Kitchens rank in the top three areas of the home for greatest return on invest.  If done correctly the return at point of resale is 80-100% of the investment value.  Kitchens also carry the biggest price tags, which can quickly escalate eating away at the potential forced equity.  
When approaching a kitchen renovation or remodel I try to salvage, work with or repurpose elements of the existing kitchen to save and allow for splurges where they count most and carefully select where to spend versus where to save.
Here are my top kitchen renovation splurges and saves to stretch your renovation budget wear it counts.

Cabinets – Sometimes we get caught up in wanting new when what we have functionally is fine, if given a bit of a cosmetic lift. If your cabinets are in good shape and the layout works, consider updating in one of two ways. Either send your doors out to be professionally painted. This works with the style but can offer a huge refresh if painted white or a contemporary soft grey. The other option is to keep the boxes and have new doors made. This allows you to update the door profile and colour while minimizing the investment.
Sink – When it comes to sinks there are really two common styles, undermount (mounted under a solid surface counter material) and countermount (mounted on top of counters like, laminate). There was a time when investing in a highend sink offered a more streamlined look, like square corners and deep bowl but today the options are vast and pricing is very reasonable. Blanco is one of my favourties with basically any size, style and configuration you can imagine. No need to spend the budget!

Faucet – Akin to a piece of jewelry or lovely watch, the faucet can offer instant interest and is a great way to deliver your style message. If your kitchen is modern, selecting a slick single lever or alternatively an eye-catching brass or bronze classic beauty will be worth the investment.  
Counters – If you have the budget to update your counters it’s worth it every time. Solid surface composite like Caesar Stone and Cambria offer the natural look of stone with incredible bearability with their nonporous properties. This means the wear and staining seen on laminates or even natural marbles simply won’t show themselves which means a greater long-term investment.
Hardware – like the faucet the cabinet hardware can offer a clean and contemporary design or can add major design impact. My advice to clients looking to minimize their expenses, is to save on the cabinets opting for a basic clean style and then invest in some really special hardware. My go to source is Lee Valley Tools. With everything from solid brass ornate pieces to crystal and resin artistic creations this is a great place to express your personal style knowing you can change is with ease for a minimal investment.