Ikea MoneySaving tips & hacks
Including store shortcuts & how to legitimately dodge queues when it's busy
If you’ve shopped at Ikea, you’ll know how easily costs can add up when you pop in for a specific item and leave hours later with a car full of cacti and scented candles. So here are our tips to make your Ikea visits more efficient – and cheaper – including freebies, shortcuts and how to ‘try before you buy’.
Family card members can get a free tea or filter coffee on weekdays (normally £1) – better still, you get free refills on all drinks. As with all Family member offers, you simply scan/swipe your card at the checkout. You only need one membership per group (there’s no restriction on group size).
See our Free tea and coffee deals round-up for other places where you can grab a free hot drink.
Free £5 voucher on your birthday
If you're a Family card member, and have swiped your card in the last 12 months, check your email around your birthday to see if you've been sent a coupon for £5 off with no minimum spend, valid for 28 days. Check the subject line for something like 'A £5 birthday treat from us'. You'll then need to go in store to print out the coupon from the machine.
Keep an eye on your emails for offers in your local Ikea store
If you're an Ikea Family member, you could sometimes be emailed exclusive offers and vouchers for your local store. MSE Laura recently received an email with £5 off a £40 spend. We've also seen £50 off a £300 spend on outdoor furniture and accessories.
Free in-store events, eg, workshops and massages
Go to the Ikea ‘Store Events‘ page, select your local Ikea, and it’ll bring up all of its in-store events. When we checked on Mon 16 Dec, events included a free (for Family members) Christmas wreath workshop at the Exeter store, a breakfast with santa event at the Leeds store and a free Santa's Grotto at the Reading store.
Previously, MSE Ant got unlimited free meatballs at an event at the Ikea Croydon store – so it’s worth seeing what’s on when you’re making a trip.
How to legitimately dodge queues at your local Ikea
Using Google’s free 'Popular Times' feature, you can find out when your local Ikea store is at its busiest, helping you plan your trip better to avoid the queues. Using the feature, we found that people going to Ikea in Manchester on a Sunday would do well to avoid 12pm to 4pm and instead arrive at 10am or 4pm – or better still, try a weekday.
If you've lost or forgotten your Ikea Family card, you can still get its benefits
If you can't find your card or forgot to bring it with you, you can download the Ikea store app (available for free at the Apple Store or Google Play Store) and log into your account to access a digital version of your card. Alternatively, you can usually print off a temporary card at in-store kiosks.
‘Try before you buy’ with Ikea’s virtual reality app for Apple/Android
The Ikea Place app uses your camera to create a virtual reality version of your room, where you can add Ikea furniture and accessories into your space to see how they’d look before you buy.
For small missing parts, eg, Allen keys, screws and bolts, and larger items, head to the returns department in your local store. Alternatively, you can call Ikea customer service on 0203 645 0000 and arrange for the spare part to be delivered for free.
If you know what you want to get, check its flatpack warehouse aisle and location number online before you go, and then go in the back entrance.
To find an item’s location, go to the Ikea website and set the store locator to your local. Then, go to the page of the product and click ‘Find it in-store’. A side panel will open, showing the aisle and location of the product.
MSE Dan recommends going into the store via the back entrance, but Ikea’s official line is that stores should be entered via the main entrance. We can’t confirm you’ll be able to get in via the back, but walking around Ikea’s full showroom and marketplace takes a decent chunk of time and it often means you end up buying goods that weren’t on your list – so, it could be worth a go.
We've not had these confirmed, but savvy MSE users have told us that in the Warrington store "you can miss out a good chunk of the showroom by going left through the door at the top of the main stairs" and you can get straight to the flatpack aisles in Wembley if you "immediately turn left" after after heading down the marketplace stairs.
Recently we've spotted shortcuts highlighted on display boards around the store (indicated by yellow dots), making it easier for you to get to where you need to quickest. However, we’d love to hear if you’ve found any shortcuts of your own – let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter. In the meantime, you could always ask store staff for tips – they’ll usually be dotted around the store, especially near the entrance.
Go prepared with measurements written down
Always carry a note of your measurements when you head to an Ikea store, eg, any spaces you want to fill and any furniture you’re replacing. This should hopefully prevent extra (often costly) trips back to the store if something doesn’t fit. Plus, Ikea’s paper measuring tapes in store are only one metre, so if you’re buying something large, bring your own tape measure.
Free product insurance on your journey home and while you assemble your items
Present and swipe your Family card at the checkout and you’ll automatically get free product insurance for ‘accidental damage on the way home and during assembly’. This only applies to items bought in store and excludes Bargain Corner items, cut fabric and custom made goods. If you need to claim, present your Family card and receipt in store within 90 days of the date you purchased.
Ikea says damaged items will be replaced on a like-for-like basis or you’ll be given a store card for the item’s current selling price.
MSE Dani got lucky and found a light in Bargain Corner that she was going to buy at full price – the only difference was that it had a torn box, so it’s always worth checking before you check out.
Extra 10% off Ikea sales with Family card
Family members can get an extra 10% off items in the sale, excluding Bargain Corner goods.
Free crèche in stores to keep your little’uns entertained
Parents and guardians can book their children into an Ikea crèche (Småland) for up to one hour, or 45 minutes during busy periods, while they shop at Ikea. The crèche will be located at the front of the store and it’ll be supervised by staff trained in childcare. Activities include toys, books, arts and crafts.
Ikea furniture hacks
If you search ‘Ikea hacks’ online, you’ll find endless ideas on how to transform your Ikea furniture and use it in creative ways. MSE Lucia painted her £13 Ikea step stool grey and found plenty of different uses for it, including a side table, extra dining chairs and a plant stand.
£1.75 for small cooked breakfast or £2.50 for regular
Ikea Family card holders can get a six-piece 'small' breakfast for £1.75 (normally £2.50) or a nine-piece 'regular' breakfast for £2.50 (normally £2.95), including a vegetarian option, between 9.30am (10am at some stores) and 11am on weekdays. One Family card will cover your whole group. Here's MSE Oli's regular-sized breakfast:
If there's an item included with the breakfast that you don't particularly want, they'll usually let you swap it out for another item – MSE Laura was able to swap out her baked beans for an extra hash brown.
Remember to bring your own bags
Ikea bags are bigger than your average and pretty sturdy, but at 50p each, the cost can soon add up. So, if you’ve already loads under your kitchen sink, remember to re-use them.
Get extra discounts every month
If you've an Ikea Family card, you can get monthly offers and exclusive discounts on selected products. For example, MSE Laura spotted a desk which was priced at £100 for Family members (normally £120) and a candlestick for £7 (normally £8).
Keep an eye on our weekly email for short-lived Ikea deals
We’ve featured some cracking Ikea deals over the years, including its popular prize draw where everyone wins something and its '£9' real Christmas tree (you buy a £29 tree and get a £20 voucher to spend). If you don’t already receive the weekly MSE email, you can sign up here.
Ikea’s product recalls online
The Ikea website lists all of its product recalls in one place. If you’ve bought any of the items, you can return it for a full refund – usually, you don't even need to dig out a receipt.
£5 for a quarter Piri Piri chicken main dish (30%+ cheaper than Nando’s)
Previously, we've seen a quarter Piri Piri chicken, sweet potato fries and a mini corn on the cob for £4.95, in the Ikea restaurant. Similar at Nando’s costs £7.45, so it could be worth a cheeky try of Ikea’s version next time. You can check ahead to see what's on the menu.
Re-use Ikea’s brown paper
After you go through Ikea checkouts, there’s usually brown paper for wrapping up fragile items. If you ever need to use it, make the most of it and help save the environment by giving it a second lease of life, eg, use it for packaging parcels or wrapping presents.
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