The Price Of Electric Stoves And Microwaves Has Gone Up Drastically

Upgrading your kitchen can be an exciting process, with new paint, countertops, and backsplash often at the forefront of people's minds. Homeowners today often commiserate about the rising costs of everything from gasoline and utilities to groceries and interest rates, but for those who are moving to a new place or renovating their space, there may be another financial hurdle to consider: the rising cost of cooking appliances. 

More than 90% of American households today have a microwave oven, and for many it's one of the most-used appliances in their kitchen, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Electric stoves are another necessity for many people, with around 60% of Americans cooking on electric rather than gas stoves (via Kompare It). Unfortunately, all appliances become worn down over time and eventually stop working properly, leaving folks to hunt for replacements. But kitchen equipment that was once affordable and well-stocked is now becoming expensive and difficult to find, forcing many people to pay a pretty penny or forego some home appliances altogether. 

The sources sparking high prices

According to the graph shown here, the price of cooking ranges, ovens, microwave ovens, and other common kitchen equipment has increased steeply starting in mid-2020. Since January 2021 alone, the Producer Price Index (PPI) of these kitchen appliances has more than quadrupled. High appliance demand and delayed shipping due to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the price increases, according to manufacturer Yale Appliance. However, the worldwide shortage of materials has also played a major role, with stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and computer chips becoming increasingly difficult to source.

The New York Times explains that it may take years before shipping and manufacturing companies work through the backlog of orders, but what can people do if they need a new microwave or cooking range today? Retailer Thor Kitchen recommends that you shop for appliances during the holidays and fall months if you can, and avoid shopping after new product releases. Additionally, at the end of each month or season, stores usually discount some appliances in order to make room for new merchandise. Price-matching stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart are also great places to shop if you're on the hunt for a bargain. Of course, the best money-saving solution is to take care of appliances you already own, ensuring that they will last until soaring prices start to decline.