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Best Buys at BJs?

We just signed up at BJs on the weekend (DH needed new tires and they were MUCH cheaper there than anywhere else he priced them!) So now we get to buy groceries there. I've had a prowl around the store and I was very pleased to see Laughing Cow cheese, Sabra hummus and smuckers natural peanut butter at very reasonable prices. Their meat prices look very good too, so I expect we'll save quite a bit of money there in the long run. But I'm wondering about their processed foods and other goodies. What's worth buying?

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  1. I get my Mauna Loa macadamia nuts at BJs. Costco doesn't carry them. Conversely, Costco carries marcona almonds but BJs does not. We belong to both. We go to Costco more frequently, but when we go to BJs we load up on things Costco doesn't carry (more kinds of canned fruit, for example).

    BJs carries more varieties of cereal than Costco. I'm a sucker for cheap cereal. This weekend I took inventory. We have 18 different cereals in play right now. It's Seinfeldesque.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      We never got good value for money for our Costco membership - the store was too far away and it was always so crowded etc that it was a nightmare to shop at... I wouldn't have wanted to join another discount club at all, but they built one right around the corner from us. And we didn't have any trouble finding a parking place on a Saturday morning!

      1. re: Bob W

        i bought mauna loa macadamias at costco yesterday. excellent!!!

      2. We belong to Costco now, but were members at BJ's for years. BJ's have by far the better of the roast chickens. People stand on line for them waiting as they take them out of the oven on weekends. Not as greasy as the chickens at Costco.

        1. I just signed up too! We were members a couple years ago and for whatever reason I decided to rejoin.

          I did a quick walk through and some of the things I saw that I would purchase is Locatelli Romano cheese - awesome price, I think it was half what I pay in the grocery store, smoked salmon, manchego cheese, wine, deli meats, olive oil and cereal like another mentioned.

          I like Costco better, but I live closer to a BJ's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lynnlato

            I just signed up three!

            I can't believe the low, low cheese prices. Hooray!

          2. I will also second the smoked salmon. At $10/lb, it's barely a luxury item.

            1. BJs has good bacon & great deals on ground buffalo.

              3 Replies
              1. re: beteez

                Ooooh, good to know. We are a family of bacon lovers and I'm "buffalo-curious".

                It bears mentioning, when I was off to BJ's to open my membership, I stopped by Sam's Club b/c it was next door and I wanted to compare the two stores. I was leaning towards BJ's anyway, but wanted to give Sam's a chance.

                I went into Sam's and the guy out front didn't stop me and ask to see my card, but I knew that was protocol so I went over to the customer service desk to ask if I could look around to see what products they carry (I wanted to see if they had good cheeses, food products, wine, etc). A man at the CS counter immediately started spieling to me about some $100 membership that would allow me to shop between 7-10am, when regular membership folk were excluded. This $100 bucks also bought me the right to other store offers, blah, blah, blah and he droned on endlessly. I asked him if I could have a look around. He said yes, but only w/ an escort. I asked, "Really? I just want to see what products you carry, not shop or anything." He said they have strict security there and cameras and everything and I could only walk through the store w/ an employee escort. I found this funny since no one checked my membership status upon entering so I could've walked through the store, sans the employee escort, if I wanted. I told him that this didn't sit well with me and I thanked him and headed over to BJ's and bought a membership. Incidentally, the CS man at BJ's didn't try to sell me anything and invited me to have a look around and was the polar opposite of the Sam's Club dude.

                1. re: lynnlato

                  During the summer, I went to both BJ's and Sam's to compare. I had no issue going to the desk in both places, getting a brief membership explanation, and doing a long, un-escorted walk-through. I don't think that it's Sam's policy to have an escort, you just had some jerk at customer service.

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Your Sam's experience is very odd. I have made investigative trips to all three and never had a problem...perhaps that one has had some problems lately.

                2. For good food deals, I like their nuts, Pellegrino sparkling water, natural chicken (and large packages are packed 2 breasts to a vacuum sealed pack, and 4 thighs to a vacuum sealed pack for easy freezing), some fruit (just got a 5 lb bag of excellent mineola oranges), olive oil...just make sure you do know your prices before shopping, because some things are comparable to (or more than a sale) the price at the supermarket (and do you REALLY need a gallon of capers--another Seinfeld reference).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Marge

                    LOL capers are one of my regular buys at BJs. I dump them on pizza, put them in tuna salad, etc.

                    And, it's only a quart of capers, not a gallon. 8>D

                    1. re: Bob W

                      I don't think DH is going to have much trouble using the gallon of pickles... he goes through a regular-sized jar in just over a week!

                  2. We always have a bag of the pine nuts in the freezer: the price can't be beat.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I buy the all my nuts from BJ's. They also have good prices on Pellegrino and Poland Spring water bottles. Sometimes they get fresh mozzarella- not the kind sitting in oil in the tub- but the real fresh kind. I also like the Morningstar Farms veggie burgers from BJ's. They're "restaurant size", so they are a little bigger than the kind you get in the supermarket.

                    2. The smoked salmon and the pickled herring in cream or wine sauce. The smoked whitefish salad is a steal at $6-$7 for a 2 lb. tub. Half and half and milk.

                      1. this might be random, but carvel ice cream cakes are less than half the price they are at carvels or at supermarkets

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: shoelace

                          Yes, the Carvel cakes are half the price, but they also sit there for months and months and are factory-made, not store-made like the ones in the Carvel stores.

                          However, Cabot cheese is a bargain and BJ's carries skirt steak most of the time. Pine nuts and any other nut you use for baking, sugar, flour, butter (I bake a lot - 4 lbs. of butter doesn't go to waste here), packaged bread, frozen tortellini when I had a toddler, Hebrew National salami and hot dogs, to name a few.

                          1. re: rockycat

                            youre right about the carvel cakes but iv had many many carvel cakes both from in store and from bjs, they dont taste at all different

                            last tuesday it was my neices bday, i had picked up a bjs carvel cake, and last minute 10 other people called in that they were coming, so i picked up another one from carvel

                            there was zero difference in taste

                        2. This week's sampling of things I haven't tried before:
                          - fresh pizza. Okay. Nice flaky crust but not a lot of flavour. At least it wasn't sweet! And it was BIG. They only had pepperoni, cheese or chicken and peppers, so we had pepperoni. The best point about it was that it baked in ten minutes flat. It wasn't any nicer than a Digiorno's 'Ultimate' (my favourite storebought pizza) and it was pretty much the same price so we won't be rushing to get another.
                          -Cuban bread. Exactly the same as the pan cubano at Albertsons (probably comes from the same bakery), only cheaper. Definitely one to buy again.
                          -house brand lunchmeats. Almost half the price of Dietz and Watson, but sadly, about half the quality too. The 'low sodium ham' still tasted very salty to me, and the buffalo chicken didn't have the nice chunky 'I'm a real chicken breast' quality of D&W. I won't be rushing to buy them again.
                          -and lastly, Joseph's whole-wheat lavash wraps with oatbran. Yum! Very low in calories, 6 grams of fiber per wrap, and they're sturdy enough to hold together around a filling without them disintegrating (lavash bread tends to fall apart...) Very nice with hummus too. Probably the most successful purchase of the week.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kajikit

                            I buy those wraps too. They make low carb ones that are whole wheat and have the least calories of any I've seen.

                            Where are they found in the BJ's you shop at? I've always seen them at my local store by the deli and meat section, which I thought was a strange place.

                            Another good buy from BJ's is the goat cheese logs. The plain ones are considerably cheaper than at my local stores.

                          2. Was at BJs this weekend and got a big bag of "individual foccacias" and have been enjoying them immensely. Bold olive oil and thyme/sage flavors, good chewy texture. Have also tried the triple chocolate Hershey's brownies and like them (probably not as good as Ghiradelli's 3x choc brownies, but I don't have a Costco membership). And, I didn't buy (too big a chunk) but saw they have thee-year aged Cabot sharp cheddar at about $8/lb.

                            1. We finally got around to trying the roast chicken. It was yummy! Not so ridiculously over-salted as the ones in the supermarket, and nice and juicy. We also got a wonderful 'gold' ham for Thanksgiving. Mmmmmm that was good eating!

                              1. Chobani yogurt- 12 for 11.99, usually 1.99 each!!! Great taste!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: rkaene

                                  Do they come in a variety pack or all plain?

                                    1. re: rkaene

                                      Thanks! I hope I get there this weekend.. b/c I only have one container left in the fridge.

                                      Do they have the fat free kind?

                                  1. re: phant0omx

                                    It's a wholesale club, like Costco and Sam's Club

                                    1. re: Marge

                                      BROWN RICE..Only Because COSTCO doesn't sell it here (I am in MD) :(

                                  2. walnuts
                                    laundry detergent
                                    far east rice pilaf
                                    canned tomatoes
                                    peppers - red, orange, yellow, and green packaged together
                                    in North Carolina we bought wine at BJ's but not in Delaware

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Lewes17266

                                      oh sorry, FAR East is not right
                                      Near East at BJ's
                                      (the rice pilaf brand)

                                    2. BJ's has the BEST tomatoes. I don't know how, but they've managed to find sweet and juicy tomatoes in January.

                                      1. One just opened nearby and we will be joining.
                                        They take coupons! (that deserves more exclamation points)
                                        I was amazed at the selection/variety. They seemed to stagger Sam's Club in terms of selection. Sort of sticker shocked at the price of coffee, but happy about the meat selection. They had a 6 pound Pork Roll- I picked it up like it was a baby & patted it's butt. Then I laid it back down and took it's picture. (sigh)
                                        Everyone was friendly, helpful and the place was immaculate- yeah it only opened a week ago but there was a guy walking around picking stuff off the floor and sweeping...

                                        I didn't get close to the deli (it was mobbed) - what are the brands-are they the same all over or regional - does anyone know? I'll find out eventually I was just curious.

                                        1. We Buy paper plates, napkins, plastic bags, stretch tite, foil, garbage bags, cat food, cat litter, bottle watter, ice tea, pellegrino, meat bones for gravy, pork butts, chickens, ground pork, evoo, cereal, spices, batteries, vitamins, sometimes fish and cheese and a few other things I can't think of right now. Everyting else I can find a lot cheaper on sale in a super market.

                                          1. Diapers and wipes!

                                            BJs though, sells this Emerald Mix that we die for - pretzel balls, potato crisps, sesame sticks, cashews and almonds dusted in this Worcestshire (sp?) powder. Delicious. A big tub costs like $8 or so.

                                            I also get eggs from BJs and milk since we go through so much of it.

                                            I also buy a big container of dried porcini mushrooms from BJs.

                                            Just beware though - you have to know your prices - sometimes the bulk seems like a good deal, but you can do better at a supermarket on sale w/coupons.

                                            1. FYI, if you're in the market for natural casing all beef hotdogs, the BJs in northern Va. has the Kayem brand in stock with a $2/off coupon in the flyer you can pick up at the front door. I haven't tried the brand myself, but I know a lot of hounds have a continuing quest for natural casing dogs.