How I Shop IKEA

I kind of love IKEA!  Where else can you purchase Swedish meatballs, fresh cinnamon rolls, a dresser for $100, plants, paper products AND a kit to make your own pendant light?  I don’t think I fully appreciated the store until we moved into our current house.  We are short on storage space and IKEA has provided so many great affordable solutions!  Like the dresser in our kitchen.

After many trips, I finally figured out some tricks on how to effectively shop a store so wonderfully LARGE!  Let me also explain that I usually take this trip during the week, so I have my twin boys “helping” me shop.

Tip #1: Go during the week – if possible!  This place is kind of a zoo on the weekend.  If you have a lot of shopping to do, you will most likely want to go Monday – Thursday.  I haven’t noticed much of a difference between morning or afternoon.

Tip#2: Get an IKEA family card.  When you first walk in the store, there is a kiosk computer that you can sign up for the card.  There is no fee, so you have nothing to lose.  Every month there are items that are discounted with your family card.  The BEST benefit – if you have young kids – you get an extra half hour in the kid zone.   Woot woot!

Tip #3: Take advantage of the kid watch area!  I first had reservations about dropping my kids off at a store, but after doing it a couple of times felt very much at ease with the process.  They take all your information, give you a pager and no parents are allowed past the first set of doors.  This means only IKEA employees are allowed in the area.  Without the family card, you get one hour.  With the family card, you get an hour and a half!  On trips where I’m getting large items, I treat it like an Olympic sport.  Sprinting around the store to make sure I grab all my essentials before pick-up time.  I time it right, so that I can check out before heading over to pick them up.

Tip #4: Make an on-line shopping list BEFORE going to the store. 

On the list, you will be able to see the location, price, weight and if the item is in stock.  If you are like me, you can get a little distracted when shopping and end up with about six items you don’t need and forget the five items you do need.  This will keep you on track.

Wanna know some of my favorites?

  1: Elephant’s Foot plant – here  2: EXPEDIT bookshelves – here  3: Lantern – here

4: KASSETT magazine file – here  5: EKTORP couch – here


What’s your favorite item at IKEA?  Happy shopping!


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