“Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees”
See that familiar step? Skip it. Seriously, skip it. Why spend the energy to heat a small volume of air, only to release that air when you open the oven door to put in your delicious baked good (or roasted veggies)?
Sure, finicky items like soufflés may benefit from a constant temperature. However, for your typical baking/roasting/toasting needs, it may be perfectly fine to place your dish in a cold oven, and let the oven work its magic from the beginning. You may have to adjust your cooking time, but who doesn’t love to experiment with food?
Bonus tip: you can also turn off your oven early, and let your food “coast” to the finish. Again, keep an eye on your food, and adjust your cooking time accordingly.
An even better alternative: skip the oven, and make microwave mug cake!