6 Hand-Powered Appliances That Will Save Money on Your Electric Bill

6 Hand-Powered Appliances That Will Save Money on Your Electric Bill

Everything is more expensive these days, but the rising cost of electricity is especially irritating because it’s so fundamental to modern life. When energy costs spike it can feel like just existing has become too expensive, and when you have to pause to calculate the cost of basic necessities, life can feel kind of exhausting.

The kitchen is a prime suspect when it comes to your rising electricity bill; it costs between $US391 and $US1,777 annually to run your kitchen, depending on where you live—and about 75% of appliance energy use happens when they’re turned off, so you can try to reduce your electricity usage by unplugging them when they’re not in use. But if you want to reduce that bill even further, you can take the extra step and get rid of some of the most common electric appliances altogether, replacing them with hand-powered alternatives (or, in some cases, foot-powered).

Your own hands

Dishwashers are much better than hand-washing dishes in just about every way, especially if you choose one with a solid energy rating—but if you’re looking to save money on your utilities, hand-washing your dishes in cold water will save you about $US45 a year. Is that a lot? Not by itself—but if it’s part of an overall hand-powered plan it can add up.

Hand-cranked washing machine

Washing machines and dryers have become so prevalent we forget that you can easily wash and dry your clothes without any electricity or natural gas at all. Hand-cranked or foot-powered washing machines combined with air-drying your laundry on a drying rack or a clothesline can save you about $US115 annually and will do just as good of a job of keeping your clothes clean.

Pour-over coffee maker

By unplugging your at-home coffee making, you can save yourself about $US14 annually. A fancy manual espresso maker like this one from Rok makes excellent espresso shots with zero electricity, and a simple pour-over coffee maker will brew plenty of java with zero electricity (though you’ll have to heat up the water somehow, admittedly). Combine them with a hand-powered coffee grinder and you can remove the electric tax from your morning cuppa altogether.

A foot-cranked blender

You’re not going to hand-crank a blender, no—but you can foot-crank a blender. A Fender Blender is designed to attach to a stationary bicycle, using your leg power to blend whatever you need blended. It actually works much better than you might imagine, as you can see here—and you get a little exercise to justify whatever treat you’re mixing up for yourself.

The cost to run a blender depends on how often you use it (and your local cost for electricity, of course), but if you use your blender once a day for a year you could save about $US15 by going with the hand-powered version.

A good old whisk

Using a mixer every day will cost you about $US12 annually, and using an electric egg beater daily offers a similar cost savings, so substituting a hand-powered whisk and mixer can save you about $US24 a year.

Hand-powered foot chopper

Using a food processor only costs you about $US2 a year unless you’re running your processor constantly. Still, that’s $US2 you don’t have to spend if you use a hand-powered food chopper/processor instead.

Total savings

On average, you’d save about $US215 every year by using these hand-powered tools instead of their electric versions—although that number might grow if the price of electricity keeps going up. Plus, of course, having a hand-powered kitchen and laundry means power outages, blackouts, and societal collapse won’t slow you down—throw in a hand-cranked generator and radio and you’ll ride out the apocalypse in style.


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