There are 2 stores in the world I love – Costco and Ikea. I avoid grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and I only go to the mall when I absolutely have to. I will buy everything online if I can. However, I can go to Costco and Ikea on a regular basis and never get sick of it. J&I will shop at Costco together, but he refuses to ‘stroll’ through Ikea with me on any given weekend. Which means, I’m usually on my own. Me walking in Ikea is like a child in a candy store – all the displays, all sorts of decor ideas – the possibilities are endless.
We all know Ikea sells cheap stuff. I steer clear of big items, such as furniture that are flimsy and uncomfortable; but I do like the Marketplace, where you pick up little things such as linens, dinnerware, picture frames, candles, lanterns, cushions, etc.
Now Ikea has a secret. OK, maybe it’s not a secret, but there is an “As-Is” section in Ikea most shoppers aren’t aware of. This is where you find merchandises that were returned, products with minor blemishes, goods in damaged packaging but otherwise in good condition, or items that were discontinued or were previously on display. Everything is at least 50% off the original price. It’s literally a treasure hunt. What you find there changes on a daily basis – one day you’ll see a particular item, and the next day it’ll be gone.
I was at Ikea 2 days ago to get a RIBBA frame for a charcoal drawing I got in Venice. While there, I decided to swing by the “As-Is” section for the first time. I found simple white bowls for $0.80 (normally $3.99) apiece! These were the exact same bowls I’ve been wanting to get since all our bowls are chipped at the edges.
Mom saw our bowls a few months ago and proceeded with her ludicrous assumptions…
Mom: Have you and J been arguing?
Me: No, why?
Mom: All your bowls are chipped.
Me: If we were arguing, the bowls would be smashed not just chipped.
So I got 8 of them, in addition to the full priced RIBBA frame.
After getting my photo of Manarola developed at Costco, and rearranging my existing photos I realized I needed another RIBBA frame. This time a larger one. I remembered seeing one last large frame at Ikea 2 days ago, so I made another trip. Luckily J had a BJJ class and I could disappear without feeling guilty. While there I also decided to pick up a bedspread on sale this month. By the time I got to the frames section I noticed that the last large frame was no where to be found. I looked around and couldn’t find it, and other options were simply not options. I wanted that particular RIBBA frame. The only large RIBBA frames left were on display. So I flagged a sales lady and asked if I could purchase one of the display items. Of course I could. After writing up a ticket, she directed me to the “As-Is” department to get pricing on the frame. It came out to be $10.00 for a frame that’s normally $24.99, and half the price of the smaller frame I got 2 days ago!
Since I was already there, I couldn’t help myself but check out what other goodies they have. I picked up 4 white plates for $0.80 apiece, snagged a king-sized comforter (which I’ve been wanting to get for my queen-sized bed for years but couldn’t justify shelling north of $100 for one) for $40.00 ($80), cushion insert for $3.00 ($9.99), and a cushion cover for $2.00 ($4.00).
For J’s sake, I need to start training again…