I finally did it. I went to IKEA and took the girls with me. I didn’t buy a thing, and I survived … barely. Around 12:30 p.m. I felt like we were entering the parking lot of Disney World with all the cones and the people in bright yellow vests waving their arms telling everyone where to go. First stop: food! This is not a “food court”. It’s more a dining area, and the menu is small. It reminds me of the cafeterias in hospitals on steroids, and you’re sort of corralled through like cattle (pictured, right). Of course, I had the Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries (used as sort of a relish, not a side dish). Not a bad deal for just $2.99, and the portion size was perfect for me (a person who can’t stand the wasteful ginormous portions dished up at restaurants). The chocolate overload cake was not as pictured. I’m not sure what happened there. The three of us shared that because I couldn’t imagine eating that whole slice of cake alone!
The shopping experience is actually quite efficient, but the trek through the mega store is long with a definite path you must follow. Gotta pee? Get ready for a journey there and back because it’s all the way back near the entrance/exit with a few not-so-easily found shortcuts. Maps are posted throughout (pictured, left) and also printed, along with a “shopping list” where you write what you want to pick up at the end. There’s also a guide that explains how to shop at IKEA. A perfect shopping trip here, in my opinion, would be to arrive early and start with map in hand headed straight for the 99¢ breakfast plate (scrambled eggs, bacon, & potatoes) – yes, NINETY-NINE CENTS! Enjoy your breakfast while planning your journey through the store. Shop smart!
We weren’t on a mission to purchase anything today, but I’m glad we had the chance to get a lay of the land. There are some knock-out prices for sure, but there are also some things that are priced comparably (and higher) than other places. Again, know the market and shop smart!
One display that I thought was incredibly cute was this loft bed. It doesn’t look that impressive here, but the way they had the underneath decorated with a small couch and lamp and adorable framed art & photos on the wall was really neat. I didn’t even have to duck to walk under this bed (of course, I’m only 5’3″ if I stand tall).
An example of a bargain is pictured to the right. Just $14.99 for a double-side easel. A quick search online revealed a comparable easel for $47 on sale (normally $60). I’d say the trip would be worth it to save $30+. For storage solutions, I think you’d find less complicated parking and quicker shopping at Home Depot for about the same price. There are hidden gems to be found at a steal, but you have to do your homework first.
Overall, I’m still not in awe of this place. Overwhelmed, but not really all that impressed. You can easily see how they hired roughly 400 people, too. The parking attendants alone probably total at least 20 at one time! Getting to IKEA was easy. They have signs guiding you into their realm! Getting out, on the other hand, is not as easy if you aren’t familiar with the area because you exit in the opposite direction from whence you came!
A few more snapshots…