How to Save Money at IKEA
L is off from school for the summer but won’t start camps until the second week, so I was thinking of things to do that would be fun for him and Mama.
IKEA. Perfect for DIY Mama who is always up for interior design ideas and do-it-yourself projects, and the kid is happy for an hour in the ball pit of Smaland.
So last Friday, we spent 45 minutes in the car to get to the IKEA store in Paramus, NJ. No traffic issues on the Tappan Zee bridge, perfect.
Tip 1: Eat for free at IKEA.
The first thing we did wasn’t to shop — we went to have lunch at the IKEA restaurant. Why? Because if you’re lucky, eating at IKEA is free. They don’t always have this offer, but on our visit they did.
Eat your heart out, get your receipt, and deduct the price from your IKEA purchase (has to be $100 or more).
There doesn’t seem to be a maximum of what you can deduct, so we ate two meals, chocolate cake, had coffee and chocolate milk, and I also grabbed one of their yummy chocolate bars for later.
Doxie and Foxie and Foxie baby are now part of our family. L already owns another IKEA dog, a rat, and the bunny because they are so affordable.
Tip 2: Sign up for the IKEA Family & Friends Program.
You’ll get special product discounts, free coffee or tea, and 30 extra minutes for the kids in Smaland.
After lunch, I dropped off L at Smaland — their playground with ball pit, TV, and art area.
On really busy days when IKEA has special sales, you don’t get an extra 30 minutes of play time, but I can usually get all I want to get in an hour. Or I look around for an hour, pick up L, and then get what I want to buy with him.
Tip 3: Your first stop should be the “As Is” section.
When you enter IKEA, you have two options: go through the maze of staged rooms, kitchen, etc., for ideas and then to the Marketplace to pick up the products you are interested in, or to go to the Marketplace directly.
My tip: don’t do either — instead, walk to the area where you’ll pay. Where the registers are, at the end of the store, is the As Is section with returned, discontinued, and slightly damaged items. I always go there first.
You can get amazing deals in the As Is section. On one of my visits, I scored this TV stand for a mere $32 that was perfect for L’s under-the-window toy storage. Even better: it was already assembled. I’ve had the same luck once with two bookcases that are now in my office.
Tip 4: Tell IKEA you are moving and receive a $25 off coupon.
I just learned about this and am going to take advantage if this IKEA offer, since we just moved. The coupon works on a purchase of $250 or more.
I didn’t end up buying any furniture on Friday, but I finally found affordable and pretty succulent plants for the fairy garden I want to put together after buying a few things for it at the Country Living Fair.
My bill was $100.24, and with the food discount less than $86. I don’t think I could have gotten that many plants, 10 small plant containers, chocolate, and stuffed animals for less anywhere else.
So this is how I save money at IKEA.
Added bonus: a happy kid high on the ball pit fun and hazelnut chocolate.