Home Projects

Here’s How to Find Cheap Kitchen Cabinets That Won’t Compromise Your Style

updated Sep 9, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Julia Steele)

Cabinets can make or break your kitchen, but if you’re not willing to break your bank to get them installed, you’re not alone. Kitchen cabinets are expensive, and it can be difficult finding cheaper versions or even know where to start. While the hunt for cheaper kitchen cabinets isn’t easy, it’s not impossible—you can get a kitchen you love without cringing too much at the final bill.

What makes finding well-priced versions tough is the long list of factors. The kitchen cabinets you buy will depend on where you source them, the material they’re made of, where you live, how many cabinets you need, how big your kitchen is, and if you’re hiring expert help or not, just to name a few. It’s a lot, but let’s break it down a little bit.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

The Basics of Kitchen Cabinets

According to Consumer Reports Kitchen Cabinet Buying Guide, basic, budget-friendly cabinets start at roughly $70 per foot, mid-range cabinets on average start at $150 per foot, and custom cabinets and higher-end styles start at $500 per foot. This, of course, varies on the brand, style, and materials they’re made of and how large your kitchen is.

To help you do some calculations, an average mid-sized kitchen is usually between 100 to 200 square feet. In general, new cabinets can run the gamut between $2,000 and $20,000 for an average 10 x 10-foot kitchen, according to Home Advisor.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

So what helps bring the price down and make some kitchen cabinets cheaper than others?


Cabinets made of MDF, particle board, or other mixed synthetic materials are going to be much less expensive than lacquered cabinets or those made of solid wood or glass.

Big Box vs Custom

If you purchase mass-produced cabinets through large retailers like IKEA, it’ll usually be exponentially cheaper than paying to have custom cabinets made and installed. 

Used vs New

Sourcing used cabinets will cost much less than brand-new ones. There are quite a few resources for finding pre-owned versions, many of which will be specifically local to where you live.


If you have a choice of hardware pulls, be wary of what you select. Some cabinetry hardware can be cheap, starting at a couple of bucks per pull, whereas others can be $100 or more per piece (yes, you read that right, for one piece of hardware).

The difference comes down to both material—cast brass is a lot more expensive than, say, aluminum—and scale of production. 

Cabinet Faces

Flat slab and even some Shaker cabinets can be on the lower end of the price scale, whereas styles like glass panel cabinets will cost you a hefty bit more.

Unfinished of Unpainted

If you select cabinets that have not yet been painted, you’ll save money on DIYing this part of the process rather than buying ones that come fully finished.

Quantity and Kitchen Size

How large your kitchen is and how many cabinets you’d like to have installed also make a big difference in the price you’ll pay. 


Hiring expert help can be a catch-22. You’re paying for expert knowledge and labor, but it’s going to be much more expensive than installing them yourself. But, if you’re not confident in your reno abilities, leaving it to the pros is usually a worthy investment.

Sources for New Cabinets

So, where are the best places to look for new, cheap kitchen countertops? Here are a few of our favorite sources.

IKEA and Other Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

The first place many people’s minds wander to for cheap but usually reliable furniture is none other than IKEA. The Swedish furniture giant is known for its meatballs, unbelievably stressful shopping trips, and fairly priced furniture with mildly unhelpful instruction leaflets.

While they aren’t the only store doing ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets, they are one of the most well-known. You can shop IKEA kitchen cabinets online, but visiting in-store is smart, especially because you can speak with their employees about what you’re looking for and how to find it.

In terms of other options, Home Depot, The RTA Store, and Costco are a few other big box retailers that sell RTA cabinets for a lower cost.

Local Cabinet Shops

If you’re spooked by the big box horror stories, don’t assume cabinet specialty shops are out of the question. They’re not cheap by any means, but don’t have to be wildly expensive.

I spoke with someone from a shop near my city, and as a super rough ballpark for the 12 linear feet of base cabinets and standard sized (6′ x 3′) island I’m looking for, he said I shouldn’t have to spend more than $15,000. That’s not cheap—but with average kitchen remodel costs around the country ranging from $13,000 to $37,000, according to HomeAdvisor, it’s not out of the ordinary, either.

Kraftmaid Cabinet Outlet

Both mysterious and confusing, the Kraftmaid Cabinet Outlet offers cabinets for surprisingly low discounted prices, but there are a few caveats. First of all, you have to travel to Warren, Ohio to get in on the deals—no online shopping available here.

The store doesn’t even have a website, so it’s much more of an adventure than a regular cabinet shopping trip. Kraftmaid Cabinet Outlet sales are held bi-weekly, and they’re not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to clearly understand what you’re looking for and what you want, but the heavy lifting is worth it. Many people have scored an entire kitchen for $10,000 or less.

Credit: Sarah Hdruka

Sources for Used Cabinets

If you’re looking to score cheap kitchen cabinets used, there are lots of places you can find amazing deals, as long as you’re willing to do a little more work up front!


Like most used items, kitchen cabinets can also be found on Craigslist’s wonderous black hole. While it’s smart to be cautious, many listings with great prices are worth investigating.

Oftentimes people who are more worried about getting rid of things rather than what they get for them will post on there. If you have the means to transport cabinets between further distances, it’s worth looking in nearby towns and cities too. 

Secondhand Shops and Secondhand Online Marketplaces

Cabinets can also be found in shops like Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and other local secondhand shops can offer a surprising amount of options for kitchen cabinets. Many of these shops will also donate a portion of sales to charities or help provide housing and other necessities to community members who need them, so you’ll be doing good, too.

If you prefer chilling from the comfort of your couch, newer to the game are secondhand sites like OfferUp, which allow users to post the furniture they’re trying to sell and get rid of so people like you—searching for things like kitchen cabinets—can snap them up. 

Artisan and Small Business Aggregators

Small business, artisan, and handmade-focused marketplaces like Etsy are another unexpected place to find kitchen cabinets, occasionally even custom-made versions that are much lower than usual. Even kitchen islands and hutches can be found here for reasonable prices. 

Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups, and Local Free and For Sale Pages

Another newer way people find kitchen cabinets is through social channels like Facebook, where groups and pages are dedicated to secondhand shopping. This is a great option if you’re not looking to go far for used cabinets. It allows you to stay local and save money on transportation and new cabinet costs. Just be prepared to install these yourself or hire out a contractor to get the job done for you.

Best of luck on all your kitchen cabinet endeavors, and remember that with a little extra digging, you won’t need to settle for prices that bust your wallet.