On your way into Ikea, you pat yourself on the back for shopping somewhere so cheap—you’re going to save so much money buying your furniture and other home goods here, you think to yourself.
But when you leave, it’s a totally different story. You’re scanning the receipt in the car and wondering how on earth you dropped so much money at Ikea.
We’ve all been there. Those cheap individual items add up to one big total that makes your jaw drop.
Luckily, there are some ways to save even more money at the Swedish retailer. We’ve rounded up a list of the best ways to save money from the folks who shop at Ikea regularly and know all the store’s secrets.
1. Shop The ‘As Is’ Section First
Die-hard Ikea fans know that the showroom floor can be too tempting for a leisurely stroll. That’s why they head straight to the “As Is” section of the warehouse, where you can always find deeply discounted merchandise (up to 50 percent off!). These are items that have been returned, display products or items that are slightly damaged.
Bonus tip: Visit on Monday, after the weekend is over. Shoppers who work during the week will return lots of items over the weekend, making your treasure hunt even more plentiful. And, beyond that, check with your local Ikea location to find out if they run a special bonus day each week—many Ikea locations offer even better discounts on “As Is” merchandise Wednesdays, for example.
2. Get $25 Off $250 Purchase
If you tell Ikea you’re moving, the Swedish retailer will let you take $25 off your next purchase of at least $250. Simply enter your name, email address, your old address and your new address, and you’ll get this discount.
3. Join Ikea’s Loyalty Program
Joining Ikea’s loyalty program is so worth it. It’s called Ikea Family and it gets you a whole bunch of perks, such as free coffee or hot tea every time you visit an Ikea store. Plus, you get special discounts ranging from 20 to 30 percent off certain items.
Joining Ikea Family (which only requires your email address and some other basic info) also means that if an item you recently purchased goes on sale within 90 days, Ikea will refund you the difference.
4. Free Childcare
Ikea isn’t exactly a great place for kids—shopping there can be overwhelming and boring. Don’t waste your money on a babysitter—take your children to Småland instead. This is Ikea’s supervised play area where you can leave your kids for a full hour, free of charge, while you shop.
Pro tip: Joining Ikea Family gets you an extra 30 minuets of free playtime at Småland for a total of 90 minutes.
5. Kids Eat Free On Tuesdays
Speaking of kids, at some Ikea locations, kids eat free on Tuesdays. If you order an adult entree, you can get up to two kids meals for free, as long as your kids are under 12. Kids food items include organic pasta with tomatoes, grilled chicken with carrots, strawberries and string cheese, chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and chicken tenders with fries.
6. Look For The Yellow Tags
While you’re wandering through the showroom, keep an eye out for bright yellow tags. These “Last Chance” tags mean the store is trying to get rid of those products to make way for new stuff. Sheryl Cuevas, the brains behind the blog Cents’Able Shoppin, said she bought a $250 sofa cover for just $50 thanks to a “Last Chance” markdown. Score!
Last chance: YSTAD durable leather sofa, $799 (reg. $999), and chair, $399 (reg. $599)! pic.twitter.com/tNl5nCGqzv
— IKEA Charlotte (@IKEA_Charlotte) August 3, 2014
7. Want A New Kitchen? Wait It Out
If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen with Ikea cabinets and countertops, hold out until the store has its big kitchen sale. That sale, which is actually going on right now at some locations, can save you 15 to 20 percent off. When you’re dropping thousands of dollars on a new kitchen, that’s a huge savings.
These are just a few of the ways to save more money at Ikea—what are your favorites?