To begin my section on Frugal Family Fun, the boys and I went to Ikea.
|Ikea-West Chester, OH location|
I absolutely love Ikea. I’m a big fan of it from a frugal standpoint but also a stylistic one. And when I became a parent, I in turn became a fan of Ikea from a family-friendly standpoint. Because I’m a single mom, it is very important that the places I visit or shop be family-friendly. I just don’t have the luxury of leaving the kids at home while I do some shopping. A benefit of shopping at Ikea (after you consider their amazing prices, great style and quality items) is the way they have considered families and children into the design of their stores. From the parking lot to the bathrooms to the kids place space, no area has been over looked.
The Family Friendly parking area is wonderful. It’s a small area with larger sized parking spots to accommodate vans and full size SUVs It is blocked off by curbs and sidewalks and speed bumps. Most importantly, it is nearest to the doors, a GREAT idea on rainy days when your three year old is screaming because you skipped his nap in order to shop and are now trying to leave with all your purchases loaded onto a flatbed cart.
Frequently, Ikea has a special at their stores where kids (12 and under) can eat from the kids menu completely free.
From Ikea’s website:
Choose up to 3 kids meal items: PB&J, mac & cheese, meatballs, veggie, organic penne pasta marinara, mashed potatoes, organic apple sauce, french toast sticks, baby carrots, mixed vegetables, cookies, yogurt and more!
No adult purchase necessary. Kids 12 and under. Value up to $2.49. Valid July 23 – August 15, 2010.
There are so many reasons why taking advantage of this special is a good (and frugal) idea.
1. The food is good! Especially the Swedish Meatballs, YUMMO!
2. The portions are great!
3. The food is plenty.
4. The kids drinks are included.
5. There is no ratio limit of child to adult.
6. OMG have you tried the meatballs??
Today we got the kids lunch: Uncrustables, yogurt, French fries and a drink for Einstein, Meatballs, French Fries, 2 cookies (for both kids to eat later) and a drink for G-Dawg. I purchased meatballs (shared some with G-Dawg because he loves meat!), mashed potatoes & their special Lingonberry jam, a drink and we splurged and shared a piece of Chocolate Overload Cake (again YUMMO!). The grand total was $10.05. We could have been even more frugal and saved $2.99 on the cake and $1.49 on a pop for myself but I felt like splurging just a tad today in celebration of my recent acquisition of a vehicle!
If you pair this great deal on lunch (or dinner if you so choose) with the children’s play space, you have a great day for the kiddos! Have you seen Smaland before? I want to run in and dive head first into the ball pit (but I wouldn’t because at Ikea, this breaks their safety rules!). Their security measures are great, I feel very comfortable leaving my children there. They have multiple steps in place to ensure that your child does not leave with the wrong person or wander off on their own.
The kids can usually play for an hour (sometimes if it’s really busy the time is shortened to 45minutes). This gives the grown-ups time to shop or in my case, sit upstairs in a quiet corner of the cafeteria and write! We have come out here a few times in the past year when it was really cold or raining or like today, “OMG HOT“! The kids get to expend some of their energy and I get an hour uninterrupted to work. Win all around!
Overall, a great afternoon! I highly recommend you do this as well if you live in an area with an Ikea. Be sure to check out the website for you nearest Ikea. Times, prices and specials may vary depending on location. To find the nearest Ikea store click here.
Here’s to frugal family fun!
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