Author Topic: Any BJ's shoppers?  (Read 4114 times)

Jessa

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Any BJ's shoppers?
« on: October 13, 2014, 09:09:36 AM »
So I know everyone loves Costco, and I would probably love it, too (I appreciate their business model of paying their employees decent wages) but there aren't any near us, and it seems a little counter productive to drive an hour and 15 minutes one way to save money.

We DO, however, have a BJ's in the next town. It's on the way to my folks' house (where we go twice a mont or so), so I could easily get there without making extra trips. I was wondering if anyone has a membership there and found it to be worthwhile? My understanding is that it's a similar set-up to Costco, but I'd like to get some feedback before paying in membership fees.


Gin1984

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 09:13:35 AM »
I thought it would be useful because my husband is driving an hour each way for work and the gas savings would make it worth it but then he discovered a gas station on his commute that was much cheaper and therefore we plan to cut BJ's out at renewal.  For us, there was not much other savings.

nvmama

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 12:36:44 PM »
I currently do not use BJs, but they regularly have free trial memberships available.  That could be a good way to check it out.

MoneyCat

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 01:25:04 PM »
I am a BJ's shopper.  Costco offers the best quality stuff and more variety, but BJs is also a pretty good deal.  We got a BJs membership because it was closer to where we live and the gas prices were the same.  BJs offers a few advantages over other warehouse stores: 1.) You can combine manufacturers' coupons with store coupons and basically double coupon everything.  They will also count units within a package for quantity-contingent coupons.  For example, I was able to use a coupon for eight cups of yogurt, because I bought one package of 18 cups of yogurt, 2.) BJ's is the only warehouse store that takes Visa.  This has been handy, because one of my Visa cards counts BJs as a grocery store, so I get double reward points on that card for shopping there., 3.) BJ's Rewards membership pays for itself.  You pay an extra $50 a year for a Rewards membership and it'll pay you back 2% in rewards for BJ's purchases.  We got about $65 in rewards last year, so it paid for the extra and paid another $15 toward our regular membership.  I like free money.  If you have a larger family, I bet you could probably pay for your entire membership that way.

geekette

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 03:19:19 PM »
We have had it, but I'll often get the free 60 day membership, stock up with a year's supply of cleaning stuff, soap and shampoo, vitamins and allergy pills, then let it lapse until they do another freebie.  Sometimes their gas is at quite a discount, but sometimes, like now, theirs isn't falling as quickly as other stations around us.

One big difference, at least for me, is that their meat (pork specifically) isn't "enhanced with up to xx% solution" (aka pumped full of salt water) like most of the grocery store meat.  I hate opening a bag of pork tenderloin and watching a bunch of expensive water run out and down the drain.

kimmarg

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 07:54:32 PM »
It's easy to get a free trial membership on the website. Try it and see. Personally overall I found it didn't have the items I use at a price worth the fee. YMMV. 

FiguringItOut

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 09:27:42 PM »
I have BJ's two miles from the house and no Costo anywhere near.

I use BJ's for few very specific things, gallons of milk at $3.19 there vs $4.50 or higher at other stores, get our weekly cold cuts there at the deli counter for kids school lunches, get jumbo packs of Scotts toilet paper and Bounty paper towels there as well.  Get 10lb bag of rice, large box of oatmeal, when have a coupon, I get their Q-tips packages, sometimes I get their yogurt if my grocery store doesn't have it on sale.  There are a few other things here and there, but these are the main ones.

Things I never get a BJ's because they are not good deals compared to what I can get on sale at other grocery stores are any and all meats and cereals.  And my BJ's doesn't have gas station either.

DoubleDown

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2014, 08:48:54 AM »
For someone like me with a 5th grade sense of humor, this thread is priceless:

"I have BJ's two miles from the house "

"I use BJ's for few very specific things"

"One big difference, at least for me, is that their meat (pork specifically) isn't enhanced"

"I currently do not use BJs"

"I thought it would be useful because my husband is driving an hour each way for work "

Stashy McStasherton

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2014, 10:34:00 AM »
I just recently became a member at BJs. They were running a special for new members that dropped the fee to $40 (typically $52?). I am surprised how many items I end up buying there. Bulk nuts, kale, chia seeds, frozen fruit for smoothies are the big savers. Nuts are way cheap at BJs (that one is for you DoubleDown).

Seriously though, for the Mustachian lifestyle, it is a great opportunity for saving. You can hand them a pile of coupons and really watch the price drop. Manufacturers coupons + BJs coupons = mucho savings. I am not a huge couponer, but once you get the hang of shopping at BJs, you know what they have and can keep an eye out for the coupons for those specific items.

If you want to forgo the membership fee, use the free trial and go to town! Another option for saving- split the membership with someone. BJs is totally fine with you having two people on the membership. It does not have to be your spouse. I am going to split mine with a friend and it will bring my membership cost down to $20! Saved that in one trip!

sedura

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Re: Any BJ's shoppers?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2014, 10:19:07 PM »
I have a BJs membership that I share with a friend. We are in the first year, so we each paid $20. Then I upgraded the membership to the rewards for an extra $50. They have a better selection of organic food than Costco, at least for the things I buy. I regularly get

cashews
Beef jerky
Pirates booty
Organic ketchup
Organic peanut butter
Spicy ramen noodles
Organic cereal
Organic maple syrup
Organic oatmeal
Organic coffee. I buy whole beans, and they have a grinder in store you can use
Bacon bits
Pepperoni
Organic lunch meat
Organic cHeese
Organic toddler yogur
Pickles
Organic chicken breast
Organic milk
Organic eggs
Hormone free beef (steaks and ground beef)
Shredded asiago
Whole mozzarella
Premade organic tortellini
Organic sausage
Organic strawberries
Organic grapes
clementines
Organic apples
Organic romaine
Organic baby spinach
Cucumbers
Grape tomatoes
Organic carrots
Organic onions
Organic garlic
Bananas
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Paper plates, plastic cutlery for parties
Dish soap
Garbage bags
Bottles water and sodas for parties
Books for my toddlers
Pjs for my toddlers and the occasional clothing item
Occasional toys
Stickers.

That's a trip to BJs for me. No wonder  I'm always $150 poorer when I leave!