It’s always a fun time when a trip to IKEA is involved.
It’s pretty much the Toys”R” Us for adults — we walk in knowing exactly what we want to buy, but end up walking out with a cart full of stuff we don’t need.
IKEA does such a great job with their store layout and displays that convincing you to add that extra item to your shopping cart doesn’t take much of an effort.
The final result? You blowing your budget without even realizing it.
To help you stay on track on your next IKEA trip, here are our own tried-and-tested tips for keeping that checkout bill…well, in check:
Know What You Need, Then Write It Down
The first thing you should always do if you want to stick with a budget is to start with a list.
The trick here is to create an actual physical list in hand, not a mental one that can conveniently be pushed aside or most commonly, forgotten.
Think you’ll need some additional ‘safety’ measures in place to keep you from overspending? Take a page out of some of the most seasoned IKEA shoppers and plan for two trips instead of one — one to scout out the products you want to buy, and the second trip for making the final purchase.
Shop For One Room At A Time
A trip to IKEA can be overwhelming.
To minimise this overwhelm, try picking out the items you need by room. This will allow for more ‘structure’ and breathing room while you shop.
Another plus of shopping this way: You’ll be able to focus on shopping for the specific look you want to create in each space rather than end up with a haphazardly-filled cart of impulse buys.
Shop The Store Backwards
Skip the showrooms and elaborate displays altogether by navigating the store backwards.
By starting at the warehouse portion of the store, you’ll be able to get your shopping done where all the actual pieces of furniture are stored instead of being tempted by the pretty showrooms that are strategically designed to encourage you to part ways with your hard-earned cash.
Be In The Know
About the bargains you can snag, specifically.
How do you do this?
Simply head to the IKEA website to check if the items you want are on sale.
If they are, great! This will make it a whole lot easier for you to stay on budget or even make room for something else that you’ve had your eye on, but didn’t make it to your list.
Enlist The Help Of An Accountability Buddy
Every successful IKEA trip needs a buddy.
An accountability buddy, that is — someone who can give you a reminder when you’re tempted to add something impulsively to your cart and stops you from pulling the ‘buy’ trigger on stuff you don’t need.
An accountability buddy can also help you drill down on why a particular item makes a great buy and help with the heavy lifting when it comes to hauling your purchases to the car.
Just make sure you choose a buddy who isn’t afraid to say “no” to you when you’re tempted to make a bad buying decision.
Sign Up For The IKEA Family Card
Even if you’re not a frequent IKEA shopper, signing up for the IKEA Family card will give you access to exclusive discounts on selected products and services.
The best part? It’s completely free to join and can help you buy what you need for less.
Get Pieces You Can Hack
Make the most of your space by going for modular designs — affordable yet customizable pieces of furniture that can easily be whittled down or taken apart, or even ‘built’ out further for greater function and storage.
IKEA products like the IVAR shelf system come with a wide selection of add ons that allow you to customize and expand on your set up to suit your needs.
Others like the PLATSA wardrobe series can be purchased as individual pieces that give offer you the option of expanding your wardrobe with other PLATSA pieces within the series.
Head to IKEA and you’ll even find uniquely-configured combinations that you can purchase as a set.
There you go — our best tips for surviving your next trip to IKEA without blowing your entire budget.
Looking for more ways to save money? Find out how you can decorate your home on a budget.
Or if you’re looking for ideas and new ways to decorate your home with the new furniture you just purchased from IKEA, you can check out our Timeless Living: How To Design A Classy IKEA- Inspired Home ebook.