12 Smart Moves to Save More at IKEA

It’s easy to think of IKEA, the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture retailer, as a trap.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s easy to think of IKEA, the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture retailer, as a trap. The stores (56 of them across North America) are huge -- measuring out at 300,000 square feet, or three times the size of the larger supermarket chain stores where you may shop – and laid out as a long, winding maze.

IKEA would love for you to wind your way through the entire labyrinth, the better to make impulse buys from giant bins scattered throughout the store and filled with stuffed toys or ridiculously inexpensive household gadgets. You can easily spend a lot more time and money at IKEA than you initially planned.

Retail-shopping experts talk about an IKEA visit as if it’s a wilderness trek. “Wear comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water, and if you have the kids with you, plan to stop for lunch or a snack at [IKEA’s] restaurant to refuel,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at traebodge.com.

But there are shortcuts – literally – and plenty of ways to save at IKEA. Have a look.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.