10 Low-Cost Ideas to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel

couple calculating cost on computer

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we come together to cook, eat, and make memories. Sometimes it’s also the part of our home that needs the most love. Now that we’re spending more time at home than ever, it’s no surprise that remodels are on people’s minds. Whether you’re a first-timer doing a small touch-up, or a repeat remodeler doing a complete overhaul, it’s easy for costs to pile up. Thankfully, we’re here to help, with suggestions and resources to make your renovation a success. By following our tips, you can get the look you want and save money on your kitchen remodel.

1. Make a plan

A great place to start on any project is coming up with a plan. You want to know what in your existing kitchen works, what doesn’t, and how much you would like to spend on the remodel. Doing some research to discover what you want for your kitchen, and what you really need for it to be functional, is key to achieving your dream kitchen without spending a fortune. A kitchen designer can help you create a plan for a beautiful space that will meet all your needs and fit your budget. We’ve also put together a handy list of things to consider before starting your reno to ensure you get the most out of your new kitchen. 

Once you have an idea of what direction you would like to go in, you can start picking out your materials. Window shop and browse stores online and slowly jot down which kind of tiles, backsplashes, and fixtures you want for your kitchen. This’ll help your contractor, too – if you know what you want, then they can suggest a supplier or get you a discount. What you don’t want to do is wait until the last minute, which can lead to your contractor coming along for the ride. This adds time to the length of the project and eats into your budget. 

couple looking over a plans for a renovation project

2. Reuse what you have

Not everything in your existing kitchen may need to go in order to get a stylish new design. You may have beautiful features you can build off for your remodel, so think carefully before you decide to toss your natural wood floors or stone countertops. Even if you decide you want to get rid of something, it’s worthwhile to look at the accessories to see if they may work in your new design.  

The existing knobs and drawer pulls may look good with the new cabinetry you’ve picked out. Your old backsplash might look even better next to your new choice of paint colour, or you could breathe new life into it by adding a trendy stencil. Any materials you’re able to source from your current kitchen is money saved on your project. 

vintage kitchen with wood slates for backsplash and countertop with white cabinets to save money on kitchen remodel

3. Refresh your cabinets 

Do you want to update your cabinets but can’t fit it into your renovation budget? You’re not alone. Cabinetry can be expensive, especially custom options. Fortunately, you don’t need to get all new custom cabinets to get a fresh look. Renewing and repurposing are in style, and there are a few ways to reuse what you already have. Repainting or refacing your cabinets can make them seem like new, especially if you choose a trendy colour or finish. 

If you do feel you have to replace your cabinets, consider going with a ready-to-assemble option. They’re available in a variety of materials and finishes, so you’re sure to find something that meets your tastes and needs. 

contemporary black cabinets

4. Add furniture 

Sometimes less costly changes can make the biggest impact in a space. If you want to get a new look and save money on your kitchen remodel, furniture can be a fantastic option. If adding new cabinets is outside your budget, you can always check your local charity shop or second-hand store for a hutch, keeping your spending down and saving items from the landfill.  

Kitchen islands can be handy if you find yourself needing more counter space, but they can be costly, particularly where electrical wiring and plumbing are involved. A big table is a wonderful alternative, with lots of options for matching your decor and even some with a storage shelf for your kitchenware and small appliances. 

kitchen with blue cabinets and breakfast nook with couches

5. Brighten up the space 

Lighting can make a huge difference to your space, and with so many options available you’ll be sure to find something that suits your needs and budget! Recessed lighting, or pot lights, are a popular option for kitchens. Having multiple lights at ceiling level can be helpful for ensuring you have the light you need where you need it. Pot lighting can be expensive though, as it requires precise installation. Instead, you can get a similar effect with track lighting at a price point that better suits your budget and helps you save money on your kitchen remodel. 

kitchen with lights suspended over kitchen island

6. Be flexible 

Bringing your vision to life doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Some materials have substitutes that look just like the real thing but for a fraction of the cost. Want a granite countertop but can’t quite fit it into your budget? There are beautiful laminates available that look just like the real deal. In fact, there are plenty of cost-effective counter options, like solid surface and concrete, that can add visual interest to the space for a reasonable price. 

Materials aren’t the only part of your design where cost-saving alternatives can be used. If you have your heart set on cabinetry that goes all the way to the ceiling but can’t seem to stretch your budget to include it, don’t despair. You can always paint plywood to match your cabinets and block off the area between the cabinet tops and the ceiling. This will give the same visual effect as full-height cabinets without the big price tag – and you’ll still save yourself time on dusting. 

chalet style kitchen with wood kitchen island

7. Cut it out 

Do you want an open concept kitchen without the cost? Try a cut-out. Tearing walls down completely can be expensive, especially if the wall is load bearing. Cut-outs offer the extra light and open feel of removing walls while maintaining structural integrity and taking less time to complete. As anyone who has ever renovated part of their home will tell you: time is money. 

curved cut out wall in trendy kitchen

8. Salvage what you can 

It can sometimes feel as though you’re the only one trying to save money on your kitchen remodel any way you can, but this is far from the truth. There are plenty of people out there looking to source affordable materials for their own kitchen projects. If you carefully remove and take apart some items like cabinets, countertops, drawer pulls, and light fixtures from your existing kitchen, you can easily sell them to help pay some of your reno costs. This is a great way to boost your budget, save items from landfills, and help others trying to renovate their kitchens on a budget. 

recycled countertop granit countertop materials

9. Shop around 

Once you know what you want for your new kitchen, you can start looking around for the best price for the items you need. Some stores may carry the same products for a lower price than other locations. There may also be discounts available on floor models, or you could wait for the store’s next sale. Shopping online is another good option, offering the ability to quickly compare prices. You can also check your local second-hand stores, like Value Village for furniture and fixtures, or Habitat for Humanity for everything from flooring materials to finishing touches. The more places you look, the better your chances of finding the best deals. 

samples for countertop materials

10. Pick one place to splurge 

If you’re looking for kitchen remodel ideas on a budget, it can be helpful to know what part of the project is most important to you. What piece inspired your overall design? What would your dream kitchen absolutely not be the same without? Choose one part, like the backsplash or the sink, to splurge on and get exactly what you want. You can use our cost-saving tips on the rest of your renovation and have the part where you spent a little more to look forward to with the finished design. This is especially true if you choose to focus on a central element. Remodeling on a budget doesn’t have to mean making sacrifices everywhere. You can spend a little extra on something you love without breaking the bank. 

dosseret en marbre dans une cuisine moderne

A stunning kitchen at the right price 

By making a plan, shopping around, and being flexible, you can bring the kitchen of your dreams within reach. You can also lean on your local second-hand stores, cutting your costs, making responsible choices for the environment, and supporting good causes like Habitat for Humanity. Whatever your vision, these tips will help you bring it to life without overspending. 

Our team is committed to giving you all the tools you need to make your dream kitchen a reality. We’re here to help you find the latest trends, plan your budget, and get inspired 

Lily Mitchell is a part time author and full time student. Writing about her passions, like design, has always come naturally and she is exceptionally excited to be part of our team. Lily is currently studying Interior Decorating at Algonquin College.