How to save money when shopping at IKEA

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There’s something thrilling about going to IKEA. The vibrant, complementary colors, the smell of Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns in the air and the dizzying array of merchandise all make for a really fun afternoon. Everything looks amazing and you want to buy it all, but you know I can’t condone that! Here’s how to save the most on the things you do buy at IKEA.

Image Credit: blinow61 / iStock.

Become a member of the family

The IKEA Family program, which is free to join, offers exclusive (and often generous) discounts on select products, extra time in Småland (the ball room), free coffee and tea in the restaurant, early sales announcements, 90-day price protection, BOGO frozen yogurt and – every once and a while – the chance to win gift cards.

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Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Get organized

Because being in an IKEA store can be overwhelming, scroll through their website, IKEA.com, before you head to the store. The site has online shopping lists and info about store-specific sales, which can be especially helpful as you try to limit your time in-store during the pandemic. 

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Enter through the exit

If you know what you want, enter through the exit doorwhich will put you in the warehouse. You can get in and out quickly and avoid impulse buys along the way.

Image Credit: krblokhin / iStock.

Bring a bag

Bring your own shopping bags unless you want to purchase IKEA’s iconic FRAKTA bags at checkout, which are priced between $.79 and $1.50. They are very sturdy and useful for other things, but if you have an excess of re-usable bags, just bring your own. 

Image Credit: kitzcorner / iStock.

Take pics

IKEA’s product names are notoriously tough to pronounce and even tougher to memorize when browsing the huge showrooms. 

Top tip: Rather than jotting down product info, use your phone to snap pics of items you want to grab in the warehouse at the end of your IKEA trip. You’ll be glad you did!

Image Credit: CarlosDavid.org / iStock.

Price adjustments

IKEA has a 90-day price adjustment policy for IKEA Family members. If the item you bought goes on sale within 90 days of your purchase, you can request a refund.

Image Credit: iStock/blinow61.

Free eats

Kids eat free at IKEA’s cafeteria on Tuesdays. Buy any adult entree to get two free kids’ meals. 

Image Credit: Atomic Taco / WikiMedia Commons.

As-Is

Near the checkout area is the “As-Is” section, where you can save up to 50% off already assembled floor models, returns and slightly damaged items (often easy fixes). 

Pro tip: Shop the “As-Is” section early on Mondays for first dibs on items shoppers may have returned over the weekend. You’ll also have less competition – the early bird gets the worm!

Image Credit: Atomic Taco / WikiMedia Commons.

Stay on the straight & narrow

IKEA is a prime example of a store that is designed to entice shoppers to buy, buy, buy. The winding path ensures that you see (and hopefully want) literally every item in the store. Instead of following this designated path, follow the “shortcuts” signs to the areas you need to visit. Also, consider pulling the IKEA app up on your phone because it provides a handy map. 

Image Credit: artran / iStock.

Watch for ‘Last Chance’ tags

It’s okay to veer off of your path if you happen to see a yellow “Last Chance” tag on something that intrigues you. That tag indicates that the item is about to be discontinued and there is usually a discount being offered. Also check out the last chance products online before you head to the store.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Weekly special

“Weekly Special” signs are worth paying attention to. Each weekly special is specific to the store location, so check the IKEA website to see what your store has on promotion each week. 

Image Credit: TonyBaggett / iStock.

Sign up for the moving program

If you’re planning a move and intend to make a big IKEA purchase, take advantage of their moving program where they’ll give you a $25-off coupon to use when you spend $250 or buy two pieces of furniture.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Save on Amazon

Did you know you can get select IKEA items at up to 50% off on Amazon? Just search for “IKEA” and see what you can find. And if you’re a Prime member, you’ll also enjoy free two-day shipping. Win-win!

Image Credit: Amazon.com.

Missing parts

Missing a part for something you purchased? Nothing is more frustrating. But, luckily, IKEA will ship it to you for free. Simply call or email customer service and make sure you have the 8-digit article number for the product, as well as basic transaction information on hand.

Image Credit: Jorge Villalba.

Keep those booklets

You might be inclined to toss out those instructional booklets once you’ve assembled your purchases. However, you might want to file them away if you ever need replacement parts down the road. 

Image Credit: HASLOO / iStock.

Consider IKEA delivery

We’ve become so accustomed to free shipping that IKEA’s $59 delivery fee might seem pricey. But, if you are buying more than your car can hold, that fee can be more reasonable than renting a van or U-Haul. The $59 fee can increase based on the distance from your home to the store, but it does not increase based on the size of your order. See all the IKEA services here.

This article originally appeared on TrueTrae.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DragonImages/iStock.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, parenting, and retail. Trae has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn and a top personal finance expert by GoBankingRates and Flexjobs. She is a contributor at Millie Magazine and CNN Underscored, and her writing and expert commentary have appeared in Newsweek, Woman's Day, Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, MSN.com, Yahoo Finance and numerous others. She has also appeared on TV hundreds of times; including Good Morning America's GMA3: What You Need to Know, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Inside Edition, CNBC and local network affiliates nationwide.