So if you're a few years past the post-college stage, maybe you should think about foregoing the furniture departments at Ikea. I'm not saying all of their furnishings have short life spans, but I've yet to meet anyone with an Ikea bookcase that is twenty years old.
That said, a well-kept secret of Ikea is their fantastic housewares department. I love love love Ikea housewares, kitchen stuff, cooking utensils, glassware etc. They do seem to be well-made and you can purchase many of them for a song.
Ikea recently opened a new store in the Denver area, and last week, I reacquainted myself with their fabulous housewares department. Here are five Ikea kitchen/table items, priced between $3-$10, that I have bought from Ikea and would recommend buying, based on 1) aesthetic beauty, 2) practicality and 3) unbelievably low price (the frugal trifecta). You cannot get these online; you can only purchase them at an actual Ikea store. Here goes:
"Trygg" serving bowl is $2.99. I have never seen a glass bowl this size or quality for such a low price. Major steal. It's actually prettier in person than in the picture, because the shape is more striking. I picked up a few and set them aside for Passover. I don't think you can ever have enough large glass bowls. Mixing bowl, serving bowl, salad bowl, fruit bowl, you name it, this will do it.
Rektangel glass vase for $4.99. A few years ago, I donated all of the two-dozen ugly florist vases I'd been saving to a wedding gemach and replaced them with four of these Rektangel vases. They are beautifully cut, easy to clean (they go in the dishwasher), substantial enough to hold a large bouquet, and if they break, I'm out a mere $5. (Of course, many of the florist vases have reappeared over the years...I need to be better about giving them away.)
Pruta Food Savers, 17 in a set, $3.99, BPA-free clear tupperware-type containers. They stack up inside of each other and they beat out the price of Ziploc or Hefty containers by more than five times. I did pick up an extra set of these for Passover as well. The value here is unbelievable.
Tokig salad spinner for $2.99 I have never, ever seen a salad spinner priced this low. Ever. Search for a salad spinner on Amazon and you'll see what I mean. I've had my Ikea salad spinner for about 8 years now and it still does the job. And these things are absolutely essential when you'll be cleaning and drying large amounts of lettuce (Passover seder anyone?).
6 Mjod beer glasses with stems, $9.99. A selfish part of me didn't want to post this one and almost hopes you won't buy these, because I love to put out unique, singular items on my table. But because these are such interesting glasses, I wanted to share them with you. We have three sets, and we actually set them out each week on our Shabbat table (except when I want a more formal table) instead of regular water glasses. They have such an unusual, low-slung profile and they mix and match with any kind of china or table setting.
Those are my current favorite top five Ikea frugal kitchen finds for now. What are yours?