Five things you should always buy at Ikea and the items to get elsewhere
HUNTING for a bargain at Ikea can turn into a whole day event with how massive some of the superstores can be.
So you have to be careful about exactly what you add to your pallet trolley – to make sure you're getting the best for your money, and not waste time getting lost in the warehouse.
The typical layout of an Ikea store means you get to see all the mock room designs, showing off products "in action", first.
But this shop floor "trick" might make you over-spend as you pick up all the front and centre goodies on display.
You're better off waiting until you can shop around ALL the products to compare prices, sizes and more for your budget.
But with that in mind, there are a few things to keep an eye out for that you should always buy at Ikea.
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Five things you should always buy at Ikea
If you're heading to Ikea then you're probably in the market for some furniture.
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An Ikea fan favourite is the Kallax shelf.
The shelves are as simple as you can get from the Swedish furniture store, resembling a basic wooden frame, but that means they'll do the job in just about any room.
Of course like plenty of other stock from the flat-pack giant, the shelving units come in an array of colours too, to suit every home.
But the best bit of the kit is that its backless design – unlike any regular cupboard or wardrobe – means you can use it to find inventive ways of dividing a room to strategically gussy up a small space.
So if you only live in a small property or studio space you get two rooms for the price of one Ikea storage unit.
Owners say the shelves are quite sturdy too which means you'll get more bang for your buck in terms of longevity, and saves you a trip to the hardware store for replacement screws, and more.
They can cost from £37.
Ikea also stocks a massive range of home furnishings from rugs to bedding to curtains.
But your curtains don't have to simply be just an aesthetic feature in your home, and they could help you reduce your bills if you buy the right ones from Ikea.
Simply putting up curtains can reduce your energy usage by as much as 15% – and could save you up to £30 a year on your bills at the same time.
Plenty of households are feeling the pinch anyway with rocketing costs and more energy rises on the way, so a trip to Ikea could kill the two birds with one stone.
Black-out curtains will help cut down the cost of your bills by creating a thicker layer between your window and inside space – they'll also keep the sun out if you like a lay-in in the morning.
It means it'll be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer months too.
And you can buy the nifty product from Ikea from just a tenner.
Ikea even stocks the little bits to FILL your cupboards once you’ve got the flat-pack kit assembled and erected on the wall.
Tupperware, therefore, is a must have from the store.
The cheapest plastic tub on offer costs just 50p and fills 450ml.
With food prices rocketing on the supermarket shelves it’s more important than ever to save on your grocery bill.
But according to data from supermarket giant Tesco, families waste up to £800 a year worth of food.
Storing your leftovers for later in your new Ikea Tupperware could help cut down on waste and save on your food bill.
You can even freeze it to make it last that but longer too.
Ikea runs an scheme both in-store and online called the Circular Hub, which aims to fight waste while also offering you products cheaper than usual.
It's the rebranded "bargains corner" of the store, where old and returned stock is resold at a fraction of the price.
So if you don't mind furniture that's been in another home or out on the shop floor, you can save up to half on the price.
On Facebook page Money saving hints, tips and ideas, users raved about the set up in-store.
One user said: "Next time you need to make a purchase, check out their Circular Hub.
"It's the ex-demo items from the room sets and returned items sold at cheaper prices. My local store does it and you can reserve the item."
You can check online for your nearest participating store.
Part of the same scheme is the "As is" section, which hosts ex-display items, which might already be constructed too – great if you're not confident with DIY.
Some of the furniture might have a few cosmetic imperfections, but all items should be functional and safe to use.
The family's lunch
Never go shopping when you're hungry, that's what they say.
Well, at Ikea, you don't have to.
The superstore warehouses each have an Ikea restaurant, that's usually situated around halfway through the shop – making it the perfect pitstop on your trolley dash.
It means you don't have to fork out much for the family's lunch either.
A plate of meatballs for example, costs just £4.50.
And your little ones can enjoy a meal and a drink all for £2.95 too.
The items to get elsewhere
Toys and plush animals could be a waste of money if you're shopping at Ikea.
When you're furnishing your home, IKEA’s selection of affordable décor can be a lifesaver.
The only downside is that their items are mass-produced, so the store can't be a source of distinctive, one-of-a-kind pieces.
And they can be pricey eye-catching pieces that trick you – or your kids into begging you – to buy.
Do you need that huge plush bear, when you're trying to budget for a sofa? Especially when it's your first home, and money is tight.
You're better off holding your horses until one of the major supermarkets or stores like Argos host one of their massive toy sales.
The budget retailers will often reduce the price of hundreds of products so the kids have plenty to chose from at a low low price.
You're also better off leaving the grocery shopping for the supermarket too.
As well as all its home furnishings AND the onsite café you can stock up the freezer with foodie goodies toward the end of your shop.
But you'll find that the cost of these goods is a little pricier than at your local grocery store.
Meanwhile you can take advantage of loyalty schemes at the rival food stores, like Tesco's Clubcard prices that give you an instant discount on your shop, while Ikea doesn't.
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We also reveal the do's and don'ts of deal hunting at Poundland, including what and what not to buy at the budget store.
And there's some products you need to leave firmly on the shelf at Wilko too.
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