How to update your kitchen on a budget

How to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget – 5 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Space

Aug 7, 2023

The kitchen is generally the most-used room in the house. It’s where your family gathers for meals each day. It’s where you entertain guests. It’s where you shuffle sleepily to start that first pot of coffee each morning. And from a real estate perspective, the kitchen is the room that adds the most value to your home.

While many of us have big dreams for our kitchens, we also have to face the facts that kitchen remodels are expensive. Fortunately, though, there are a lot of other options out there besides purchasing the best, newest materials in order to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. With a little creativity and maybe some elbow grease, you can love your kitchen without breaking the bank. Here are 5 ways to update your kitchen on a budget! 


5 Areas of Your Kitchen You Can Update on a Budget


Is is possible to update your kitchen on a budget? As you walk through Home Depot or Menards scanning price tags, it might feel like it can’t be done. But fortunately, there are quite a few hacks for recreating your space that you might not learn in the aisles of a home improvement store.

We’re going to go over five areas of your kitchen that you can update for a fairly low cost that can still have a big impact on your space. Using tips and tricks like finding remnants, checking Facebook Marketplace, choosing alternate methods, and making the most of your dollars, you can get the biggest bang for your buck in these five areas:

  1. Countertops
  2. Backsplash
  3. Cabinets
  4. Appliances
  5. Light fixtures




Countertops are a great way to dramatically change the look of your space. If you’ve ever looked into have that upgrade done, however, you know that it can be quite costly.

One way to cut the cost is to consider different material options. The price of countertops can vary greatly depending on the material and the various styles/colors for each option. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of what you initially had in mind to consider different surfaces. Laminate, solid surface, granite, and quartz are a few options.

Another great way to save money (depending on the size and layout of the space you have) is to visit your local independent countertop manufacturer and ask them about remnants that they have.

Remnants are the piece(s) of quartz or granite that are left over from a pervious job. These are generally sold for significantly less than they were originally worth. The downside of these pieces, however, is that they usually aren’t very large. Because of this, they often work only with smaller kitchens or specific layouts. Also, the options for color/pattern will be limited to what they have in stock at that moment. But, if you’re willing to not be too picky and/or check back often, remnants can be an excellent, money-saving option for many kitchens.




Another way to give your kitchen a clean, crisp look is to add backsplash. Backsplash not only gives your kitchen an updated look, but also keeps water, grease, and other cooking ingredients from splashing on your walls and damaging them.

There are two main ways to save money on backsplash. 1) Find discounted materials, and 2) learn to install it yourself.

Like countertops, the type of material you choose will also have a significant impact on the price. Ceramic backsplash is usually the least expensive option, and it’s also very durable. However, finding backsplash on clearance at a local home improvement store or on Facebook Marketplace is a great way to save hundreds on materials.

In addition, hiring someone to install your backsplash can cost another $500-$1700 on top of the cost of the materials. But, if you have a Saturday free, you can save hundreds by learning to install the backsplash yourself.




Updating your cabinets is a great way to make a huge impact in your kitchen, but it can be costly! New cabinets – depending on the quality, style, and how many you need – can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

However, if your cabinets are in decent shape and you’re okay with your current layout – just not a fan of the outdated look – there are other options. The two most common options, other than new cabinets, are cabinet refacing and cabinet painting.

Cabinet refacing can cut the cost of new cabinets drastically. It’s often about 1/2 – 1/3 of the price. Cabinet refacing updates your outdated drawers and components, and a wood or painted veneer is added to the face frames to give them a like-new look. This option gives your kitchen cabinets a completely updated style at a fraction of the cost.

Cabinet painting is even less expensive than refacing in most cases. This option allows you to apply (or hire a painter to apply) a fresh coat of paint to bring a crisp look to your cabinets. Cabinet painting is a good choice when your cabinets are in great shape, just cosmetically dingy, and you like the current door profile.




Next, appliances are another way to make a big impact in your kitchen. Whether your appliances aren’t working very well or they just look old and outdated, replacing even one can sometimes make all the difference in the way your kitchen feels.

Investing in brand new appliances can take a big chunk out of your budget. If you’re looking to save some cash, try exploring used appliances on Facebook Marketplace. Even better than getting a great deal on a stove or fridge, you can sometimes find a whole set of appliances that match from someone who is doing a kitchen remodel. In many cases, you can save hundreds of dollars with a little searching and maybe a little scrubbing, too.

Check out these tips for how to find great deals on Marketplace.


Light Fixtures


Light fixtures are a smaller piece of the kitchen that can actually make a significant impact on the room’s overall feel. Getting light fixtures that all match is a big way to make your kitchen look more put together. Upgrading to brighter lumens or LEDs in order to brighten your space can also give the whole room a drastically cleaner, clearer atmosphere.

Replacing the light fixtures yourself is a great skill to have and can save you a lot in comparison to hiring someone to do it. Keep in mind, however, that there is a risk of electrocution with this job, so you’ll want to feel confident about this DIY project (YouTube can be a great teacher!) before getting started.


Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget


Even with a limited budget, it’s totally possible to update your kitchen in a way that creates a whole new feel. Be patient. One or two upgrades at a time can go a long way! Planning out your budget in advance is a great way to know exactly what you can afford without getting stressed when it comes time to hand over the cash. Figure out what components of your kitchen are most important to you, and start there.

Want to learn more about updating your kitchen? Check out our blog for free articles, stories, and more!

Related Articles