Design trends: budget buys

'Buy cheap, buy twice' the saying goes. But if you know where to look, you can find bargain home electricals that are built to last.

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INDUCTION HOBS FROM £220
Energy efficient and easy to clean, induction hobs are also the safest hobs you can buy — and they are finally becoming affordable. Ikea's range starts at £220 for a space-saving, two-zone domino hob and £275 for a larger four-zone model. Both have touch controls rather than buttons, so they double as a worktop when you're not cooking on them, and they come with a free five-year guarantee. Visit ikea.com.

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KETTLES FROM £12.50
Supermarket own-brand electricals are often "loss leaders". The stores make little or no profit on them, yet the brand's reputation is on the line so quality is surprisingly good. The "by Sainsbury's" range has toasters from £10 and kettles from £12.50, including this beautiful red stainless steel kettle (above left) for £29.99 (currently on offer at £19.99). 

Despite the bargain price tags, products are rigorously tested — for example, kettle elements are X-rayed to check for faults that could lead to premature failure. Visit sainsburys.co.uk.

OVENS FROM £350
It's worth spending at least £350 on an oven. The John Lewis JLBIOS611 (£379 but on offer now at £349) is A-rated for efficiency (above right). It has an anti-fingerprint stainless steel exterior, an easy-clean enamel interior, and comes with a free three-year guarantee. Visit johnlewis.com.

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GAS HEATERS FROM £80
Not strictly an electrical item, of course, but portable Calor gas heaters are a very affordable way of getting real flames and lots of heat into your home on a budget. They start at £79.99 (£99.99 including gas) but we love the stylish Provence heater (above left) at £269.99 — or £299.99 with gas. You can move heaters like this around the house to warm up chilly bedrooms, keep a home office habitable or enjoy a conservatory right through winter. Visit calor.co.uk.

TABLET COMPUTERS ABOUT £100
The new Tesco Hudl tablet got a lot of press for being good value, but at £99.99 the Acer Iconia B1 (above right) costs £20 less. It has the same size touch screen as the Hudl (7in), runs the same Android "Jelly Bean" operating system, has a very similar spec and even weighs a bit less. It's a great-value tablet for adults and children alike. Visit acer.co.uk 

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LIVING ROOM TELEVISIONS ABOUT £310
The best value for money can currently be found in 39in LED screens, such as this Panasonic Viera TXL39B6B at £309.95. This TV has built-in Freeview HD so you can watch in full high definition without paying for a satellite or cable service. However, for the same money you could buy a 32in version that comes with "smart" internet connectivity and free catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer. Visit richersounds.com.
 

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