How Not To Splurge At IKEA

By Mrs. Song Life

IKEA Cafeteria Line
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IKEA Renton opened its newly renovated two-story store back in February. We’ve been wanting one of those VIDGA curtain panel to cover our laundry nook, so we planned a trip to check it out last weekend.

We made the newbie mistake of underestimating the power of IKEA. The weather was great, hence many families and shoppers were out. Coupled by the fact that IKEA was still in midst of constructing a new parking lot, parking was a NIGHTMARE. We had to park in the overflow parking lot. Shuttle service was provided but we chose to walk.

If you can, definitely try to go during weekday work hours, or weekend right before store opens.

IKEA Cafeteria Line

Long line @ IKEA Cafeteria

I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who has to guard my wallet against IKEA. It’s hard not to splurge when IKEA’s well designed products are offered at such reasonable prices. Especially with their maze-like store layout, designed to keep you trapped there so you re-encounter those items that you had already fell in love with on first sight.

Going with Mr. Song was a good idea as he HATES clutter and would always dissuade me from buying things we didn’t need.

If you don’t have a Mr. Song and enjoy interior design and shopping as much as I do, here are some well practiced tips to help save your wallet.

Create a Shopping List

As with all types of shopping, create a list of items you need and stick to it while shopping so you don’t end up buying unnecessary items. IKEA lets you create a shopping list online that you can print out. You can even sort them in the order in which they can be found at the warehouse!

Interestingly, our shopping list actually changed as we shopped.

The plan was to buy panel curtains, but after we’ve put everything in the cart, we asked ourselves whether it was worth spending almost $150 to cover up our laundry nook: 4 x panel curtain holder ($23.96), 2 x triple curtain rail ($29.98), 2 x single track rail ($13.98), 1 x draw rod ($3.99), 1 x Miter box ($2.99) , 3 x wall bracket ($11.97), 4 x panel curtain ($59.96). Plus we didn’t even have a proper saw to adjust the rail length, so we’d have to go buy a saw.

Then we came across your truly — a regular curtain! It was a good looking curtain and would serve our purpose. It was also much cheaper (~$40 total).

Installing new curtain
I did have to hem the bottom of the curtain. We don’t own a sewing machine, but we have an iron and ironing board, so I used those Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive and it worked fine.

Ginseng Ficus

Set Your Splurge Budget

Knowing myself too well, there was no way I’d walk out of IKEA not buying things we didn’t need. THAT IS OKAY. Shop guilt free by giving yourself a splurge budget. I walked away from IKEA with a new Ginseng Ficus plant ($15) to decorate our dining area’s window ledge.

Join IKEA Family

It’s free. There’s no reason to not join. You get monthly product discounts, free coffee or free tea, discount on selected items in cafeteria, BOGO frozen yogurt cone, and more!

As you can see, we used some of the perks to fill our tummy.

IKEA cafeteria food. LOVE their Swedish meatballs and cream filled marzipan <3

IKEA cafeteria food. LOVE their Swedish meatballs and cream filled marzipan <3

Last Chance/As-Is

If you have furniture you need to purchase, try browsing the last chance and as-is section. These sections contain items that are going to be discontinued, floor samples, and returned merchandises. You can score nice items for your home at good discounts.

Check the Internet

When we don’t need furniture to be brand new, we would check local craigslist listings and marketplace apps such as OfferUp. There are always people moving or upgrading their household items, so second hand IKEA furniture are plenty.

For smaller items such as kitchenware, lights, organizers, we would compare IKEA’s with other brands on Amazon. Have to get the most out of our money!

IKEA also sells their products on Amazon, and while most of the time these items are priced more, shipping might end up being cheaper than their standard $59.

Do you have personal tips you use to save money at IKEA? Or do you save even more by shopping at somewhere else? I’d love to hear them!