Mum won’t use her oven after ‘frightening’ energy bill – how to cook food for ‘pennies’


Energy bills are set to rise once again in January, with the Ofgem energy price cap soaring to an annual level of £4,279 in January 2023. Though bill-payers remain protected under the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), many people are already taking drastic measures to protect their finances.

Money-saving influencer Heidi Ondrak is one of them, regularly sharing her tips and tricks “to help through the cost of living crisis” with her audience of 34.7K followers on TikTok.

The Mum, who posts under the username @DuchessofThrift, was taken aback by the jump in her energy bill for just one day after using her oven to cook a Christmas dinner for her family on December 25. The leap was so great that she has vowed to only use her oven twice a year on special occasions.

Video viewers were also surprised by how much money she was having to spend on power, with one describing the cost as “frightening”. 

In her video, Heidi explained: “We have been spoiled this week because we have had a couple of days when we have had roasts. But let me show you why I don’t use my oven.”

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Heidi showed how on a regular day with all of her children home she spends roughly £8.55 for 15.5kWh of electricity usage. “That’s quite high anyway because the kids are home,” she said.

She then compared the bill with December 25, when she spent £15.09 on 28.2kWh of electricity, much of which she blamed on using her oven. “Sunday when we cooked a Christmas dinner, £15.09 that’s just for the electric,” Heidi explained. “I had no choice but to use the oven on that day because there was that much stuff to go in, different bits and bobs.”

She compared the Christmas bill with another day when they had cooked a roast beef dinner. Heidi explained: “Yesterday we had something cooked in the oven, roast beef, a posh one and it was £10.41.”

In a comment, she added: “I was just shocked at how much more it was on the oven days, especially Christmas day as it was in so long.” 

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She continued: “This is why my oven will only be used at Christmas and Easter now.  It’s why I use the air fryer. My favourite is the George Foreman [grill]. If you cut the meat into thin slithers because everything cooks so quickly on there.

“The slow cooker costs pennies to cook on, that’s another favourite as well. And as soon as the weather is nice I’ll be out there barbecuing.”

Heidi’s video has so far amassed 55 “likes” with commenters sharing their own experience grappling with the cost of bills. One user said: “It’s frightening. My electricity will go up a lot on the 1 March as I’m still on a fixed tariff untill the end of February, I’m dreading it.” [SIC]

Another added: “Gas and electric was £31 for me on Christmas day – and it’ll likely increase by 50 percent in April 2023. It’s beyond crazy.”

How much does an air fryer cost to run?

Air fryers are estimated to cost between 13p and 34p to run per day, which works out to between £49.56 and £124.08 per year, according to experts from

However, the exact cost will depend on the make and model you have, how often you use it and how much you are charged for your electricity by your provider. 

The more powerful an air fryer is, the quicker the cooking time and thus the less time you need to have it switched on.  If you are hoping to save money by investing in an air fryer, it’s worth noting that newer models are typically more energy efficient. 


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