Convenience is the hallmark of our society, and nothing exemplifies fast & easy like a microwave oven. Ever since its introduction to the world decades ago, a microwave oven has been a symbol for expediency in the kitchen. Ultimately, though, it has also gone through many make-overs based on changing technology and home design. Such changes, while welcome in most cases, have brought along major shifts in appearance and cost.Yet, even with the changing (and rising) cost of a microwave oven, consumers have felt the need to have this appliance in their home. Moreover, food companies are constantly updating their products for convenience for the busy American home now saddled with getting a full family meal on the table in as little time as possible. The microwave, it seems, is rapidly being seen as a necessity for many families, and these families, in turn, must consider the cost of having a good microwave.When considering your budget for a solid microwave, keep in mind that you are in luck as the current crop of microwaves offer products at nearly every price point imaginable. By figuring out what you can spend, you’ll have an easier time understanding what you can afford. It’s stating the obvious, but if your budget is small, you do have to sacrifice available options and functions.You must also consider the space available in your kitchen. Where will the microwave go? Sacrificing counter space might not be ideal for some consumers, but then again, you are paying for convenience. The countertop models are a little more budget friendly, which means you really have to weigh your options. Others with more flexible budgets may be able to have the added option of built-in & over-the-range models that place the microwave off the counter. Knowing size of any of these models, though, is a priority as it helps narrow down the choices of available microwaves in your budget. As the old adage goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” Don’t buy something without having the right numbers in front of you.In the spirit of understanding needs, it is important for the prospective microwave owner to understand their actual need. Sit down and figure out how your family eats during the week. Are more meals cooked on a traditional cooktop or oven? If you have a microwave you’re upgrading, how often is it used and does it merit the extra cost of the upgrade? It would be a good idea to scan your pantry and see just how much of your food passes through a microwave oven. In a way, it seems as though you’re getting a little too deep in thought for buying a microwave, but what it boils down to is figuring out what you need.The microwave oven is an amazing invention, and in a “go-go-go” world like the one we currently live in, it can often be seen as a necessity. Though initial models we large and expensive, advances in technology have allowed microwaves to be available to consumers with all levels of budget. By taking the time to assess what you need and how much you can spend, you’ve taken a major step in purchasing the right microwave oven for you.