How to Replace Your Kitchen Appliances With Eco-Friendly Alternatives on a Budget

How to Replace Your Kitchen Appliances With Eco-Friendly Alternatives on a Budget

I have been wanting to make my kitchen more environmentally friendly, but the costs of buying all new appliances can really add up. As someone trying to be eco-conscious on a budget, I’ve discovered some great ways to swap out old, inefficient appliances for greener options without breaking the bank. Here’s my guide on how I replaced my kitchen appliances with eco-friendly alternatives while sticking to a budget.

Evaluate Which Appliances to Replace First

When trying to go green in the kitchen without spending too much, I’ve found it helpful to prioritize which appliances to tackle first. Here are some factors I considered when deciding which appliances to replace in what order:

  • Energy efficiency – Appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens tend to use the most energy. Focusing on upgrading these made the biggest impact.
  • Frequency of use – I swapped out the appliances I use most often first. Replacing my heavily used coffee maker with a Energy Star model was a good start.
  • Cost of replacement – I chose inexpensive upgrades like adding aerators to faucets before tackling pricier appliances.
  • Lifespan – Upgrading appliances that were close to the end of their lifespan was a priority, as I could maximize my return on investment.

By evaluating my appliances in this manner, I could determine which replacements would give me the most bang for my buck.

Buy Secondhand or Upcycled Appliances

Purchasing brand new Energy Star certified appliances can get very expensive. Luckily, going secondhand is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly option. I found great deals on used appliances in good condition at:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations
  • Garage sales
  • Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace listings
  • Estate sales

I also came across innovative appliance companies like Bold that upcycle old appliances, bring them up to current efficiency standards, and resell them at reasonable prices. Shopping secondhand gave my kitchen an updated, green look on a dime!

Take Advantage of Rebates and Incentives

Many utility companies and state/local governments offer rebates and incentives for purchasing energy efficient appliances and recycling old ones. I was able to score up to $500 back per appliance by taking advantage of these programs. Be sure to research available rebates before making new appliance purchases to get the most savings.

I also financed my upgrades using no-interest financing offers from appliance retailers. The incentives brought costs down substantially and the 0% financing allowed me to go green without draining my bank account.

Upgrade Specific Kitchen Appliances on the Cheap

Here are some of the affordable, eco-friendly upgrades I made to specific kitchen appliances:


  • Added insulation behind the unit – I used reflective insulation behind my refrigerator which reduces electricity usage. This $30 fix made a noticeable difference in energy efficiency.
  • Replaced seals – Cracked door seals were leaking cold air. Replacing them with new seals retailing for $20-30 reduced energy loss.


  • Shortened wash cycles – I switched my dishwasher to the shortest effective cycle. The no heat air dry option also reduced energy usage significantly.
  • Hand washed when possible – I got in the habit of hand washing very dirty pots and pans before running the dishwasher. This allowed me to use shorter, cooler cycles.


  • Used a toaster oven – I cooked small meals in a much more energy efficient toaster oven instead of firing up the full sized one.
  • Added insulation – I added insulation between the oven and kitchen walls which keeps heat in the oven rather than dissipating it externally.

Coffee Maker

  • Purchased a French press – I replaced my old coffee maker with a simple French press which uses no electricity. My morning coffee now has a much lower energy footprint.

Be Patient and Purchase Strategically

Eco-friendly upgrades can take time, especially if you’re on a budget. I’m pacing myself by making one or two appliance swaps per year. Spreading out purchases allows me to truly save up for quality, efficiency upgrades. Sales holidays like Black Friday are great times to score energy efficient appliance deals.

With some savvy shopping techniques and efficiency upgrades along the way, I’ve been able to overhaul all my major kitchen appliances with greener options that go easier on my wallet. A little bit of patience paired with strategic purchasing has made my kitchen kinder to the environment.