There’s something thrilling about going to Ikea. The big blue and yellow sign. It’s the smell of Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns in the air. There is the dizzying amount of merchandise are enough to make your head spin. Everything looks amazing and you want to buy it all. Or, at least that is how I feel! Here are 12 Ikea shopping hacks to keep your spending in check.
1. Peruse the Website
Because being in an Ikea store can be overwhelming. Take a few minutes to go through the Ikea website before you head to the store. The site also has lots of deals that you might miss when you’re physically in the store.
“Look up your local Ikea’s store webpage because there are always special deals you may only learn about from seeing them online,” Josh Elledge, founder of SavingsAngel.com.
2. Make a List
Another Ikea shopping hack is the list feature. Ikea.com offers online shopping lists so you can get organized before you go. We’ve all headed to Ikea to look for a bedside table. Then somehow, we left with a car full of stuff and a big credit card bill to show for it. Lisa Batra, the founder of My Kid’s Threads, suggests adding the locations of each item to your list.
3. Sign Up for the Moving Program
If you’re planning a move and intend to make a big Ikea purchase, take advantage of their moving program. They will give you a $25 off coupon on your next purchase of $250 or more.
4. Check the Sales
Ikea stores usually have a special sale one day a week. Call ahead to ask what day that is and plan accordingly. The sales vary, but they are usually an extra percentage off certain items or categories.
“I have found the best time to visit Ikea is early in the morning on the weekdays. Monday happens to be my favorite due to fresh inventory and less crowds,” Batra said.
“Household furnishings are least expensive in December . The same goes for cookware and tableware. They’re most expensive in May and June,” said Brett Graff, with TheHomeEconomist.com.
5. Be Prepared
Graff pointed out that Ikea can be a workout. “We make better spending decisions when we’re not distracted. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, have a snack and a water bottle on hand,” he said. “Leave the kids at home. They tend to ask for things and get tired.”
When it comes to bags, it helps to bring your own. Batra always brings her own bags since you’ll have to pay for them otherwise.
6. Become an Ikea Family Member
“The Ikea Family program is a no brainer because it offers exclusive discounts on select products,” Elledge said. Membership gives you special discounts, often in the 15-20% off range. It also allows youextra time in Småland (the ball room). In addition, members are entitled to receive free coffee and tea in the restaurant. They will also enjoy early sales announcements and a 90-day price protection. As a member you will also score BOGO frozen yogurt!! Finally, every once and a while, you might win a gift card!
7. Enter Through the Exit
When you arrive at the store, Batra recommends entering through the exit door. This will put you in the warehouse. “You’ll have your list ready with the locations all mapped out so you’ll be in and out in a jiffy!” she said. “This tip has saved me countless hours and dollars in my pocket. Plus it allows me to bypass all the eye candy throughout the store.”
8. Visit the ‘As-Is’ Section
Another advantage of hitting the warehouse first, according to Batra, is the “As-Is” section. She suggests finding out when your local store restocks the “As-Is” section, which in her experience is usually on Mondays. If you are not familiar, the “As-Is” section contains discounted items that are already assembled.
I love this Ikea shopping hack because there is no assembly required! These items have either been used for display or were returned by other customers. That makes the price just right for your budget.
9. Stay on the Straight & Narrow
Ikea is a prime example of a store that is designed to entice shoppers to buy, buy, buy. The winding path ensures that you see literally every item in the store. Instead of following this designated path, follow the “shortcuts” signs to get to the areas you need to visit more quickly. Also, consider putting the Ikea app up on your phone because it provides a handy map.
10. Watch for ‘Last Chance’ Tags
It’s OK to veer off your path if you happen to see a yellow “last chance” tag on something that intrigues you. That tag indicates that the item is about to be discontinued. There is usually a discount being offered as well, so consider snapping it up!
11. Keep Those Booklets
This is truly a little known Ikea shopping hack. You might be inclined to toss those instructional booklets once you’ve assembled your purchases. Elledge recommends hanging onto them so you can get free replacement of broken parts.
“All you need to do is visit your local Ikea store and show them the parts you need,” he said. “To make the process much easier, use your booklet to ID the product and exact part number. Because of this benefit alone, Ikea is my go-to store for most furniture items.”
12. Consider Ikea Delivery
So many stores offer free shipping that Ikea’s $59 delivery fee might seem pricey. But, if you are buying more than your car can hold, that fee is much more reasonable than renting a U-Haul. The $59 fee can increase based on the distance from you home to the store. However, it does not increase based on the size of your order.
Remember, whether you’re redecorating your digs, buying a new home or furnishing an apartment, it’s important to stay on budget. High levels of debt can wind up hurting your wallet — and your credit score. This article originally appeared on Credit.com.