How to Save Money By Unplugging Your Toaster When Not in Use

How to Save Money By Unplugging Your Toaster When Not in Use


Unplugging appliances when not in use is one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bills and save money. Toasters in particular tend to be forgotten about and left plugged in around the clock. However, unplugging your toaster when it’s not toasting can make a surprising difference to your electricity usage and costs.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain why you should unplug your toaster when not in use, how much money you can save, tips for remembering to unplug it, and answer some frequently asked questions. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to start unplugging your toaster and slashing your energy bills.

Why Unplug Your Toaster When Not in Use?

There are two main reasons why it’s important to unplug your toaster when you’re not using it:

1. Toasters Use Electricity Even When Switched Off

Many people assume that switching off an appliance at the wall stops it using any electricity. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The majority of appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when plugged in, even if turned off from the on/off switch. This is known as “phantom load“, “idle current“, or “standby power“.

For a toaster, the average standby power usage is around 3 watts per hour. Over weeks and months, these small amounts of wasted electricity add up. Simply unplugging stops all power draw completely.

2. It Saves a Significant Amount of Money Over Time

Based on average electricity prices, leaving a typical toaster plugged in 24/7 can cost around $10 per year. The exact amount will vary depending on your local energy rates.

While $10 may not seem like much, small savings do add up. For example, over 10 years that’s $100 wasted simply by leaving your toaster plugged in!

Unplugging prevents this unnecessary energy waste and puts cash back in your wallet. Given how easy it is to unplug small appliances, it’s an incredibly simple way to cut electricity costs.

How Much Money Can You Save?

The amount you can save by unplugging your toaster depends on a few factors:

  • Your local electricity rate – Areas with higher per-kilowatt-hour charges will save more.
  • Your toaster’s standby power usage – Newer toasters tend to use less idle current.
  • How often you use your toaster – Frequent use reduces potential savings.

As an example, if your electricity rate is 15 cents per kWh, and your toaster draws 3 watts while idle, leaving it plugged in 24/7 would cost around $13 annually. Unplugging it when not in use would save the full $13.

For most households who use a toaster daily, unplugging it when not in use can save $5 to $15 per year. Over time, this really adds up!

Tips for Remembering to Unplug Your Toaster

One common issue people face when trying to unplug appliances is simply remembering to do it. Here are some handy tips for making sure your toaster gets unplugged:

  • Unplug it immediately after use – Develop the habit right after toasting.
  • Use a timer power strip – They automatically cut power after a set time.
  • Put a reminder note nearby – Stick a post-it note on your toaster or power strip.
  • Plug into an inconvenient spot – That way you must unplug it to retrieve the cord.
  • Set phone reminders – Schedule daily reminders to “Unplug the toaster”.
  • Involve the family – Have others help remind you and make it a routine.
  • Check before bedtime – Scan for unplugged devices as part of your nightly shutdown routine.

It takes a few weeks to form a new habit. But with regular reminders and persistence, unplugging your toaster can soon become second nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about unplugging your toaster:

Does unplugging wear out the electrical socket?

No, regularly unplugging and plugging back in an appliance does not cause any wear or issues for electrical sockets. The sockets are designed to withstand many cycles of use over decades. Unplug away without worries!

Should I unplug the toaster from the wall or power strip?

Ideally, unplug it directly from the wall outlet. Power strips often have some idle power consumption themselves, so unplugging devices from the strip completely eliminates any phantom load. For maximum savings, get in the habit of direct wall unplugging.

Is it okay to leave the toaster plugged in overnight?

It’s best to unplug it overnight too. Appliances left plugged in 24 hours a day use the most idle current. Unless you use your toaster as soon as you wake up, try to remember to unplug it before bed. Those overnight hours add up to significant wasted energy over time.

What other appliances should be unplugged when not in use?

Coffee makers, microwaves, lamps, phone chargers, and electric kettles are other common ‘phantom load’ culprits. Apply the same advice and unplug from the wall after use. Also consider using timer power boards for such items. Every unplugged watt saves money!


Unplugging your toaster when it’s not actively in use is one of the easiest ways to save money on electricity at home. While the savings may seem minor at first, they really add up over months and years.

To recap, always unplug small appliances like toasters directly from the wall outlet after use. Doing so stops any standby power draw and can save $5 to $15 per year. Remember to unplug it after each use and before bedtime for maximum savings.

With a little habit formation, diligence, and clever reminders, you’ll recoup your investment in a new toaster in no time through energy savings alone! It’s a simple, worthwhile change that will put cash back in your wallet.