Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular, but some people automatically assume that this has to be an expensive project. Once you start with things like pricey durable materials, upgraded appliances, and plumbing/electricity, this might start to seem like a full-on in-house-kitchen remodel. (Take a look at howtospecailist.com to get some ideas.) But what if you want all the benefits of an outdoor kitchen, but you simply don’t have the money for one? Below, are a few ideas for the budget-friendly household that wants an outdoor kitchen, but can only afford to pay so much for it.

Propane Is Better Than Gas

Running a gas line from your house and to a grill can end up costing a lot of money. The better route to take is to use propane tanks and then just get them filled up. Usually, those bigger tanks only cost about $50 to refill which is significantly cheaper than gas, especially if you live in an area where gas is expensive.

Buy A Quality Grill

Buying a quality grill is of the utmost importance. You want something that will last for years to come. But, if you think propane grills are super expensive, think again. One of the best sites to shop on is Amazon for your grill. Some sellers even offer free shipping and handling. If you want to buy one at a store like Home Depot or Lowes, wait until around fall or winter time or at the very start of summer for the best prices and sales.

Under The Sink Water Heaters

Running a hot water line from the outdoor kitchen to the house can be quite costly. An alternative option is to buy an under the counter heater. These will heat your water that comes out of the faucet, but it’s much cheaper – about $300 for a smaller heater which is plenty for a small to a medium kitchen.

Choose The Right Floor

Obviously, since this will be an outdoor kitchen you need materials that are weather resistant. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about counters, cabinets or floors. Some of the best outdoor flooring to consider is:

Porcelain Tile: Porcelain tile is a very durable material as is for your tile flooring options. Yet, if you plan on using it outside or outdoor as floor tiles, make sure that you find a porcelain tile that is also frost proof and unglazed. When the installer installs it, also have them add a coat of sealer. Porcelain tile comes in many different colors, tile patterns, styles and can even be made to look like other materials like stone, at half the cost. You can visit online flooring stores,  i.e. tilemarkets.com, to get ideas about the available variety and prices.

Concrete: Concrete is being used both indoors and outdoors when it comes to houses these days. It’s a really great material for outdoors though, because it is incredibly durable. However, when using it outside, make sure that you get an additive placed in the mix that will keep it from cracking through the freeze-thaw cycle – unless of course, you live someplace warm year round. Concrete can also be colored, finished and imprinted.

Stone: Stone pavers can look incredible and they are very durable. Unfortunately, they are the priciest option. These tend to cost anywhere between $25 and $35 per square foot depending on the finish, the type of stone you are using, and the size of the stone – tiles, pavers, slabs, etc.

An Alternative To Countertops

If you really want to find something budget friendly, why not just skip the counters entirely? There are actually quite a few carts on the market that look just like counters – they even have customizable tops (wood, stone, metal, etc) and enclosed shelving. These look just like real counters and yet they are much cheaper. If you can find a few that are the same, you can create an enclosure around the kitchen area that cordons it off and makes it separate from the other outdoor spaces. For research purposes or ideas, go through few blogs like supersavvyme.co.uk which suggest good ideas. Make sure if you purchase a cart it has protection from UV rays. If not, you can bet that if it’s something like wood, it’s going to splinter and fade like crazy. A lot of these carts also have drawers for extra organization and space to keep all of your outdoor tools for the grill, silverware, cups, napkins, etc. You could also add a sitting area for outdoor dining.

Left Over Materials For Countertops

Countertops in the kitchen can also get expensive, especially if you are buying a material that can withstand the weather. Instead of going out and buying a brand new stone counter or a brand new wood counter, consider visiting shops in your area, such as stone masonry businesses, that have left over materials such as granite, marble or slate and see if they will let you buy them. Since these are leftovers they will cost much lower than if you just went out and bought stone for the counters.