When planning a kitchen makeover, it’s surprisingly easy to make aesthetic decisions that might actually be less cost-effective in the long run. So, if you’re researching a renovation project and need to make decisions about your appliances, here are three things to consider to help you save money going forward…
I’m so excited to be finally finishing my kitchen renovation. After nearly 3 years of living in our home with a grotty old kitchen, last week I got out the paintbrush and gave the walls and woodwork a fresh coat of paint. We decided to update the kitchen cabinets with a bright teal paint (more on this upcycling project soon!) and at the same time, we decided to take a deep breath and do what we’d been avoiding doing for long time: cutting and installing the worktop.
You see, we didn’t want to ruin the lovely sparkly laminate quartz surface but we didn’t really know how to trim down the length and cut out a hole for the sink. So we just didn’t do it. I’ve had that run of worktop propped up in my living room for 1 year and 10 months while we avoided fitting it!
Anyway, we gave it a go and thankfully managed to make some fairly neat cuts that were mostly in the right positions. The sink went in and we fitted the protective aluminium trims around our existing oven. The kitchen is finally looking clean, fresh and like-new, even though we’ve only really changed the worktop. It’s amazing what a difference it can make.
That’s when it hit me – I hadn’t really given much thought to our appliances. We just looked for the lowest priced items and bought some secondhand goods to see us through when we moved into the house but, as a thrifty gal, I really should have done some research into which appliances would be the most cost-effective in the long run – so here’s what I’ve found:
We currently have a freestanding gas oven in our kitchen. It’s the first time we’ve has gas in a property so I just assumed that I’d have to get used to cooking with a gas oven and hob. But I didn’t give any thought the the cost of the fuel I would be using and whether induction hobs are better than gas. Even though I’ve enjoyed the instant heat of a gas flame, it’s sometimes difficult to control and the hob was a right pain to clean after cooking.
Both options have their pros and cons but energy-wise it may be the case that induction hobs are cheaper to run. They’re certainly better than the old ceramic hob I had been using in the past, as they only heat up the area directly under the pan, and the heat can be instantly adjusted. Whereas the old electric version I previously used took time to heat up to the required temperature so I tried to save time and energy by boiling the water in the kettle before adding it to the pan. Induction hobs only use the exact amount of energy you need to heat the pan. And any appliance that helps to reduce my energy bills is very welcome!
I had already bought the sink before we moved into our house so you can imagine how excited I was to finally have it fitted. So when I was looking for a new tap for our sink, I was totally drawn in by those swish designs with extendable shower heads and built-in water filtration systems for fresh, filtered water. However, when I saw just how much these tap systems cost to buy (without the ongoing running costs of filters etc) that idea went right out of the window.
For now, I’m perfectly happy with the water filter jug that I been using for a while. It fits into the door of the fridge so the water is always perfectly chilled, and I don’t have to run the tap for ages (wasting water and paying extra on my water and drainage bills) for it to come out cool. The ZeroWater filters are supposed to be able to turn wine into water – that’s how good the filter is – but I have to admit that I’ve never poured a glass of wine into it yet (for obvious reasons)!
In terms of cutting the cost of water bills while washing plates and clothing, you may be surprised to discover that some appliances are even better for the environment (and for your water bill) than doing these tasks manually. I wrote about this in my blog post on creating a more environmentally friendly kitchen so feel free to have a read.
I’ve always made-do with secondhand appliances such as a fridges, freezers and washing machines. As long as they work fine and don’t cost too much, I’m happy. But if you’re installing a new kitchen and are planning to buy brand new appliances, it’s a good idea to check the energy rating and opt for a more efficient fridge over an aesthetically pleasing one.
An A+++ rated appliance will save you money on your energy bills in the long run but, if the purchase price of the item is a lot higher, will it really re-coup this initial expense? Your best bet is probably to go for a happy medium: an A+ or higher rating, at the lowest possible price for that appliance. That way you can be sure that the running costs are low but that you haven’t had to pay an inflated price for the privilege.
Let me know if you have any tips for cutting the ongoing costs of your appliances in the comments below. I’m still deciding over the gas v induction hob so it would be great to hear your experiences of either option.
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