Secrets to Finding Cheap Kitchen Cabinets

New cabinets typically make up a significant percentage of your budget—from 30% to 50%. As long as you want the full-service kitchen cabinet package, from design and planning to delivery and installation, this may be true

But there are ways around this financial heartache. Being creative, finding the right supplier, choosing economy materials, and doing some work yourself can seriously slash your kitchen cabinet bill. As with anything else, longer lead time and greater patience level will bring down your cabinet price point commensurately.

Free or Bartered Pre-Owned Cabinets

  • Pros: By playing the freebie or barter game, you can score drastically cheap (as in, free) used cabinets.
  • Cons: You will need to transport the cabinets to your home. Plus, you may even need to remove the cabinets from the other person’s kitchen. Quality can be dicey, so be sure to carefully study photos of the cabinets and speak to the owners.

Buyers of new kitchen cabinets always have a troublesome problem: They have to dispose of the old cabinets. Sending hundreds of pounds of plywood, MDF and artificial materials to the local waste station is hardly environmentally friendly. Not only that, disposal is expensive and messy.

Often the old cupboards are still present in the kitchen. The cupboards may have been removed from the kitchen by the owner, but they clog a garage or shed. In any case, the owner wants to get rid of the cupboards. You can use that desperation to your advantage.

If you regularly check your local Craigslist For Sale/Free or For Sale sections, kitchen cabinets will invariably be turned up. Another good source is local Facebook groups or the Facebook marketplace. They find both hyper-local, neighborship-specific groups and citywide groups of people who want to sell or trade goods.

Owners of a free cabinet reward the person who meets their needs first. Criteria include: Quick responses to lighting; Promising to come soon; Loaded and dragged through yourself; And usually no drama and anger. You can even remove the cupboards from the house yourself. Please clarify this with the owner first.

If the cabinets are not in perfect condition, you have a solution. Used cabinets can be painted. High quality case paint can be expensive, but the high cost is mitigated by the low (or no) price you paid for the cupboards.

RTA (Ready to Assemble) Cabinets

  • Pros: RTA cabinets are the same quality as pre-assembled cabinets. The only exception is that you put them together at home.
  • Cons: Shipping costs can be prohibitive, due to the sheer weight of the product. If you have any problem with assembling furniture, this is not for you. RTA cabinet styles tend to be fairly traditional, so if you’re looking for modern, slab-door cabinets, you will find only slim offerings.

RTA stands for Ready to Assembling, a category of kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are mainly available through internet retailers. Once you place the order online, the cabinets are shipped to you packaged flat. Installation is easy because of the camshach locking and holding system that most manufacturers integrate.

Do you hate the idea of self-organization? Ironically, in many cases, you can buy assembly ready cabinets and pay an extra fee for the company to assemble the cabinets before shipping.

RTA will help you with shipping costs. Free shipping deals only apply to large orders, often 5,000 or more. Extras often cost more than their true value. Record players built into your cabinet cost more than if you purchase one separately and install it yourself.

Hardware bought through the switchboard manufacturer tends to be expensive. Buy your hardware, install it yourself and save money.


  • Pros: No fly-by-night operation, IKEA is firmly established as a supplier of reputable, high-quality cabinets that often have a unique twist.
  • Cons: You must like contemporary style since this is the only style that IKEA offers. Plus, to make IKEA an inexpensive source, you must be able to transport the cabinets by yourself.

IKEA cabinets represent the confluence of factors that lead to a cost-effective cabinet: Self-assembly; Mid-density fiber plate (MDF) construction; And, above all, the ability to pick them up yourself.

In a vague sense, IKEA cabinets fall into the category of RTA cabinets as most cabinets are flat packed and need to be assembled. But IKEA deserves its own spotlight. For one thing, their cabinets have an unusually high design claim that other RTA offerings don’t offer. On the other hand, these cabinets can be bought and picked up in stationary shops.

This final distinction is crucial to costs as it will require you to avoid trying to jump through the tyre imposed by other RTA dealers by raising your purchase price high enough to accommodate free shipping to qualify. For the cost of a rental car (and possibly a local craft beer for your volunteers), you can use an entire kitchen with well-designed, fantastically cheap cupboards.

Showroom Display Cabinets

When shopping for cabinets, you pass by these things a million times and perhaps never consider that they may be just what you need. They are called kitchen cabinet displays, the type you see set up in home improvement stores, and more notably, local independent kitchen and bath design retail showrooms.

These fictional tableaux are meant to evoke a sense of what it would be like to walk through and use cabinets from major brand names. Because they are meant to show off the best that the manufacturer has to offer, display cabinets often come loaded with all kinds of bonuses, like bread-boxes, pull-outs, sliding spice racks, and more.

Finding display kitchen cabinets means persistence, leg-work, and adept social skills. But you will be rewarded for your efforts with big savings.

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