Your next kitchen upgrade: 4 appliances to splurge on

Key tips to remember

  • A high price tag doesn’t necessarily equal high quality.
  • Determine your needs and wants — extra features can’t be added to an appliance after you purchase.
  • Get a dishwasher with a stainless-steel tub — it will look better longer, and resist stains and odors.
  • A good toaster oven is worth the splurge.

A kitchen renovation — whether it’s a face-lift or a full-scale remodel — is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects you can pursue. When it comes time to sell your home, there’s very little that sways an on-the-fence buyer faster than a state-of-the-art kitchen that requires zero updating.

Not planning to put your house on the market any time soon? No problem! You deserve to cook in a beautiful, efficient kitchen, too! If you have the funds to put back into your house, you can’t go wrong starting with the heart of the home.

And if you’re not quite at the point of looking into cabinet refacing or pricing out granite versus quartz, that is perfectly fine. Why not start with appliances and go from there? The holidays can be a great time to go appliance shopping. Once the winter holidays crank up, it’s hard to go into an electronics or home store without passing multiple signs and marquees advertising record-setting low prices.

Take advantage of these price breaks and let your dream appliances kick off your kitchen update!

Keep reading for our list of the appliances to snag during the holiday sales!

4 splurge-worthy kitchen appliances

1. A new range

A range is a range, right? They all do more or less the same thing, don’t they?

Well, sort of. That’s kind of a yes and no question.

The bottom line is yes: Any range you purchase will get you to your end goal of a hot meal. Some of them, however, will do it more quickly and more accurately than others. And the reality is that if you have your heart set on a warming drawer or an extra-large-capacity oven, you’ll need to look at higher-priced models.

There are several reasons for the price differences between the stoves, ovens and ranges you see in your local home improvement or electronics store:

  • In gas ranges, the Btu (British thermal units, a measurement of heat output)
  • Number of burners
  • Size of the oven
  • Extra and/or specialty features, such as a convection setting, a warming drawer or a bread-proofing setting

Remember, however, that price doesn’t necessarily correspond directly to quality. Whether your budget is small, limitless or somewhere in between, you will be able to find a range that matches both your aesthetic and your culinary prowess.

Aside from gas or electric (or induction), here’s what you need to consider as you wander the range section of your local home improvement store:

  • Are extra burners important to you? Would you make more use of a convection oven?
  • Do you need the added power of a high-Btu burner?
  • Do you need the added storage of a drawer beneath the oven? Or would you rather have a warming drawer or more interior oven space?
  • How important to you are aesthetics? Do you have your heart set on a specialty color or finish? Are you willing to overlook knobs that don’t feel heavy?

While there’s no reason to spend good money on features you know you’ll never use, a general rule of thumb — especially when it comes to appliances — is to purchase the highest-quality option you can afford. And remember: Depending on the price difference between models, it’s usually better to opt for more options than you think you’ll use. Might you move past your current obsession with baking bread and no longer use your new oven’s bread-proofing setting? Sure, but keep in mind that you can’t add that feature later.

2. An updated dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of the workhorses of your household. And if it’s been doing its job faithfully without complaint (or perhaps just the occasional issue) for many years, the winter holidays are a good time to shop for its replacement. A completely dead dishwasher is the worst — especially during the holidays with a lots of cooking and cleaning!

Dishwasher design and technology have come a long way in recent years. These appliances are now built to be efficient, environmentally friendly and — best of all — quiet. It’s hard to go wrong regardless of the specific model you choose.

Much like buying a new range, however, you’ll likely want to make sure you’re getting the best, highest-quality dishwasher that fits within your budget. If it’s in reach financially, opt for a dishwasher model with a stainless-steel tub. This one little detail will keep your new dishwasher looking nice and prevent it from absorbing stains over the years.

Beyond a stainless-steel tub, here are some things to consider to help you narrow your options:

  • How much running noise is acceptable to you?
  • Do you need a third shelf?
  • Are the shelves adjustable to accommodate tall glassware and odd-size serving pieces?

A dishwasher might seem like a boring kitchen appliance to update, but it will pay dividends when it comes to making your life easier.

3. An energy-efficient refrigerator

Running a household without a refrigerator is virtually impossible in today’s world. And if you’ve been feeding and cooking for a family with a refrigerator that doesn’t meet your needs, holiday sales are the perfect time to upgrade.

A new refrigerator is a major purchase, so make sure you get what you need — and what you want. A side-by-side fridge and freezer, for instance, might be a slightly lower-priced option that would serve your family just fine (in theory). But if you know that the slide-out drawers of a three-door model would make the after-school snack rush a little less hectic, spring for the option that will make your life easier.

Here are few additional points to think about as you peruse your local home appliance store:  

  • Are ice and water in the door must-haves?
  • How many middle drawers do you need?
  • How simple (or complex) is changing the water filter? And how much do those filters cost?

The cost of a new refrigerator can be hard to swallow, but remember that if you’re replacing an older model, you will notice a difference in your electricity bills. New refrigerators are considerably more efficient than those that are several decades old.

4. A multitasking toaster oven

This probably isn’t what you were expecting as the last item on a list of splurge-worthy kitchen appliances, but if you aren’t already aware of the wonder that is the modern toaster oven, let this serve as your introduction.

The toaster ovens on the market today go far, far beyond just toasting — in fact, it’s probably more accurate to think of them as your weeknight dinner saviors.

Do you dread the thought of pizza reheated in the microwave but don’t really feel like turning on the oven just for one leftover slice? A toaster oven could be the answer to your reheating woes! Do you struggle to time all the components of a big family meal so that hot items arrive at the table still warm? A toaster oven could be just the extra help you need.

A toaster oven isn’t a traditional kitchen appliance in the sense that it would make any difference to a potential homebuyer — typically, you would take any small appliances with you. It does, however, fall under the umbrella of kitchen appliance splurges.

Consider the following as you decide on the best toaster oven for your needs:

  • How much countertop space do you have?
  • Do you plan to do more than make toast and heat up leftovers? In other words, do you need the toaster oven to accommodate a baking dish or small pizza pan?
  • Is convection important to you?

You might not need all the bells and whistles of a top-of-the-line toaster oven. But as is true with other major appliances, it’s always nice to have the option of a cool feature that you might not necessarily need every day. And let’s be honest: A convection toaster oven is pretty cool.

If you’re appliance shopping this holiday season, you’re in good company. Winter sales on home goods and major appliances can save you a lot of money and bring high-end options into a more palatable price range...

All of us at Cinch Home Services are looking forward to the upcoming holiday appliance sales, and we’re excited to serve as your guides in your next kitchen upgrade. Subscribe to our newsletter and visit us on Facebook to stay in touch and get updates about what we’re up to!

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