Must-Have Budget Electronics and Appliances for Setting Up Home
Setting up a new home can be a daunting move. Everything seems necessary, and yet, everything feels expensive. But with a budget of roughly Rs 80,000, you can at least have the most important electronics and appliances in place.
Read below to know about the top must-have budget electronics and appliances we recommend when you are setting up your new home with your significant other.
For the two of you, you likely don’t need a very large capacity washing machine. But what you do need is a fully automatic washing machine so your weekends are not ruined doing laundry on a semi-automatic.
You need a moderately sized 6-kg washing machine that can handle the week’s load and be ready on its own.
A good washing machine to buy on a budget is the Haier HWM58-020, which, at the time of writing this article, was selling on Amazon for only Rs. 9,549. It’s a 5.8-kg model, and has top-notch functions like 6 wash programs, delay wash, a memory function and even a 1000 rpm spin speed to make sure your laundry is quite dry when you take it out.
In fact,we had reviewed the washing machine, and it had stellar performance on our tests and parameters, making it a definite buy for singles or couples.
A larger capacity direct-cool refrigerator is pretty much all a couple will need in the initial years. You could, of course, buy a double-door fridge, but there might be too much freezer space in there that you will not use on a regular basis, and in the deal, you might end up losing valuable fridge capacity.
Our recommendation for a couple is the Samsung RR22K242ZSE Direct-cool Single-door Refrigerator (212 Ltrs, 5 Star Rating). Its 212-litre capacity is adequate for a couple and there are two adjustable shelves as well as one fixed shelf to hold all your food. In addition, the bottom door bin is spacious enough to hold large bottles in case you are entertaining.
The vegetable box is big enough to hold a week’s fresh supplies, and the freezer can comfortably hold a week’s frozen supplies. Another top feature of the fridge is that it has a 5-star rating, which means you get to save significantly on your electricity bills over the year. At the time of writing this article, the fridge was available on Amazon for Rs. 16,650.
If you must buy a double-door fridge, we suggest you go with the Samsung RT28K3022SE/HL/NL Frost-free Double-door Refrigerator (253 Ltrs, 2 Star Rating). This will increase your budget though – currently it is selling on Amazon for Rs. 18,999. It offers more space within its 253-litre body, but that space is divided between the fridge (181-litre net) and freezer (53-litre net).
There are two toughened glass shelves, humidity control in the vegetable box and other great features. However, it only has a 2-star energy rating, which means it will not be particularly cheap to run. But on a budget, it could be a great fridge to buy in terms of functionality.
Another option is the LG GL-B282SGSM Frost free Double-door Refrigerator (255 Ltrs, 3 Star Rating), which has a better energy rating, but currently on Amazon at a higher price – Rs. 19,500.
We have reviewed this one in the past, and there were some issues with its cooling and the extra-long egg tray, which made us rate it only 6/10 on its features.
You could look at better star ratings or other brands, but be prepared to increase your budget considerably.
The modern working couple simply cannot do without a microwave oven any longer. A smaller capacity may be something you can adjust with, but what you need is microwave with convection so it can cook your food as well as heat it.
The Haier HIL2080EGC 20-Litre Convection Microwave Oven left us pretty impressed. It is a well-rounded microwave, and excels in convection cooking, and this is one unit that you can actually use for purposes other than reheating your food.
The convection setting, oil free menu and appealing looks on the Haier would make it a great utility addition to your kitchen. Price-wise, it is competitive, and we’d say, it makes excellent value for money with what it offers. It currently sells for Rs. 7771 on Amazon.
If you are not a fan of cooking on the microwave, a Solo microwave oven might be just what you need to reheat your food. The Whirlpool Magicook 20SW Electronic 20-Litre 700-Watt Solo Microwave has basic functions and is available for Rs. 4660 on Amazon.
For the couple who needs a quick breakfast before they leave for work, a good toaster is invaluable.
Here, you have two choices to make. Should you buy a 4-slice toaster or is a 2-slice toaster good enough? The second choice is, do you buy a simple toaster, or would you rather buy a sandwich maker?
Since budget is a concern, we recommend a 2-slice toaster. It may increase the number of times you use it, but it will also be much cheaper to buy than a 4-slice toaster.
The Morphy Richards AT-201 2-Slice 650-Watt Pop-Up Toaster is available on Amazon at Rs. 1289, and is a good buy with consistent browning across 7 levels.
The crumb tray is easy to clean and the pockets are wide enough to accommodate different sizes of bread.
You also have the option of buying the Philips Daily Collection HD2595/09 800-Watt 2 Slot Toaster for Rs. 1,649 on Amazon.
This is as good as the Morphy Richards, if not better in terms of consistency, and has a lid to prevent the insides of your toaster from getting any dust.
If you prefer a sandwich maker instead of a simple toaster, the Prestige PSMFB 800-Watt Sandwich toaster is a good buy. It has a non-stick interior and cuts, seals and grills the sandwiches you put in, and is also easy to clean. It is currently selling for Rs. 889 on Amazon, and is good value for money.
If you want to buy a sandwich maker with a grill plate, it would be a lot more expensive, so for daily use, this is just what you need.
A mixer is one of the most basic, yet one of the most important appliances any modern household needs. Most mixer grinders come with 3 jars and these suffice well enough so you don’t need additional jars.
Mixer grinders can be inexpensive or moderately pricey. Our pick of a decently priced mixer is the Philips HL7699/00 750-Watt Mixer Grinder which sells for Rs. 3499 on Amazon.
It is slightly louder than other models, but it performs its functions admirably. The chutney jar is marginally bigger than most other brands, and can handle tough grinding very well.
Another excellent product is the Wonderchef 400 Watt Nutri-Blend, if you like using your mixer for making smoothies and not just grinding. This comes with two jars and a sleek design, and has 5 glasses and a recipe booklet for free.
It can handle fruits both soft and hard, and can also wet and dry grind spices and vegetables. It is currently available for Rs. 2,123 on Amazon.
Nothing is of more importance in your home as a water purifier. Really, you can live without almost every other appliance, but a water purifier is absolutely essential for the simple reason that simply boiling the water is not enough and no one really has the time to boil and strain water anymore.
While Eureka Forbes was the undisputed number one in water filters till a few years back, there are now other players in the market who make excellent purifiers, though Eureka Forbes is still very good.
Our top choice for water filters is the A.O.Smith X7 48-Watt RO Water Purifier. The 9-litre filter has a 7-step purification process and very handy digital display that makes it wonderful for use. It is available on Amazon for Rs. 18,880 currently.
If you need RO plus UV filtration, the Blue Star Majesto MA4BSAM01 8-Litre RO + UV Water Purifier is a good buy.
The 6-litre storage filter offers 6 stages of purification and is loaded with features that work very well. In addition, it also removes any bad taste from your water and adds a more pleasant taste during its filtering process. It is available for Rs. 16,269 on Amazon.
Eureka Forbes, Kent and Pureit also make good water filters, but in terms of value and function, the above are certainly the best you can get.
Your entire day may be made or broken by that morning shower, and a geyser can mean the difference. You can buy either an Instant geyser without storage, or a Storage geyser
For Instant Geysers, our pick is the Kelvinator KIH-334 3-Litre Instant Water Heater which works better than its other competitors in providing consistently hot water and has a lower heating time. Amazon is currently selling it for Rs. 2899.
For storage geysers, the hands down winner is the Racold Altro CDR Vertical 25 L Water Heater. At Rs. 7168 on Amazon, the 25-litre geyser takes a while to heat the water, but you get the age-old Racold performance with really hot water.
In addition, it has a 4-star energy rating so you know you are saving on electricity bills every time you run it.
Buying a TV can be a tricky subject because there are multiple things to consider here.
The first, of course, is the size. Some people are okay with buying a small 24-inch TV on a budget, but we think it is better to go with a 32-inch TV because you will spend a considerable amount of time watching it, and the viewing experience needs to be good.
Another consideration is the picture quality. While there are cheap 32-inch TVs in the market, they probably won’t give you satisfactory picture quality. And it is for this reason that we recommend the Samsung UA32FH4003R.
We have reviewed this in the past, and found that it plays HD channels decently within its 1366x768p capability.
In terms of sound and overall picture quality, it definitely does better than its rival Panasonic model. If you can live with colours not really looking outstanding, the Samsung UA32FH4003R is a good TV worth considering. It currently sells on Amazon for Rs. 18,749.
A cheaper alternative is the Panasonic 32D400D, which sells for Rs. 16,990 on Amazon now, but as we mentioned, the cheaper TV simply does not have the picture quality that could make this a worthy rival to the Samsung.
Another option is the Philips 32PFL3738, a 32-inch HD-Ready LED TV, but it also has a rather unsatisfactory picture quality and sound output.
We’d recommend you still spend a little extra and go for the Samsung instead of this one. Sony, the most popular choice for TVs in the Indian market, retails at a much higher cost.
Setting up a new home is a slow process, and one that never quite gets over.
These are the top must-have budget electronics and appliances appliances you will need when you are setting up for the first time, and if you are picking our top choices, you need to spend around Rs 80,000. Over time, you may want to upgrade your TV, buy a rice cooker, get a set of speakers, buy a vacuum cleaner – but those can wait.
For now, this is all you need and if you are on a budget, and our top choices are the best you can buy. The ultimate purchase decision is yours, and it is a good idea to wait for big sales both online and offline for even better deals and freebies.