I doubt that anyone reading this hasn’t heard of IKEA, the Swedish-founded, privately held, international chain of home furnishing stores. If you have been living in a cave, IKEA started with one store in 1958, and has since expanded to nearly 300 stores in 25 countries, with Germany having the most stores, and the US in 2nd place. (Find your closest one here). The stores are easily recognizable as they sport a unique exterior blue and yellow decorating motif.
IKEA is a totally integrated company, owning many of its own vendors, suppliers, and raw material sources. They specialize in Euro-design type furniture and furnishings, most of the furniture being sold in knocked-down, assemble yourself kits. Merchandise is relatively inexpensive.
To stay abreast of modern family needs, many of the mega-marts offer child care, a restaurant, quick-serve cafe, and a small grocery, that retails Swedish style foods, fresh, frozen, and packaged. The prepared foods are very inexpensive, as are daily specials (half rack ribs, with fixings, 6.99).
Shopping at IKEA can be exhausting, simply due to its size and layout (the stores are designed so that you literally have to walk past almost every single department), and so a cheap snake, mid-trip, or on the way out the door, can be a real necessity for our “I can’t go anywhere without eating” culture.
The bargain for me is an all-beef hot dog, of ample size, maybe six to a pound, that they sell for .50 each. Or two, with a soda and chips, for $2. (Such a deal I have for you today!) I was unable to find the origin of the hot dogs or the nutritional information, but the buns (in Portland) come from local Franz bakers, who actually invented the hamburger bun in 1926!
I don’t usually buy Franz products at the grocery, they are a bit pricey without any particular merit (in my opinion) for being so.
The hot dog was fairly mild, skinless, and the condiment bar was limited.
But for 50 cents? Who can beat it?
Grab a dog at IKEA, and then swing thru the grocery for some herring, lingonberries, spicy Swedish mustard, or Swedish Fish (I kid you not).