I would start by evaluating your appliances. Manufacturers have made huge gains in their products’ energy efficiency and practicality in recent years. You may be able to save substantially on your electricity costs simply by replacing your refrigerator. And the new models have all sorts of interesting features you might like.
If you want a new look without spending a lot of money, the way to get it is with paint. You’re probably not looking at changing the floor plan, so rearrange things visually with surprising doses of color. High-quality cabinetry is phenomenally expensive, so, if possible, paint what you have or replace just the doors and drawer fronts. New hardware can offer a big boost as well. Laminate flooring and countertops are the most economical materials for those surfaces.
If you are an accomplished do-it-yourselfer, you may be able to save money by doing some of the work yourself. If you will be working with a professional remodeler, be sure to negotiate a division of labor ahead of time that is suitable for you both. Our video offers more budget-saving remodeling ideas.