I met a mummy friend today at IKEA for a catch up. IKEA, as you might already know, serves free tea and coffee to family members card holders during the week. IKEA also had their ‘Swipe a Surprise’ offer on and I had a cup to claim from last time. Basically, you make any purchase at all in their main store (not the café or food section) and then you let a machine near the back door read the receipt’s barcode as you are leaving. I’ve done pretty well from it in the past, winning a chopping board, picture frames, a lantern etc.
I suggested here as a money saving venture, because when a coffee at a café would cost about £3, free seemed like a much better idea. The girls and I had a great time catching up, and we didn’t need to spend silly money on hot drinks. Win.
Also, there’s that little play bit in the middle that my toddler likes. Win number 2! That’s cheaper than Funky Monkeys!
Finally, it’s the most breastfeeding friendly place I know, should bambina want a feed. Win number 3.
However, most cafes don’t have all of the products for sale that IKEA does.
There is a reason that they entice you in with freebies. They know that once they have you through the door, you’ll probably spend more in store than the cost of a cup of coffee (which, let’s face it, would cost them pennies!).
It’s nigh impossible to take a trip to IKEA without a little wander around, looking at all of the lovely Swedish bits and bobs. And there are always one or two little things that you just have to have. Normally I can fight the urge to buy, but today, I don’t know, maybe I was feeling flush. I picked up a hand puppet for my kids, and I bought myself something too.
Just look at this sketchpad. Forget Stunsig, it’s stunning! I couldn’t help myself. I’m a doodler at heart, and a snob when it comes to paper quality. Damn it, now I’m advertising for them too. I swear they didn’t pay me to say that.I did however get my free 365+ cup, which I’m going to let my toddler use. I realise that, being ceramic, it may not last long, that there’s a good chance that it might fall to the ground and smash, but I’ve been worried recently about the amount of plastic that my kids are using, both for health and safety reasons and for environmental reasons. If you want to know why, watch ‘A Plastic Ocean.’ Heck, watch it anyway- David Attenborough says so.
When leaving, I did my ‘Swipe a Surprise’ and this time won a free chocolate doughnut- about 40p in value. I’m trying to restrict my carbohydrate intake just now, so I’ll save this for my husband for another time.
So now, let’s do the maths. Let’s say that my friend and I saved about £5 on hot drinks (compared to another café), but I spent £14 on products that I didn’t really need. It’s not a bad business plan.
The moral of my story, by all means, do go for the free coffee and tea, but if that’s all you want, DO NOT wander around after or you will spend money you hadn’t intended to.Still, I’m looking forward to getting sketching again. I’m pretty rusty.