How to save on a new kitchen – 10 ways to reduce costs on a renovation or DIY project

From shopping reconditioned, secondhand or ex-display to considering different materials and sizes, the experts share their top tips

Kitchen with breakfast bar
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen or taking on a few DIY projects to give it an update, one of the first things that you’ll be considering is the cost. Given the ongoing cost of living crisis and the increase in the price of many materials, you may have found yourself wondering if there’s a way to save money on a new kitchen. 

Thankfully whatever kitchen ideas you have in mind there are quite a few ways to cut costs when updating or upgrading your kitchen.

‘Working to a budget does not mean you have to forgo the luxe look of a designer kitchen,’ Ruth Lavender, kitchen design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery, explains. ‘By making clever choices in your selections of cabinetry, worktops, lighting, and appliances it’s still possible to create that premium feel without overstepping on costs.’

‘The cost of a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be expensive,’ Mert Yashar, Director at House of Worktops, maintains. ‘There are so many areas where you can cut costs, but without compromising on the final result. It’s all about putting a plan in place, and sticking to it as much as possible.’

10 ways to save on a new kitchen

But how do you actually go about doing that? Keep reading to see what the experts top 10 tips are for saving on a new kitchen.

1. Set a budget

Furniture and Choice Fletcher Vintage Brown Bar Stool

(Image credit: Furniture and Choice)

‘Before diving into any purchases, create a detailed plan. Decide what you need, set a budget, and stick to it,’ advises Glen Peskett, DIY Expert and Owner of Saxton Blades. ‘Having a clear vision will prevent overspending on unnecessary items.’

‘If your budget is limited, my advice would be to do it in stages, instead of purchasing an entire new kitchen in one go,’ says Ashleigh Hanwell, Senior Designer at Second Nature Collection. ‘Start by refreshing areas that can be seen and have the most impact.’

2. Wait for sales

Naked Kitchens wooden kitchen

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

As you may expect, waiting for a sale to start like the Boxing Day and January deals can significantly reduce the price, with some sales taking 30, 40 or even up to 50% off the original cost. It’s worth checking some of your favourite retailers websites or stores routinely to see if any sales are on and we always recommend signing up for their newsletters, as that way you will be one of the first to know when they do have a sale or discounts.

Here are just a few retailers who currently have kitchen sales and promotions running:

3. Shop reconditioned, secondhand or ex-display

Rehome PreLoved Re Installed Kitchen

(Image credit: Rehome)

If you can’t wait for the sales, or the style that you’re looking for hasn’t gone on sale, there are a few other options to save some serious money, compared to paying full price like buying a second-hand kitchen

‘Like most retailers, kitchen showrooms regularly change their displays, selling off those that are currently installed at a greatly reduced price,’ says Helen Lord, founder of This means you could get the kitchen of your dreams with a significant discount, allowing you to spend the savings elsewhere, whether that be on the rest of your kitchen or another project.

‘There are a range of places to buy second-hand kitchen units and accessories too, from Facebook Marketplace to your local charity shop. Often if you look hard enough you may find some hidden gems that are in perfectly good condition for very low prices,’ Margaret Larson, Managing Director at Sustainable Furniture concurs. 

Buying secondhand or reconditioned also means that you may even be able to afford a kitchen that would have been out of your price range if it was brand new.

4. Explore different materials

GoodHome Algiata White Marble Effect Laminate Worktop

(Image credit: GoodHome)

While you may have your heart set on a specific material – who wouldn’t want to deck their kitchen out in real marble – it’s worth looking into different materials. One of our top tips is to take time to work out where you can spend and save on a kitchen, and materials can be an area where you can make savings. 

‘Opt for materials that offer good quality at a lower cost,’ Glen explains. ‘For instance, you might find durable laminate countertops that mimic the look of more expensive materials like granite or quartz.’

‘Choosing a low-cost material like plywood is an easy way to save money and stay on trend when creating a new kitchen,’ Margaret adds. ‘Plywood's popularity has risen not only due to its affordable nature, but also because of its strength and durability that makes it perfect for sustaining daily wear and tear.’

5. Sell your current units

blue kitchen cabinetry

(Image credit: Future/Darren Chung)

For many of us, there might not be anything wrong with our current kitchen. You may have simply outgrown the design or inherited it upon moving in. But don’t be too hasty about tearing out your current kitchen, if you can.

‘If you have planned, ordered, and paid for a new kitchen, don’t throw the old one in a skip just yet, as selling your used or pre-loved kitchen could earn you thousands of pounds towards a new one,’ according to Helen.

She explains, ‘if your current kitchen is usable and in working condition then sell it via a specialist company. It’s a savvy way to not only make money, but to save it too, as you won’t have to pay your builders to take it out or hire a skip to dispose of it.’

6. Consider ready to assemble cabinets

B&Q GoodHome Balsamita Matt white slab Base Kitchen cabinet

(Image credit: B&Q)

‘One of the most effective ways of saving money in your new kitchen is to purchase ready-to-assemble cabinets instead of pre-assembled ones,’ says Jamie Robinson, installation manager at Value Doors

‘While this will require time and effort to assemble, they are often much cheaper than the alternatives. If you’re investing in a lot of cabinetry, you could consider spending more of your time to save a significant amount of money.’

7. Opt for stock and standard sizes instead of custom

white kitchen with aqua blue splashback tiles

(Image credit: Future/House Smith)

Rob also suggests choosing ‘standard-sized and stock cabinets instead of custom ones,’ where possible. There are some instances, such as if your kitchen layout has a number of quirks, or your ceilings are particularly high, where this might not work. But for most people, ‘stock cabinets are readily available and can be significantly more affordable,’ Rob affirms.

The same can be said for kitchen appliances. ‘Custom sizes often come with a higher price tag, while standard sizes are more widely available and affordable,’ he concludes.

8. DIY what you can

‘If you have the skills and time, consider tackling some tasks yourself,’ Glen suggests. ‘Flat-pack furniture - like shelves, cabinets, and kitchen islands - are often available at a fraction of the cost and can be assembled easily with a little DIY effort.’ 

Glen also adds that ‘tiling a splashback is a task that can be done with a bit of patience and the right tools, and gives you the chance to personalise your kitchen. Even installing click-and-lock flooring, like laminate or vinyl planks, can be a manageable DIY project.’

‘Tasks like assembling cabinets, installing hardware, or even laying down flooring,’ could also be DIY’d, agrees Rob Chadwick, Owner and Director of CGC Interiors.

9. Gather and compare a number of quotes

Smile Kitchens Vard Range In Onyx And Eden

(Image credit: Smile Kitchens)

Whether you’re going down the DIY route or contemplating between a few different retailers, this is easily one of the most important tips when it comes to how to save on a new kitchen.

‘When shopping the market and gathering quotes, it’s best to keep the competitors' price to yourself in the first instance,’ Olive & Barr’s Founder, Al Bruce, reveals. ‘Then once the quote is through, compare the quality and details, such as the type of handy storage units or the finish of the worktops.’

One of Al’s handiest tips is that ‘some of the top brands are made from the same manufacturer, meaning the only real difference in the price.’ So, you can essentially get an almost identical kitchen for substantially less just by shopping around.

10. Mix high end and more cost-effective finishes

Benchmarx Kitchens Marlow True Handleless Oven Flair in Storm Grey

(Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens)

‘The cost of a brand-new kitchen can very quickly add up,’ explains’s kitchen design expert Penelope Jacobs. ‘However, if you strategically organise your budget, you can still get some of the key features that you want for your kitchen while saving money in other areas.’ 

She recommends focusing ‘your budget on one or two standout features that make an impact, like a statement backsplash, high-end faucet or luxury vinyl plank flooring.’

Work out which finishes are most important to you and prioritise spending a little bit more on them to elevate the look of the overall kitchen design.


Where should I spend and where should I save on a new kitchen?

'While saving money is crucial, don't compromise on quality,' says Glen. 'Investing in durable, long-lasting products might save you more in the long run by avoiding frequent repairs or replacements.'

In general, we'd recommend spending on materials that will last the longest time like cabinets and worktops. However, things like handles are easy to change and update so are easy areas to make savings on.

Rehome Preloved Plain English Kitchen

(Image credit: Rehome)

Should I consult a kitchen designer?

Now, this may be down to personal preference but many kitchen retailers offer free advice and consultations to help you bring your dream kitchen to life. 'They’ll give you advice on finding shortcuts to a luxury look, update you on the latest trends, and suggest a range of options for cabinets, work surfaces, and appliances to create your desired look at various price points,' Ruth outlines.

If you're able to take advantage of their expertise, it is well worth doing. 'They can pull your ideas together into a tangible design, making it easier for you to work out your must-haves and see where you can save,' Ruth concludes. 

Additionally, there are also plenty of free online kitchen design tools which can certainly come in handy.

All that's left to do is start saving and do your kitchen homework. 

Ellis Cochrane

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.

Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.