How to Find Cheap Kitchen Cabinets for a Stylish Kitchen Facelift

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s even thought about changing up a kitchen that kitchen cabinets are incredibly expensive. At least, new, custom, full-service cabinets are incredibly expensive. But there are cheap kitchen cabinets available that can help you stick to your budget without sacrificing style or even convenience. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to score yourself some cheap kitchen cabinets…and let you decide what will work best for you.

What affects costs of Kitchen Cabinets ?

A variety of factors affect the cost of kitchen cabinets, just like a whole slew of factors affects the cost of everything in life. But, in a simple snapshot, you’ll have some flexibility in the cost of your kitchen cabinets by doing your research and choosing the best supplier, opting for cabinetry made with economy-centered materials, and being ready and able to do some of the cabinet work yourself.

IKEA kitchen design with wood countertop

What types of cheap kitchen cabinets are available ?

There are a variety of cheap kitchen cabinets ready and available for your consideration. In a nutshell, those are as follows:

Free or Ridiculously Cheap Kitchen Cabinets

Craigslist or other classifieds/auction-type scores will pay big dividends toward your practically free (or literally free) acquisition of kitchen cabinets. This type of cheap kitchen cabinet can come with its own sort of price tag, though, in the name of your elbow grease to remove the cabinets yourself, haul the cabinets yourself, and then clean them up yourself. Often, it helps the previous owner of the used kitchen cabinets to have you come and remove them and haul them away, which is why this method is among the cheapest.

When you are checking out an online classifieds site, such as Craigslist, you’re going to want to stay competitive with the following tricks:

  • Check the site often for new postings.
  • When you see a posting you like, jump on it immediately.
  • Be ready to come to take their cabinets off their hands soon. Communicate with the poster whether or not the cabinets need to be removed by yourself or not.
  • Load and haul away the kitchen cabinets yourself (or with a couple of your closest friends).
Ready made kitchen cabinets

Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

This type of cheap kitchen cabinet (“RTA” stands for ready to assemble) generally comes flat-packed, in boxes, and thus requires your assembly skills to create a functional, three-dimensional kitchen cabinet. RTA cabinets today are often sold online, so in order to maximize your cost savings, you should be aware of shipping costs and do everything you can to diminish those, or they will offset any sort of savings you are otherwise getting. Even “free shipping” claims can have caveats, such as large-dollar minimum orders.

Essentially, you will order the RTA cheap kitchen cabinets online, and they will be shipped to you (unless you order online through a local retailer where they can be shipped to store at little to no cost to you) in flat-packed boxes. Generally, assembly will be quite straight-forward and probably involve the common cam lock and bracket system. Assemble your cabinets, and viola! Ready to install.

A few cost-saving tips with regard to the RTA kitchen cabinet method include the following:

  • Cabinet extras as sold through the cabinet manufacturer will likely cost more than they’re worth. For example, built-in cabinet turntables will cost much more when you order that particular feature with the cabinets than if you simply purchase a generic turntable from your local hardware store and install it yourself.
  • Similarly, kitchen cabinet hardware that you purchase through the cabinet manufacturer will be more expensive than if you just buy your own hardware and install it yourself. Just be aware of details such as the spacing and size of pre-drilled hardware holes, if applicable.
IKEA kitchen design with wood countertop

Display Kitchen Cabinets

Display kitchen cabinets are the displays set up in, say, home improvement stores or local kitchen/bath design showrooms. Maybe you’ve even checked out a variety of displays as you’ve dreamed about your own kitchen remodel. But this is one overlooked way to score some cheap kitchen cabinets that are stylish and of high quality – buy the display models. Of course, these displays, especially the very one you’ve had your eye on for a few months now, aren’t available very often, so you will need to be persistent and on top of things, as well as friendly and sociable without being annoyingly redundant.

The best part of being able to use this method of cheap kitchen cabinets is that, although they’re going to be lightly used, the quality cabinets are also going to include plenty of extras that the showroom or home improvement store want to display for others to fall in love with and purchase. These extras include things like cabinet pull-outs, bread-boxes, cutting boards, sliding spice racks, wine racks, and more. It is because of the wear and tear of the display kitchen cabinets that, if you are persistent and play your cards just right, you’ll likely receive a significant and beneficial discount for the ultimate cheap kitchen cabinetry.

Cheap and modern ikea kitchen cabinets

IKEA Kitchen Cabinets

An article on cheap kitchen cabinets just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of IKEA’s available kitchen cabinet resources. For starters, this resource is appealing to many with clean-lined contemporary tastes and a vision, because you can sit in the IKEA design room and design your kitchen, figure out all the component you’ll need and want, and make the purchase. Of course, the IKEA style is relatively one-sided – if you have dreams of a warm, traditional style kitchen, this probably isn’t the option for you. Neither is it going to work if you have no way of hauling the cabinetry from the store to your home yourself. But if those two things aren’t an issue? IKEA cheap kitchen cabinets just might be calling your name.

IKEA kitchen cabinets are a combination of ready to assemble (RTA) and display – in the vast showroom at any IKEA store, you’re going to be able to look and feel and test a variety of the kitchen cabinet offerings and setups. You should be aware, though, that part of what makes them so inexpensive is the fact that IKEA kitchen cabinets are made out of MDF (particle board). What does this mean to you?

  • MDF stands for medium density fiberboard.
  • MDF is not 100% wood and can chip easier than wood. Read here for a full look at what MDF is and isn’t.
  • MDF is much less expensive than real wood, which means that you’re going to be able to buy a full kitchen’s worth of MDF cabinetry much more cheaply than that same cabinetry in wood.


While you are likely – and accurately – expecting your kitchen cabinets to take a significant chunk of your kitchen remodel budget, there are definitely ways that you can cut some of the corners on cost and end up with a gorgeous kitchen with a beautifully low price tag. Finding the perfect blend of compromises within your cheap kitchen cabinets is going to help you love your still-stylish kitchen all the more.