To save some more energy on the cattle we preheat the water for it with the oldest power source mankind knows – the sun. Especially in warmer climates we simple put a 5 litre bottle of water onto the roof of the car or on the windscreen. By midday the water is rather warm and only needs approx half the energy to cook.
The same goes for showering. We have a cheap aquarium heater which gets 20 litres water (sufficent for a shower together) to a nice 35degrees in just 3 hours, using only 150watts. But the sun does the same job in the same time, so we need the electrical solution only in colder climates. We just put the 20litres can out in the sun before midday and in the late afternoon the water has a great temperature for showering.
Cooking is done throughout the day as the solar cells help the batteries while the energy hungry oven draws energy, and when cooking we try to cook enough for 2days. This saves on energy as well.
If the spot is good and there is dry wood or dry cowdung around (don’t roll your eyes, I can see it 🙂 ), we get out our small grill and cook on that.