Sizzle & Kaply Take on IKEA

I discovered the trick to having a pleasant IKEA shopping experience: Go during the afternoon on a week day. Blissful quiet and practically empty aisles.

I needed to pick up some stuff for a work-related party so I dragged Kaply along with me for an adventure. As she pushed the cart (because it is a well documented fact that I am very inept when it comes to cart pushing) throughout the store, we managed to find a plethora of items that we MUST HAVE. IKEA and Target have this effect on me. I enter the store with a list of necessary items and leave with an entire bagful of cute albeit unnecessary purchases.

Taking a load offShopping can be tiring so we found a round bed to rest on. Granted, anyone who is familiar with the layout of the store knows that the beds are pretty near the beginning so we’re just being silly hams. The IKEA employee graciously offered to snap our photo. And who says customer service is dead?

We wasted spent a good deal of time in the housewares section because Kaply neededI\'m Very Busy a frying pan. That lone frying pan turned into tongs, measuring spoons, two bowls and a canister to hold utensils. There was a brief debate over ramekins which, as we all know, are deceptively cute in their smallness and yet don’t always find themselves useful. Because we lingered there, I ended up with four mugs and two small dishes that I can use for my cats. And yes they match the mugs. And yes, Kaply gave me some shit for that.

As we moved along through the store, shiny things would catch our eye. Oooh! Pretty little lamp! Oooh! Textiles! When we entered the rug section, Kaply had to debate between rug thickness and color while I struggled with my inner Ms. Matchy. There was a great rug there, reasonably priced at $40 but it was cream with a green design on it. There is no green in my living room color scheme. After much back and forth, I ended up ditching the rug (and a wall coat rack and maybe something else) near the plants. Sorry IKEA employees who have to put all that crap away!

Hooray for PlantsThe main reason for going to IKEA in the first place was to buy pebbles and small vases for individual stalks of bamboo which are going to be a thank you gift at the aforementioned work party. In my mind I pictured what I wanted but unfortunately that whole “magically appearing” business doesn’t work on IKEA or on vases. With Kaply’s help we managed to find a suitable stand in and also alert the attention of other shoppers wondering why on earth we were stocking our cart with 25 sets of 4 glass tea light holders. It’s none of your beeswax, lady!

And no, I did not buy the plant. Though I really wanted to.

I ended up spending over $80 of company money and only $30 of my own. That’s pretty cheap considering the last time I visited I spent over $600.

What is the last item you purchased that you didn’t necessarily need? Does IKEA have this effect on you too?


63 thoughts on “Sizzle & Kaply Take on IKEA

  1. I usually find organizing stuff at IKEA that I don’t need, and eventually I figure out doesn’t work with what I have. Like baskets. I have likely supplied many goodwill shoppers in Seattle with a basket or two.
    But my weakness is magazines. My husband has pointed this out and now I find myself sneaking them in the house, to escape the teasing and embarassment. Why did I buy the MSL with two recipes that I thought sounded good while standing in line at the grocery store?

  2. Also, frolicking in IKEA with Kaply sounds much better than working. So jealous. Did you get Swedish Meatballs?

  3. And now for the rest of my comment…

    I would definitely buy things I don’t need at IKEA. It would be just like when I go to Target. It’s just too awesome.

  4. I just bought a big bookshelf for $250 from Ikea online. The shipping charge? $150.

    We people here in Denver get SCREWED!

    (But still, even with the shipping I could not find a bookshelf as big and as cheap anywhere else!)

  5. I recently drove 4 hrs round trip to an Ikea and proceeded to buy 12 yards of fabric……for projects I have yet to even come up with. I feel the need to walk away something every time!

  6. We have a huge IKEA distribution center 15 minutes away and yet no IKEA. Doesn’t seem fair and yet, I think my husband is grateful we don’t have one. Target is dangerous enough. We always come away with DVD’s and I’m constantly coveting the acrylic dinner ware. I don’t even know why, it’s just shiny.

  7. You look so cute in these photos!!
    One of the most dangerous things about Ikea is how they lay things out on the floor so that you are encouraged to sit in that chair, try that desk, rest on that bed, or recline in that couch.
    I will never understand the Ikea haters. That place is the happiest place on earth (though I am MUCH more guilty of dropping money left and right at Target, the 2nd happiest!).

  8. Taking Evan with me to Ikea has helped curb my spending, he puts the kibitz on a lot of items. However, he and I are both weak when it comes to Target (see: buying a wii on a whim)

  9. i have three IKEAs less than an hour from me and yet, maybe go there once a year… i really like their linens/curtains but have never bought something big like furniture… when i DO go – i tend to spend money on tea lights, bamboo plants, and picture frames… :o)

  10. Oh yes, IKEA definitely has THAT effect on me. The only thing that kept me from tearing down the house last time I was there is I rationalized spending less money because it was going towards a home I’m trying to sell!

    My latest big drop? $250 at REI over the weekend. New hiking boots, wool socks, pants (that turn into shorts – so cool) and a cute t-shirt. Most of it? Totally unnecessary. Welcome to my world with Sweets. He made me. It’s all his fault.

  11. I fill my cart at Ikea thinking “Hmmm… Maybe this’ll be about $100, but it’s totally worth it” only to get to the checkstand and realize that it’s more like $300. I love Ikea, but Ikea is mean to me.

  12. I am trying my hardest to not buy anymore crap but I did buy some cute crystals for my ceiling fan pulls this weekend. Totally unnecessary but so cute. I should take them back…. Sh*t! I can’t believe I bought those now.

  13. Oh and Target and I are on a break right now. I can’t even buy toothpaste there without buying cards, pretzels, advil, a shirt, some shoes, cheer and cat food. I need to learn to curb my spending.

  14. IKEA has that effect on me. I go in for one thing and leave with much more than that…none of which I actually needed or wanted before stepping foot into the store.

  15. I love IKEA and yes, it totally makes me buy things I don’t need. Although the last thing that I bought that I didn’t need was a bunch of fun new (cheap) makeup. Oh, do I love it.

    Also, the blog looks GREAT.

  16. IKEA always has this effect on me. My entire house is pretty much IKEA. Last item I bought that I didn’t need? My fabulous patent leather Ann Taylor Loft flats. Love them.

  17. I have never ever been in an IKEA. However, Target as well as Bed, Bath and Beyond, both have that same effect on me. I never can stick to my list. Ever.

    Bought I really didn’t need? Hmmm…. I’ve actually been pretty good lately. I’ve just stayed home and resisted the temptation! lol!

  18. I’ve never been in IKEA but would die and go to heaven on the spot when I step foot through their doors.

    I love love love Target! I also could buy the store out when I’m in World Market.

    You’ve got great taste Sizz and we’d be the best shopping buds!!

    To answer your question, my last major purchase was *cough* this 5 pound *cough* bag of lentils.


  19. It’s extremely dangerous when I walk into that store. I basically want to buy new furnishings for a house I don’t have. Am I insane or what? Thankfully I haven’t done that yet, but I have come veeeery close!

  20. I bought TARGET. Ha, I totally would if I could. My hubs doesn’t let me near IKEA mainly because he has trouble assembling their crap.

    I used to be a manager for Target and still I can’t get enough!

  21. Again, I just want to say that I LUV your new site!

    Hmmm… WEGMANS! They always make buy stuff I don’t need.
    I walk into the market thinking I’m only going to buy boneless chicken because it is on sale. I end up walking out with the inspiration to make Thai food and the kit that goes along with it!
    Ayyyy. Wegmans.

  22. Ikea actually has the opposite effect on me. I get so overwhelmed that I can and have left with absolutely nothing.

    I can attest to the weekday thing though. That is the only time I will brave the ikea waters.

    Target on the other hand, can spend money there no problem. Ridiculous amounts. Never used to go there until the kid came along. Now it’s a weekly venture. A hellish weekly venture.

  23. That reminds me of the Costco curse.

    You may enter thinking you can get away with just buying the deluxe economy-sized package of Paper Towels, but that’s a delusion.

    Oh…man! We really could use 4 gallons of Ketchup, and while we’re at it, we need 2 ginormous bottles of Mustard because, someday, we might entertain many people at our house and they might want hot dogs. Oh!! that reminds me! I need the ‘BIG JAR’ (spelled in caps for a reason) of sweet pickle relish too! This package of 120 hot dogs and WTF is up with only selling packs of 80 hot dog buns? EFFING CONSPIRACY!!! Oh well, I guess i’ll just buy 2 80 packs just in case.

    So yeah, this is why I don’t goto costco anymore.

    The end.

  24. Two kittens. Over three hundred dollars spent. Typical story: the eleven year old BEGS and PLEADS, promises DEATH before forgetting to do litter box/feed them…fast forward a few months….kitties are now cats, one is obnoxiously, incredibly, overwhelmingly annoying: wont respond to spray bottle, is sick, eats plants, vomits on carpet daily, shits under babies bed, almost gets hit by cars daily, constantly meows if making food in kitchen….and, completely ignored by Mr. oh so desperate for pets earlier eleven year old. How did I fall for this one? And, I thought I really liked cats! I am a self proclaimed “cat person”. That said, I want to commit felinecide on the fur balls. The P-daddy feels the same, only more severe. Did we get retarded cats?
    Anyone looking for some cats? I’m just kidding about their being retarded, their really really cute. *gagvomit*

  25. a) You have am amazing smile.

    b) I actually have pared down the unneeded purchases quite a bit, but I am a sucker for fresh-cut flowers and party supplies (Target has plastic cups/plates/serving pieces. I love to throw parties! I am also a dork.)

  26. I have only been there twice in my life. I DID once make my husband go buy a bunch of stuff I circled in the catalog because when we finished our basement we bought everything to decorate it there. I was afraid of going myself because I tend to buy a bunch of crap I don’t need or even want. My husband knows this about me so he was glad I made him go instead because he sticks completely to the list I make. It’s a good system for us. But I do love browsing there!

    I love the pictures! You are adorable!

  27. IKEA kills me, every time. It doesn’t matter how determined I am to stick to my list/budget, I can’t help myself. I own light up drink coasters that I have NEVER used, a squillion candles, table cloths, bed linen, you name it. It’s not so much impulse buying as pure, unadulterated bloody chaos!
    Thank God my nearest store is miles and miles away ;o)

  28. Oh AND I am responsible for assembling all the stuff we buy from ikea because my kids complained that my husband said too many bad words and threw things around.

  29. The only times I’ve been to IKEA have been on Saturdays. Big mistake. I’d rather gouge my eye out with a spork that go through that again. Ahem. That was more angry than I intended. Anyhoo, that said, I do find myself buying a rather large amount of useless crap in IKEA. I swear at the time I *need* it. When I get home though, not so much.

  30. I love that you actually posed in different sections and took your picture. That is fantastic.

    I had a picture frame from IKEA – that I HAD to have – in my closet for years. I kept thinking “I’m going to use it eventually!” Then it went to Goodwill.

    IKEA at Christmas is the very best. And worst. I’ve purchased way too much unnecessary stuff there during the holidays…

  31. I only go to Ikea when they first open on weekend mornings. Same with Costco. Trips to both places cause unplanned purchases because…”Oh, it’s just such a great deal!”

  32. My first experience with IKEA was on the occasion of our first move to Germany. I imagine IKEA in the US would be a daunting experience, but try facing the store in a different country! We ended up having to go there 10 times the first two weeks of our move. But now–hooked. Totally.

  33. Holy mother, I cannot go to IKEA. It is death to my bank account. Alas, I have to go and procure some items for my new apartment. HW is shaking in his shoes.

    The last unnecessary item I bought was this weekend. I got three brightly-colored tops, which I so didn’t need… but I love them! So it goes!

  34. No Ikea here. Am so sad. Won’t buy online because they want your first born in exchange for shipping. Not worth it to me.

    And, we don’t even have a Target. I’m NOT kidding.

    I’m glad we’re moving next year. I’m sure that both those stores must be in SC somewhere!

  35. I hate Ikea for that very reason. Oh look, we just brought home all of the clutter (and then some) that we just gave to the Goodwill last weekend. I think there must be a secret drug in the Swedish Fish that makes you compulsively add crap to you cart..

  36. *sigh* the closest Ikea to me is 245 miles away. It’s probably a good thing, because I usually want one of everything when I go there.

    It used to be the same with Target, but the one closest to my house is always empty (and not in a good way; it’s got a weird vibe to it) so Ha! I can go online and needlessly spend money without even leaving my desk!

  37. I’ve been putting off going to IKEA for a while now because it always has that effect on me and I’m scared for my checking account. But I really do need to go pick up those special IKEA light bulbs. I’m sure I will come home with the light bulbs, several kitchen gadgets, a couple of throw rugs and various unnecessary items that I will decide I can’t live without!

    The last thing I bought that I don’t necessarily need? A pair of strappy wedge sandals that are super cute and comfortable. And of course it has basically been raining ever since.

  38. I always seem to end up with candle holders every time I hit Ikea. Do I need them? Not at all…ever. Don’t even get me started on the lighting section, drool…lights are cheap and they help out a room so much. Glad you had fun, love the photos!

  39. The key to shopping in both Ikea and Target, where we also went yesterday, is to just pile everything into your cart, then hide in the plant aisle and go through said cart, ruthlessly eliminating all unnecessary purchases.

    And even though I only needed the vacuum belt at Target, I still had to buy toilet paper and a drink.

  40. If you want bliss and quiet, may I suggest DON’T GO TO IKEA IN THE FIRST PLACE. Stay home. Read a book. Think up practical jokes to play on cats.

  41. I LOVE IKEA. And I ALWAYS buy too much there… 🙂

    (I’m holding off on going for awhile til we move, but then – OH YEAH! 😉

  42. IKEA is the devil. There is one 10 minutes from my house which makes it way tooo accessible.

    A Target though…I would love one of those. We only have WalMart (hate) and Zellers (smaller WalMart).

    Last thing I bought I didn’t need? Moose Track Ice Cream for dinner tonight as I am on my own…..

  43. It never occurred to me to take a camera on my next shopping trip. You make it look so fun. I tend to spend waaaay too much time in Target’s toy aisles.

  44. IKEA is the best freaking place in the whole world. I live hours away from the closest one and I’ve only been there once. But I spent six hours and came home with a truckload. (And I took pictures of the adventure, just like you!) I guess the universe understands the Magpie can’t live within reasonable driving distance of IKEA or she’d go bankrupt, even at IKEA prices.

    Mayberry Magpie

  45. Heh heh heh… your photo says DIVA!

    I loves me the IKEA. Unfortunately, it’s a long ways away for me to go furniture shopping. 😦

  46. I love IKEA too, but unfortunately the one closest to me is in NJ and since I don’t have a car in this charming island I live in, I almost never go.

    You look great Sizz and oh so happy! Love it!

  47. IKEA has that effect on me too. I go in to keep a friend company and walk out with $200 of knick knacks and bamboo and random shit I don’t need. I love that store! There has to be a subliminal message in the way they lay out the store that makes us buy lots of stuff there.
    And oh the swedish meatballs, yummy!

  48. Well, last time I went to ikea, pretty much everything.

    Yes, any individual houseware item might be only $2,but the sheer mass of items I am tempted to throw in my cart adds up for some serious carnage.

  49. We got our dining table and chairs from ikea, and a big bookshelf in the study, and we got our shower curtains from there. We buy rugs and mats there quite often. They’re so cheap we can get new ones when they get too ratty (we do wash them every now and then). Cushions, containers, glasses, bowls, dishwashing brushes, candles, table cloths, sheets, towels, cooking utensils, pots and pans, ice cube trays, chopping boards, storage baskets, kids toys, brooms… but I must say that we use just about everything we get from that place. The only thing is that because it’s so cheap, we don’t take as good care of the stuff, and it deteriorates and we throw it out and get new ones. Makes you kind of wasteful.

    They just built a brand new ikea in perth, 3 times as big as the old one, and it’s ten times as busy, but I didn’t buy a single item when we went to the new store. I’m starting to abstain.

  50. The last item I purchased that I don’t really need was a pasta measure. The next item that comes close is wine. Yes, IKEA has this effect on me. Target is worse!

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