per kg of pork using a 1.8kW electric oven

Customer review: "Saves on fuel costs and uses up leftover veggies. Love the chalkboard, as my memory is not what it was. Can cook double and freeze for next time."


  • Fun chalkboard feature
  • Super energy efficient method of cooking


  • Small capacity

Best slow cooker for value

VonShef 1.5L Slow Cooker
Price: £24.99

Ideal for up to two people, this budget VonShef 1.5L Slow Cooker has low, high and warm settings for smart cooking that's super low fuss and energy efficient. Simple and easy to use - you'll enjoy deep flavours, tender meat and comforting bowls of nutritious goodness.

Customer review: "Just what you need for two people who need an easy dinner."


  • Excellent value
  • Easy to clean
  • Energy-efficient


  • Consider a slow cooker with a larger capacity if you're going to use it for batch cooking

Best energy-efficient slow cooker

The lightweight aluminium cooking pot can be used on your hob to sear and sauté which is ideal for browning meat before slow cooking. Though it is not compatible with an induction hob. Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Oval 3.5L Slow Cooker is made of aluminium so it can even go in a standard oven – perfect for crisping up the dumplings on a beef cobbler or the top of a pudding. It has a dishwasher-safe lid and cooking pot. This oval-shaped slow cooker has a compact footprint, so it's perfect for small kitchens and a household of one or two people. A larger model is available for families.


  • Compared to a ceramic pot, this aluminium cook pot is extremely lightweight
  • Stylish
  • Economical to run


  • No customer reviews

Best Money-Saving Halogen Ovens

Halogen ovens are countertop kitchen appliances that grill, roast, bake and defrost using hot air convection. Small and powerful, they can cook three times faster than a conventional oven. Standard halogen ovens retail between £45-75. The higher spec models with multi cooker and special functions, such as rotisserie, are just over £100. The power of these appliances ranges between 1200W to 1500W. The cooking dish is generally a toughened glass bowl, so you can see your food cooking. A halogen oven is a good option if you were looking to replace a conventional oven with a cheaper alternative, as you can cook more than one thing at once - imagine your roast chicken, jacket potato and vegetables all baking in one dish.

Best halogen oven for safety features

The SQ Professional Blitz Halogen Air Fryer has the most safety features of all the halogen ovens we have reviewed. This "All-In-One-Cooking-Solution" has a protective basket that encases the glass cooking dish and there's an auto-shutoff switch. A full accessory pack includes an extender ring, tongs, steamer, and two racks. The rack acts as an extra shelf so that you can cook more which is a benefit you don't tend to get with pressure cookers and slow cookers.

Customer review: "Very happy with this product. Have used it 5 times, and the food is well cooked and tasty. Very good value for money and have recommended to friends and family."


  • The dish can be divided up using racks, so separate foods can be cooked at once
  • Comes with an accessory pack


  • The heating element is in the lid, take care with the hot lid when serving food

Best halogen oven for capacity

The Daewoo Deluxe Halogen Air Fryer claims to be up to 73 per cent cheaper to run than a conventional oven (when compared to a 5000W oven). It's available in a range of sizes - from 2L up to 17L. The 2L and 3L models will be ideal for small households.

Customer review: "Bought this for my elderly mother who lives alone, she still enjoys cooking but was wasting far too much energy. Using a big cooker for just a small dish, this fan oven was fantastic my mother found it easy to use and easy to clean. She said it was quicker to cook too, bonus!"


  • Auto shut off
  • Extension ring
  • Self-cleaning


  • Not suitable for a dishwasher

OUR VERDICT: Best Appliances To Save Money On Bills

Before buying, do consider your budget, the size and needs of your household, and the space available to accommodate a new appliance. Any one of these products will make your meal preparation more efficient - saving you time and money - in comparison to using a conventional oven or boiling several pans on the hob.

Nigella Lawson famously pronounced "mee-cro-was-vay" in 2020 and we say if you have a budget of less than £60, the benefits of a standard microwave make this our essential small kitchen appliance to save money on energy bills. In winter, it's even more important that everyone has access to hot food. Do take care to measure your largest dinner plate and compare it with the diameter of the microwave's turntable to make sure you can reheat safely.

Microwaves are practical for busy lives and save on washing up. Consider your kitchen worktop space and the size of the appliance. Are you a small or large household? Therefore, how much capacity does the microwave need to have?

Expect to pay more for functionality and quality. But a combination microwave, with a capacity ranging from 23L to 40L, could be an ideal all-in-one cooking appliance for a family. Great for foodies and space-saving if you are looking for an appliance that can replace your standard oven. Combi microwaves cook with microwave energy and convection (hot air that's circulated by a fan) and a lot of the newer models have sensor technology so your food won't overcook.

FAQs: Best Appliances To Save Money On Bills

Why have household bills risen?

It's a complex range of factors, including the rise in wholesale gas, international politics, and climate change. In the UK, we rely on gas to produce a third of our electricity, this is why the price of electricity has increased along with gas.

What can we do to save money?

Firstly, identify the bills where you can make changes to save money. There are simple things that we can all do, such as switching off 'vampire' appliances rather than leaving them on standby (saving £147 a year). Buy new electrical appliances which have been designed to be more energy efficient. Larger electrical goods, such as ovens and washing machines, have an energy efficiency rating from A to G. If your appliance is rated A to C it is efficient, and the running cost is low.

Energy performance certificate

How can I save money using appliances?

The Energy Saving Trust states that between1 January and 31 March 2024, the unit cost of electricity is 29p per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Having a smart meter installed is a way of monitoring your household's energy consumption and you can see the effect of running a particular appliance. The power it takes to run an appliance is measured in watts. For example, the wattage of a microwave is typically 1000W.

You can work out how much your appliance costs per use with this equation:

Appliance Power (W) x Amount of Time Used (p/h) x GBP per kWh (0.29) / 100 = Price Per Use

Amount of Time must be in decimals (0.5 is 30mins, 1.5 is 90mins)

For example, cooking a baked potato in a standard 5000W oven for one-hour costs 14.5p (5000 x 1 x 0.29 / 100). In comparison, a baked potato that is cooked for 15mins in a 1000W microwave costs 0.72p (1000 x 0.25 x 0.29 / 100).

Which kitchen appliances cost the least to run?

Air fryers, slow cookers, electric pressure cookers and microwaves all consume significantly less energy than a standard oven. They cook faster, have a lower wattage. According to Heatable, a microwave costs just 6p to run for 10 minutes. In comparison, a 2100W oven costs 71p.

Is it safe to cook in a microwave?

It's been proven that cooking with microwaves is safe. But be mindful that there are some things that must not be heated in a microwave: Styrofoam, aluminium foil and metal should not be heated in a microwave. Do not run a microwave when it is empty as this will damage the appliance.

Thicker pieces of food are more difficult for microwaves to penetrate, which may result in uneven cooking and cold spots. This is why it is recommended to rest food after cooking in a microwave. This allows heat to distribute evenly and kills off any potential risk of food poisoning.

What can I cook in an air fryer?

No more deep-fat fryer smells - air fryers are ideal for cooking all the goodies you would have deep-fried in the past. Wild air fryer food hacks have even gone viral on TikTok. If you like to have fun with food, this is the appliance for you. We can't wait to make British Tapas.

What can I cook in a pressure cooker?

For wonderful cooking inspiration follow @catherinephipps on Instagram. Imagine succulent ribs, authentic dhal and even Christmas pudding perfectly cooked in under an hour.

What can I cook in a slow cooker?

It's a one-pot meal wonder - from porridge, and lasagne to mulled wine - there's no shortage of inspiration for delicious recipes online. Even heat is applied, and food is cooked at a low temperature over a longer period. Therefore, slow cookers are much less intensive in energy consumption and are the ideal appliance for batch cooking. With a little planning and preparation, you can save energy and time with a slow cooker. Once cold, you can fill up your freezer with portioned servings of all your slow-cooked favourites, such as Bolognese, kedgeree and comforting sausage casserole.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen appliances. When she's not testing coffee machines, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

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