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Great Food Buys At BJ's Wholesale Club

Tyson (individually packaged) flash frozen boneless,skinless chicken breasts
(in a large bag...something like $15.00, and they are huge chicken breasts with no hormones, no fat, and taste great)

A 5 lb. bag of shelled walnuts for something like $8.00

A 5 lb. bag of whole green beans that almost taste like fresh...$5.50

A large bag of Pink Lady apples for about $6.00
(they are around $2.50 a pound at my local grocery stores here in CT)

A very large bottle of (real) Vanilla....$13.00
(the bottle is almost 14 oz)

Who's next?

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  1. As a vegetarian, I love their big bags of veggie burgers -- they are cheaper than anywhere else.

    They also have great deals on yogurt.

    I also love their big bags of chocolate chips.

    Their book section also has some interesting cookbooks. I got a Julia Child book their for pretty cheap.

    6 Replies
    1. re: adventuresinbaking

      I just love their
      Rotisserie chicken.

      Even though it's Perdue, which I don't really like, BJs can cook that thing up to a delicious juicy flavorful meal.
      I also like that I can buy

      Baby Bell light cheese.

      Great for the lunch boxes.

      1. re: Mayflour

        Sabra hummus in a tub three times the size of the supermarket one for less than twice the price... mmm! and triple packs of laughing cow.

        1. re: Kajikit

          I think we got a quadruple pack of laughing cow light at BJs!

          1. re: Bob W

            The Ling Ling potstickers with Yoshida's sauce (purchase separate). Just boil and dip. They are delicious!

          2. re: Kajikit

            But sadly they don't have the sabra in the supremely spicy.

        2. re: adventuresinbaking

          2 pounds of bread yeast for about $5! Awesomely cheap.

        3. Just impulse-bought the 2lb box of multigrain-crusted tilapia fillets... YUM. I can't remember how much it cost but they were well worth it!

          YoBaby whole-milk yogurt for my son... four 4-packs for $8 (vs. $3 each at the grocery store)

          Breakstone cottage cheese, two 4-packs for $5 (vs. $4 each at the grocery store)

          A 2lb tube of organic ground beef (I think 85% lean) for $7 (vs. more than $4/lb at the grocery store)

          1. The Costco business membership is up to $53.50 in NJ; what does a BJ's membership card go for these days?

            I haven't shopped there in years but I do recall enjoying the experience when I worked near one years ago.

            9 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              I think BJ's is a little less than that, maybe $40 plus tax? Their customer service is not as good as Costco's, at least not at our club, but they carry stuff we use and can buy in bulk. With their acceptance of manufacturer's coupons, the BJ's membership basically pays for itself. We only keep up our Costco membership too because we have a card on my dad's business membership, so it's only $10 or so.

              1. re: truman

                Really @ Costco $10 on your dad's? I have a business account @ Costco too; that entitles my spouse to one free card but any employees cost $45 (recently increased to $50) plus tax here in NJ. Costco has there own coupon/deal circular that arrives in my mail but I did not know that BJ's accepts manf. coupons. Thanks for letting me know.

                1. re: HillJ

                  BJ's also has their own coupon books (and coupon flyers at the entrance), and you can combine one of their coupons and a manufacturer's coupon on the same purchase. Also, if you buy a multi-pack of something with multiple items and UPCs (such as a 2 pack of pasta sauce, as opposed to a single big box of cereal), you can use one manufacturer's coupon PER separate item.

                  BTW BJ's additional card for business members is only $20, but you don't get the free spouse card.

                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    MisterBill2, I opened a BJ's account recently. I'm going to use it for all of 2012 and see how I make out.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I was shopping at BJ's yesterday and bought items that I would not buy elsewhere, if I could even find them, because of the markup in grocery chains. I am glad for their offerings for sale: Rocquefort, Isgny Brie, RW Garcia organic chips, organic edamame. I bought salted cod which I haven't in years because it looked 'that' good. This is the second time I've bought kale here.

                      There is no reason in our family of two why we cannot eat as cheaply good products. .

                      1. re: Rella

                        Thanks, Rella. Good to know. What sold me on a membership was portion packaging. BJ's guest pass day, I really took a long look at the portion sizes and I like the way meats, poultry are packaged there.

                        1. re: Rella

                          They have some nice cheeses. I'm usually pleasantly surprised.

                          I save at least $100 getting my annual fill of contact lens there, so I'm ahead of the game before I even start.

                          Cheapest cat litter around, if you need any, their brand. Works as well or better than any other. $8.99 for 40 lb.

                          Their 2 lb bags of nuts or dried fruits can't be beat, they are fresh and cheap as they get. Also all their assorted snack versions, they're not quite as good a deal though.

                          I'm glad they have the restaurant size jars of spices since I'm not in the business anymore, not as cheap as elsewhere but at least you can get them.

                  2. re: truman

                    No, as a Costco business member, there are no $10 card options. Primary card and household card are $50 or $100 (regular business or executive business); each additional card with complimentary household card is $40.

                    1. re: truman

                      LOL, maybe my dad "exaggerated" (he paid for our card)! We'll have to rethink that when it's time for renewal, since we definitely don't shop at Costco enough to justify a $40+ membership fee.

                      I just checked - BJ's membership is $50 (individual or business).

                  3. Season Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil

                    By far the least expensive place to buy these little gems.

                    1. BJs is my go to spot during bbq season. Best deals around on big cuts like brisket, pork butt, and lots and lots of chicken. Good price for charcoal, aluminum drip pans, bulk spices and all the other accessories.

                      Usually pick up dog and cat food there as well.

                      We stopped going for a while as stopping there to save money on dog food typically led to several thousand dollars of impulse bulk buying each trip. We now adhere strictly to a list, and are usually able to stick pretty closely to it.

                      1. I quit BJ's after 2 years, I was hoping to save on gasoline but, most stations near BJ's beat them. Also, their warehouse prices are not much better, and sometimes higher, than the local super market.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: treb

                          I maintain my BJ's membership for a few products that I buy that are priced well and the store is a few miles away from my home.. However, Treb is right, BJ's is by no means a discount warehouse.

                          If you know your prices for different grocery categories, BJ's is often equivalent or even more expensive than regular big box or grocery stores. Clearly its business model is to bring customers in by discounting a few loss leaders such as disposable diapers, pet food and some meat products. Consumers have traditionally held that buying in bulk is a way to save, BJ’s cynically has been capitalizing on this assumption for a long-time.

                          Most of the other products are equivalently or higher priced than big box stores or supermarkets.

                          If you know your prices, and if there are products that you regularly purchase that are truly discounted at BJ’s, the membership can be valuable. If your life is structured in a way that you have time to go to one or two stores a week for groceries and household goods, you can probably do better.

                          1. re: redrako

                            If you know what genuinely is a solid bargain on something you were going to buy anyway, or where you simply prefer the quality of the product you get at BJs, then it's invaluable. In our family's case, those would include:

                            Tidy Cats litter (under 16 cents a pound, as opposed to over 22 cents a pound at the supermarket)
                            Friskies wet cat food (37 cents a can as opposed to 55 cents)
                            Freihofer's 100% Whole Wheat bread ($2 a loaf, as opposed to $4.29 a loaf)
                            Eight O'Clock 100% Colombian coffee (black bag) (35 cents an ounce as opposed to 66 cents)
                            Loratadine, the generic equivalent of Claritin, which I have to take on a daily basis to keep my lifelong allergies in check (4 cents a pill as opposed to 35 cents a pill: THIS ONE PURCHASE saves me more than $100 a year, or more than double the price of our BJs membership)
                            Frozen strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, which we put in our homemade yogurt every morning ($3.33 a pound, which is actually 34 cents a pound more than we would pay for an equivalent product at Trader Joe's, but the quality of the BJs product is so superior that 34 cents is a pittance)
                            Deli-sliced Land O Lakes yellow American cheese, the only acceptable cheese for the canonical grilled cheese sandwich ($3.49 a pound, as opposed to $4.49 or higher: their deli meats and cheeses are in general are a buck to more a pound cheaper than the local markets, and they sell Dietz and Watson, which I prefer to Boars Head or the like)
                            Not-overly-trimmed brisket flats for smoking ($4-$4.50 a pound)
                            Etc. etc. etc.

                            In my case, there is a BJs literally within sight of Russo's, the greengrocers in Watertown, Massachusetts where I do the majority of my food shopping. Within a hundred yards of either of them, there's a Star Market and a Stop and Shop, the two main local supermarket chains. This proximity means I can drive there -- from Allston, which is about 20 minutes away -- hit Russo's, BJs and one or both of the supermarkets (depending on what's in their sales flyers that week), and be home again less than two hours after I set out, and that usually gives me a chance to stop at the Italian bakery in Nonantum, the Target on Arsenal or the liquor store on Soldiers Field Road on the way home.

                            Admittedly, not everyone has everything perfectly clustered like that, but my experience is that if there is a BJs nearish your house and close to your preferred local supermarket, then you will save money by having a BJs membership.

                        2. Every 3 --4 monthe we get a free 90 day membership offer and we buy the things that we can't get at Costco, but there aren't enough things on that list to make a paid membership worth while.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: jnk

                            Doesn't the free 90 day trial have some caveat about changing the prices or something? When I went to my local BJ's they tried to pull some stunt with me at the register..

                            1. re: glamazonjade

                              I know that for a long-time they used to send out "free passes" that entitled 'visitors' to visit the club. In very small print on the pass, they had language that said that 'visitors weren't entitled to "member's discount".

                              Invariably the 'visitors' would be very unhappy when they went to pay for their purchases when they were charged 5% more than the list price. I saw some people storm out of the store.

                              1. re: redrako

                                The worst thing to me is, I used to stock up when my card was expiring, so I could skip a month or two before I renewed. Now they charge you anyway, up to 3 months later I think. That sort of stinks.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Yes, that does stink. I have an additional member card under a corporate membership. I waited until the start of the month to join, figuring I could save 2/12 of the cost (they pro-rate it because your membership expires when the primary member's expires). I was shocked that they charged me for the full year, even though it was 2 months after the primary membership expiration. I finally got corporate to give me a $5 gift card to compensate me for it but it took multiple emails because they did not think they had done anything wrong (in the end they just did it to placate me, they never admitted they were wrong).

                                2. re: redrako

                                  The last time I got a pass was the day I joined the new one in Gainesville, which is only 55 miles from my home vs. the next nearest was about 70 +/- miles from home, so we didn't go there any longer. That particular day, the visitors' pass was 15% more. This 15% was told to us when we checked in for a pass. The membership on that day was $40 for both of us.

                                  1. re: Rella

                                    That's true, they charge a 15% upcharge if you use the day pass, but I think they'll refund it if you join. If you're only going to shop there occasionally and spend less than $300 a year (which for many here is not likely) then you can just use the day passes and not join. Costco does not give you that option.

                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                      When I used the day pass at BJ's it was to explore the box store. I didn't buy anything that day. Now with a new membership I've started to. And my business membership @ Costco allowed me to bring in "guests" anytime I wanted to who shopped on my card.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        You can bring people with you at Costco but you need to pay. That's no different than BJ's. But at Costco a non-member cannot enter and walk around as they can at BJ'. They check for your membership card when you enter (as they do at Sam's). You would have to join and then cancel (with a full refund) if you do not like it.

                                        1. re: MisterBill2

                                          Actually that's a fairly new membership rule at Costco. I've had a business membership since 1997 and when I first setup the account I could add up to 10 employees FREE of charge. Then it was five, then it was three and now it's one person. While plenty of business members have taken the prime credit card to get a rebate at the end of the year I've never bothered. But in the early days, I used those free cards as a thank you gift for my employees. I've also rec'd business press in the Costco magazine over the years, coupon books, perks on special business days and years of family shopping there. But, I'm curious about BJ's. Time to take a closer look, so I joined. Like I said, I'll give it a year and decide.

                            2. I joined BJ's this week. I had a 60 day trial card, but it had expired...so they gave me a day pass.
                              Within 10 minutes I could tell that a membership would be worthwhile and joined.

                              What brought me there was the lowest price (temporary) on TurboTax (39.99) I had seen.
                              Some of what convinced me to join were:

                              Applegate products - caught a 3 pack of Sunday bacon on sale for $4.99
                              Pink lady apples - Costco seldom has Pink Ladies and this price seemed better too
                              Smaller sizes for meats and produce as opposed to Costco - I'm now cooking for one
                              Greeting cards

                              Even with a household of one belonging to both BJ's and Costco will save me money. If nothing else, the coffee and gasoline at Costco makes the membership pay for itself. BJ's seemed to have many smaller sizes of items which are too big for me at Costco, so that will be helpful.

                              Any new finds?

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: meatn3

                                I just re-joined about 10 days ago since they opened a new BJ's nearer to me (about 55 miles one-way). I like all their jarred things that usually don't have all the additives that I stay away from. One particlar jarred item I like is the small roasted marinated small asparagus spears. I like them as a snack with a piece of guyere cheese. (We also belong to Costco since 1988.) Just the two of us.

                                Here's some of the things I bought that I like:
                                organic sumatra coffee, organic onions, organic 3-berries, plaintains at Asian grocers' prices, organic half-and half cream

                                1. re: Rella

                                  What is the organic 3-berries? Sounds intriguing!

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    Oh, it's just a bag of frozen berries that are similar to the frozen bag of 3-berries sold at Costco, except BJ's bag has strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.

                                    And BJ's are organic whereas the ones Costco sells do not have this designation.

                                    Although I've never seen nor heard of 'fresh organic' strawberries on the market, I hope that they are not sprayed prior to freezing.

                                    1. re: Rella

                                      That is a nice combo - great for smoothies and cobbler!

                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        Yeah, Trader Joe's sells a frozen berry mix too. Definitely great for smoothies!

                                      2. re: Rella

                                        This is one of our regular BJs purchases as well, to go on top of homemade yogurt in the morning.

                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                          I always add to this mixture, a couple of spoons of ground flax.
                                          If one doesn't like to use sugar to sweeten it up, try a few drops of stevia (non-alcoholic extract.)

                                2. I have been buying cases of Fage individual plain yogurts at BJs lately. They are $0.60 cheaper per 6 oz. cup than at the regular grocery store. They have a flavored variety too if that is more your speed. They also have the big tubs of plain Fage.

                                  I am amazed at how cheap King Arthur flour is at BJs. I do a lot of bread baking and I usually use a mix of whole grains and AP flour, so I use quite a bit. King Arthur AP costs $6.50 for a 10 lb bag at BJs. The 5 lb bag runs about $4.99 in my regular grocery store.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mels

                                    mels do you have an Aldi's near by? They are selling the small tub (not the individual) of Fage for $3.49-1.49/each.

                                  2. The one place where BJ's really does not compare favorably to Costco is in their bakery. They've tried to reinvent it multiple times but it's nowhere near as good as Costco's.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                      I agree about the bakery but I also bake and never really joined Costco, now BJ's for that reason.

                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                        Gainesville, VA - I haven't checked the bakery this time around, but when I belonged to BJ's, Fairfax, VA, their bakery included artisan bread brought in from some place in NY or NJ that was excellent. This was not bread that BJ's baked. I always bought that.

                                        I have bought less and less at the Costco bakery over the last 3 years; I never did buy a lot. Now that I've stopped eating wheat - 99% of the time - it is not an issue in my household any longer.

                                        BJ's used to have more cookbooks than Costco; but my second visit to BJ's, the cookbooks weren't replenished.

                                        Last Friday BJ's did have their stock of wine on the shelves. I liked the fact that they had some wines that Costco doesn't carry.

                                        I have found however, that there are no lines at BJ's snack station. Not as many takers, it seems.

                                        1. re: Rella

                                          Because it's not as good as Costco's (pizza is frozen, not freshly made as at Costco). Sadly, Costco got rid of their kosher hot dogs, so I never eat there anymore. I am not sure if BJ's still has them.