When moving into a new home or upgrading your kitchen, you’ll likely take one of two approaches: splurge or save.
Splashing the cash on tried and tested household names is tempting, especially if you have a favourite appliance brand. On the other hand, kitting out your kitchen on a budget may mean you’ll be tempted by cheaper alternatives to keep costs down.
There’s no approach that is 100% foolproof — not all kitchens require the most popular ‘must-have’ appliance, and wallet-friendly options can sometimes cause more hassle than they’re worth.
Choosing when to splurge or save on particular items is crucial in making your kitchen appliance — and your money — last.
Nowadays, optimum spending opportunities don’t just come around annually. Alongside Christmas sales, deals and savings inundate shoppers throughout the year, making it confusing and overwhelming when wondering how to save on appliances.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the best times to buy kitchen appliances. Manufacturers slash prices on their most popular models to establish loyal customers.
These holidays also fall into the general ‘cheaper period’ — the autumn and winter months from September to December. During this time, makers release newer models and are more likely to offer enticing launch discounts.
Slightly different, however, are fridge freezers. These kitchen appliances usually see new models released in spring, meaning this could be a better time to buy.
Has the newest kitchen tech caught your eye? Hold on to your cash and wait until the next model is due for release. Your desired item will cost considerably less as manufacturers shift old stock, meaning you’ll bag one of the best-value kitchen appliances on the market.
If you’re shopping at an independently owned retailer, you may find their prices significantly decrease towards the end of the month. Some shops must fulfil monthly sales quotas, so they will discount selected items to meet these. Even if the item isn’t on sale, it’s always worth asking for a price reduction — the worst the retailer can say is no.
How much are kitchen appliances?
Kitchen appliances range in price from suspiciously affordable to eye-wateringly expensive. The price depends on the type of appliance (fridge freezers and washing machines cost much more than toasters and kettles, for example), the functions, and the brand.
Some experts recommend reserving around 10-20% of your renovation budget for appliances, as the average price of a complete set of new kitchen appliances costs around £2,000-£2,500. Appliance comparison sites are one way to help demystify small kitchen items’ costs and can save a fortune when hunting for your favourite make.
Now it’s time to find out what kitchen items are worth investing in and which of those cheaper alternatives do the job just as well.
The final choice is, of course, yours to make. However, taking our advice on whether to save or splurge could save you money in the short and long run.
Kettle and toaster
You’ve not officially moved into a new place until you’ve relaxed with a cuppa and spread something on toast. From student digs to homeowners, everyone needs a kettle and toaster. Luckily, they’re usually affordable.
You can buy kettle and toaster sets for under £100, with some priced closer to the £50 mark. These budget-friendly options boil and toast in adequate time with satisfactory quality — ideal if you’re not too fussy about how golden your toast is.
Higher-end models are usually set apart with added features, such as quieter and quicker boiling, even toasting, or anti-limescale qualities. These extras are great if you can afford them, but they aren’t necessary. We’re afraid your brew quality is unlikely to be improved the more cash you splash on a kettle.
While ‘serious’ cooks tend to avoid using a microwave since nuking food affects its taste and texture, a microwave is necessary for a hectic student kitchen or working professionals who need a quick meal.
How much you spend on the appliance depends on how much you use it. If your microwave is likely to see daily use, investing in a sturdier model with even heating will save you money in the long term and improve the quality of your meals.
However, plenty of budget microwaves are available if you simply want to heat your leftovers. The major pro of a more expensive microwave is that it will cook your food much faster — not necessary if you’re happy to wait a little longer for your grub.
Verdict: It depends
Gone are the days when only the rich and famous owned personal coffee maker appliances. Nowadays, we can all enjoy premium quality brews from the comfort of our homes — ideal for remote working and all-night study sessions.
Choosing a coffee machine can be slightly overwhelming and largely depends on how much of a coffee lover you are.
For your first coffee maker, it’s best to go with a big-name, affordable machine. Many of these machines use pods or capsules, stocked at supermarkets and often included in deals.
The range of beverages and flavours available means you can try various drinks and mix up your morning brew. These are also great if you have non-caffeine drinkers in your house, as you can make hot chocolate and milks drinks with your machine.
Whether whipping up a protein shake or serving some soup, blenders are a handy and versatile small appliance to own.
Blenders come in several forms, the most popular including hand blenders, jar blenders, and machines that mix directly into your portable container.
Before purchasing a blender, determine how you will use the machine and how often. Daily smoothie drinkers prefer the bottle or jug-attached blenders, while keen cooks benefit from a more adaptable hand blender.
Luckily, blenders are one of the best appliances for getting your money’s worth. Most have a save option that does the same job as their more expensive counterparts for a fraction of the price.
So, are high-end appliances worth the money?
Splurging on your small kitchen items and simple appliances isn’t always necessary. The cost of kitchen appliances and be kept low with affordable alternatives, perfect for professional renters and new homeowners furnishing their kitchens on a budget.
However, that’s not to say you should shun more expensive items completely. When the time is right, there is nothing wrong with upgrading to your dream appliance. After all, the stomach is the key to the heart.