Tuesday 10 September 2013

3 fool-proof ways to save money at Ikea

Yes, guess where I went on Saturday? Some may call me crazy but it actually wasn't that busy and I went alone so over all it was very pleasant. I had meatballs for lunch and actually got to eat all of them instead of certain members of the family who insist on ordering something different but then always have to 'try' my meatballs!

I know some people hate Ikea, despite marriages breaking up and people losing their sanity over flat-pack furniture I think that Ikea is a very cleverly marketed set up.

As soon as you walk through the door you are force to walk around the store the way they want you to, they make it difficult to back track so often you will put things in your trolley because you can't be arsed to go back later, going against the flow is seriously hard work.

I love how they have little rooms set up showing you several different ways of using the same thing, the rooms in Japan are usually standard sizes measured by tatami mats. When you are looking to rent a place it will say the room is 6 or 8 tatami for example. Ikea have many of their rooms set up to this standard sizing so you can see how the furniture would fit in your own room.

They tackle the BIG stuff first, conveniently have the restaurant placed in the middle of their forced walk through, just the right time to have a break! Then you hit the ever-so-dangerous small things section, you know, those things that you go - ohh only ¥199 and you pop it in the basket along with several other bargains. See what I mean - very clever, Japanese home-stores could learn a thing or two!

OK, how to save yourself money, because you know you wallet magically empties after a trip to Ikea!

1. Do your research.
Before you go, get on the Internet and have a good idea of exactly what you want - write it down. Sometimes you might narrow it down to 2 or 3 options but having a good idea of exactly what you need before you go will help with 'ohh look, bright shiny object' syndrome.

2. Only take cash.
Leave any credit card, debit cards or any other way of accessing money at home. Take only the cash budget you are willing to spend and as you go around the store keep a running total - those little items really add up!

3. Go by public transport
This only really works if you are going for some small items, I was after storage boxes. Don't get a trolley, use a bag, then you won't under estimate the weight of the bag you have got to carry home. There were a couple of things that made it into my bag which were kicked out again once I had got the storage boxes I wanted. I know you can have your purchases sent home but then, I had limited cash so that wasn't going to happen.

What I actually wanted were some new boxes to go in the TV unit. When we moved into the house we had some nice looking boxes but over the years the bottoms have fallen out of them. So they had been replaced with a right hodgepodge and the whole think looks unsightly. Oh course, I have been thinking, I will get some new ones when I see some I like.... and still the hodgepodge remained. Since we are doing the living room in the Clear The Clutter course this month, I decided this month was the month to sort it out!

I could do with one more of the cream boxes to replace the brown one, we got rid of the video player that we no longer use and I reorganised the other boxes, threw out a load of junk and I am much happier looking at the area now! Stop snickering at the ancient TV, it works - although it has it's moments sometimes! 

I am also tackling the computer area but I will show you that once it is finished. So, are you an Ikea lover or hater?


  1. Ah yes, it's the little things-you-didn't-know-you-needed-aisle that always gets me. Cheese grater...funky wine glasses...another vase I wont use...

    1. I reckon they make half their money from those little things!

  2. Hodgepodge - yes that's exactly what ours is right now! Still haven't figured out what we need as we left the TV storage at our old house. It's currently two stacked bookshelves, with a Gordon Ramsay cookbook sandwiched in the middle....

    We used to live SO close to Ikea, and now our nearest one is over an hour away. I won't be spending as much time there as I used to - although here in the UK you can leave your child for 30 minutes free play in the kidzone, wahoo!!!!! I don't think you can beat their classic 'expedit' unit for storage, and every year they bring out new colours of boxes to go in it. Perfect!

    1. Ours is about 1.5 hours drive away or by train it is 3 trains and a right yomp between platforms!

      The queue to dump your kid was massive on Saturday, so glad I didn't have to think about that :)
      Ikea gets a lot of stick but it is cleverly designed furniture and I love putting it together - must be the engineer in me :)

  3. I'm a huge Ikea fan! My DF hates going there though so we only make it there once or twice a year.
    You're right about the little things adding up! We always come home with a few extras!

    Our next purchase will be a kid's kitchen set :-)

    1. I love the kids stuff, I wish they had the little tea set and bowls when Ebi-kun was a toddler, they are perfect!


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