I'm not a long-time IKEA fan. But, when I went a year ago during a trip to Charlotte, I was hooked.
Maybe it's my Swedish roots. Maybe it's because I've spent some time in Scandinavia, where I developed a taste for ligonberries and gravlax. Or, maybe it's because I have zero home decorating skills and I appreciate the clean, contemporary lines and colors.
Or, maybe it's because those people at IKEA have retail down and know just exactly how to extract money from our wallets - kind of like Target, where you walk in for some dental floss and somehow leave with $70 worth of stuff.
Whatever it is, I was thrilled to read this morning's news that the home furnishing retailer will be opening a 359,000-square-foot store next to Cary Towne Center. I was ready to throw caution to the wind, open that jar of IKEA brand ligonberry jam that I've been carefully rationing since our last trip there, and announce, "Toast for everyone!"
But, then I read the story and realized that we'll have to wait until summer 2020 for it to open. I put the jam back in the refrigerator. I guess I'll have a few more years of making annual treks to the Charlotte store.
Here are five things I'll continue to ration before IKEA opens in Cary in 2020.
Let's start with my first love: That ligonberry jam. A little like cranberries, ligonberries are tart, but sweet. The jam is delicious on toast or scones or even as a relish with your (IKEA) meatballs. I know there are recipes that use the jam for tarts or brownies and other treats. But there is no way I'll be using more than a spoonful at a time. Must stretch it out until the next trip.
I know that I can buy inexpensive chocolate bars just about anywhere. Speaking of retailers who know how to drain money from me, Trader Joe's has some great options. But, there is just something about the chocolate bars at IKEA that I pick up for 99 cents. Alert: I'm almost out.
I'm sure there are others just like it on sale elsewhere, but these straws are the perfect width for sucking up thick smoothies or milkshakes (and the occasional frozen adult beverage). Thankfully, I have another bag in the cupboard. (Phew!).
Things I Don't Need, but End Up Loving
On our last trip to IKEA, about a month ago, I picked up this laundry basket for my younger daughter. There already was a laundry basket for her to use, but, she made the point that it would be easy for her to carry her clothes downstairs to the laundry room with this one. And it was less than $5. So, I splurged.
Turns out, she is actually using it to bring her dirty clothes to the washing machine. It also doubles as a fun ride for her and her friends. It's big enough for a kid to hop in and get pulled around by others. And, I'm pleased to say it's held up - so far. But, I have said more than once to her: "I'm NOT making a drive to Charlotte just to pick up another one of those things. Be careful with it!"
There's so much to be excited about. The cafeteria with inexpensive - and delicious - food. The free kid's club, where a friend of mine, in another city, would drop her toddler off for an hour or so when she needed a break (and so she could load up on straws and other things she didn't really need). The hours of wandering aimlessly across a huge store showroom.
It'll be worth the wait. (But, IKEA, could you speed it up, please)?
Sarah, Go Ask Mom's editor, is a mom of two.