Best White and Gray RTA Cabinets in the Business

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12 Tips for Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget

Are you a homeowner looking to upgrade your kitchen cabinets without breaking the bank? With over 20 years of experience, we understand the importance of finding the perfect cabinets that not only fit your style but also your budget. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in the countless positive testimonials we have received from happy homeowners. In this blog post, we are excited to share with you our top 12 tips for choosing the right kitchen cabinets on a budget. From considering materials and finishes to maximizing storage space, we have got you covered. Plus, by buying cabinets online, you can take advantage of our affordable prices and fast shipping.

Set a Realistic Budget

Setting a realistic budget is the foundation for a successful kitchen remodel. Start by calculating your total available funds for the project, then estimate how much you can allocate towards the cabinets – typically, they account for about 40% to 50% of a kitchen remodel budget. This should include not just the cost of the cabinets themselves, but also additional expenses like hardware and installation. Remember to leave a buffer for unexpected costs.


Pro tip: Use our free cabinet budget calculator to calculate the costs of your new cabinets.

Prioritize Key Features

Nelson Cabinetry Overlay Soft Close Cabinet Hinge


Not all kitchen cabinets are created equal. Some offer advanced features like soft-close hinges or pull-out drawers. Others may boast of superior craftsmanship or high-quality materials. Identify what’s most important to you, whether that’s style, durability, functionality, or a specific feature. Prioritizing these will help guide your decision-making process and ensure that you invest your money where it matters most to you.

Consider RTA Cabinets

Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Wall Microwave Cabinet
Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Wall Microwave Cabinet


RTA or Ready-To-Assemble cabinets are a great way to save on costs. They come flat-packed and you put them together at home. While this means you’ll need to invest some time and effort into assembly, it can significantly cut down on costs. Plus, there’s a wide range of styles and finishes available, so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics.

Explore Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets refer to pre-made cabinets that come in standard sizes. They’re usually less expensive than custom options and can be a fantastic choice if they fit your kitchen layout. The downside is that they offer less flexibility in terms of size and design, but with a wide variety of styles and finishes available, you’re likely to find something you like.


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Opt for Unfinished Cabinets

Opting for unfinished cabinets can open up a world of possibilities. Not only can you save money upfront, but you also get the freedom to choose your finish. Whether you prefer to paint, stain, or varnish, you can customize your cabinets to perfectly match your kitchen’s color scheme.

Look for Affordable Materials

Plywood cabinets are a high quality and budget friendly option


While solid wood is often considered the gold standard for cabinets, it can be pricey. Alternative materials like plywood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), or particleboard can offer durability at a more affordable price point. Additionally, laminate or thermofoil finishes can mimic the look of wood at a fraction of the cost.

Focus on Functionality

A beautiful kitchen is great, but not if it’s a nightmare to cook in. Spend time considering how you use your kitchen and what functionality is important to you. Do you need more storage for pots and pans? Would pull-out shelves make your life easier? By focusing on functionality as well as aesthetics, you’ll end up with a kitchen that’s not just beautiful but also practical.



Explore Discount and Outlet Stores

These are great places to find deals on kitchen cabinets. Often, they sell overstock, discontinued models, or slightly damaged goods at significantly reduced prices. You may have to do a bit of hunting, but the potential savings make it worth the effort.

Compare Prices

Just like any major purchase, it pays to shop around when buying kitchen cabinets. Prices can vary widely between different retailers, so get quotes from several places. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of delivery and installation, as these can add significantly to the final price.

Consider Refacing or Refinishing

If your existing cabinets are structurally sound, refacing or refinishing them could save you a lot of money. Refacing involves replacing the doors and drawer fronts, while refinishing involves painting or staining the existing cabinets. Both options can give your kitchen a fresh new look without the need for complete replacement.

DIY Installation


If you’re handy with tools and have some spare time, installing the cabinets yourself can save a significant amount on labor costs. It’s not a task for the faint-hearted, as it requires precision and patience, but the savings can be substantial. Plus, there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes with completing a DIY project.


Pro tip: Here is a list of all tools you’ll need for DIY cabinet installation.

Buy in Stages

If you’re working with a tight budget, consider buying and installing your cabinets in stages. Start with the essential areas, and add more as your budget allows. This approach can make the project more manageable financially and give you time to save for the cabinets you really want.

Final Thoughts

With careful planning, prioritizing, and smart shopping, you can find affordable kitchen cabinets that meet your needs both aesthetically and functionally. Whether it’s opting for RTA cabinets, exploring discount stores, or even taking on a DIY installation project, there are numerous ways to save on your kitchen remodel. And remember, if you’re ready to start your kitchen remodel, we’re here to help with a free 3D kitchen design consultation, no obligation. Let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams within your budget.

Looking for new cabinets? Gray Collection or White Collection

Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson is a skilled content writer with over 5 years of experience specializing in kitchen and bath design. His expertise in the field and ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way have made his articles a valuable resource for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike. Evan's insights have been featured in top publications like Homes & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Real Homes. He focuses on providing practical advice, innovative ideas, and detailed guides to help readers make informed decisions about their kitchen spaces. With a passion for creating content that educates and inspires, Evan's writing helps transform kitchen dreams into reality.

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