While many of us would like nothing more than to kit out our cooking spaces with state-of-the-art technology, most homeowners will only have a set amount of money put aside for appliances. And because every household’s needs are different, it’s not possible to come up with a set of hard-and-fast rules for using that budget effectively. However, there are certainly some guidelines you can follow to make the purchasing process easier.
In general, buying the best-quality appliances you can afford may seem like a big splurge at the moment, but in most instances, it’s actually more economical in the long term. Quality appliances are usually more reliable and durable than their cheaper counterparts, so you won’t be running back to the store in a few years for a replacement. If you’re working within a budget, you’ll have to weigh the benefits of buying high-quality against the need to allocate your money efficiently. Luckily, there are many cases where a less expensive iteration of a particular appliance can serve you just as well as a higher-end model.
If you’re in the market for new kitchen appliances and don’t quite know where to start, this guide can help you make the smartest purchases possible:
Invest in Appliances That Will See Frequent Use
When buying appliances, most home designers recommend that you identify your “must-haves” and go from there. Appliances that you think will see heavy use every day or almost every day are probably going to be worth paying more for upfront, like the following:
“Serious” cooks may disdain the microwave, but it’s practically a necessity for students, big families, and working professionals in need of a fast and efficient way to prep their meals. As you search online for a good microwave oven price, bear in mind that how much you spend on this particular appliance will hinge upon how—and how often—you intend to use it.
If saving time is important to you, for example, then it may be worthwhile to look for a sturdier, higher-end model with features that can cook your food quickly and evenly. Making this investment now can save you money in the long term, and you’ll also get to enjoy better-quality meals than you might get from a cheaper model. If all you need your microwave for is reheating leftovers, though, there are plenty of dependable budget microwaves out there that can do just that for a bargain price.
Ovens, Ranges, and Cooktops
Almost all the cooking you do in your kitchen will involve your oven or cooking range in some way, so settling for cheap in this particular area is hardly an option. A few factors will come into play when choosing the right cooking setup, like whether you’d like to purchase the cooktop and oven together or as two separate appliances. You’ll also have to pay extra for installation if you want your range built into the kitchen counters, rather than free-standing.
A cooking range’s fuel source also naturally affects its price. For the budget-conscious or those who prefer a high degree of control over their heat, an affordable gas-powered stove may be an ideal choice. Homeowners with a bit more money to burn, meanwhile, may appreciate an induction range, which cooks food faster and saves more energy than traditional electrical alternatives.
A quality refrigerator will last you between 10 and 20 years, so the choice to invest in the best one you can afford is essentially a no-brainer. The type of fridge you get, however, will depend heavily on how much storage space you need and what you intend to keep in it. For instance, French-door refrigerators are split down the middle with two doors that open outward—ideal for holding wide pizza boxes or large trays. These fridges have a luxe look and are commonly considered premium purchases in the refrigerator market. More traditional side-by-side refrigerators, or refrigerators with top or bottom freezers, present a more versatile and more affordable option.
Save on Smaller Appliances You’ll Use Less Frequently
In contrast to the above appliances, which figure prominently in food storage and preparation across the board, appliances like blenders, toasters, electric kettles, and the like probably won’t be used as frequently or as heavily. Many of these small appliances are also available for extremely reasonable prices from both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. These budget iterations will likely function just as well as more expensive alternatives in most cases.
It makes sense to invest the most in the small appliances you see yourself using most often. For example, if you’d like to drink smoothies every day, a high-quality blender might be worth a small splurge. Coffee enthusiasts may also be willing to invest in fancier machines with more high-end features.
At the end of the day, how you allocate your budget for kitchen appliances will depend heavily on your lifestyle and your household’s unique needs. Keep these needs in mind when determining which appliance purchases are non-negotiable and which can be trimmed if necessary.