One of the first things I learned as a KCL were the disadvantages of shopping at wholesale stores. I used to be a Sam’s Club fan and typically shopped there every month to “stock up.” When I started couponing, I had to change the way I shopped and started realizing that wholesale stores aren’t all they’re made out to be and that better discounts can be found elsewhere. Since then, I’ve shied away from wholesale clubs—that is, until BJ’s opened in my town. Through word of mouth, I heard the magic word “coupon” and learned that BJ’s accepts manufacturer coupons and also features in-store coupons. So, I decided to check them out and have been a fan ever since!
When comparing BJ’s with other wholesale clubs such as Sam’s Club and Costco, I found the following major differences:
  • Sam’s membership cost:  $40
  • BJ’s membership cost: $50
  • Costco membership cost: $50
  • Sam’s: busier with changing stock items weekly, large volume items, longer checkout lines.
  • BJ’s: less busy than Sam’s with consistent brands weekly, smaller volume items, accepts manufacturer and in-store coupons and accepts all forms of payment.
  • Costco: average traffic with consistent stock, but higher prices than Sam’s and BJ’s. Accepts only debit cards and American Express.
Check here to see if there’s a BJ’s location near you.

The 411 on BJ’s

Becoming a member

BJ’s features memberships for personal and business use. It even includes a free, second card for another family member. And if you’re not satisfied with your membership, you can cancel it with a 100% money-back guarantee. We were able to sign up for a 60-day, free, trial prior to purchasing the full membership to experience all the benefits before committing. If you need more incentive, take into consideration that certain BJ’s locations also feature gas pumps which has generated enough savings to cover my yearly membership! Click here for all of the details.

Other perks

BJ’s membership also offers travel savings for cruises, car rentals, hotels and vacation packages. In addition to these benefits, the membership assists in savings for auto buying, optical services, home improvements, home and auto insurance plans, party planning, and Verizon wireless services. Check here for additional perks!

Not all products are a better value

BJ’s has a great selection with a wonderful meat department, but these prices are more expensive than purchasing on sale at your local grocery store. I also found Panera Bread soups in the refrigerated section, but these prices were too expensive for my budget. Be aware of the prices you typically pay when shopping, and hold to your budget to avoid extra expenditures. Avoid clothing purchases, as the quality may be lower than that at other stores; condiment purchases because the larger volumes may be impossible to consume prior to expiration; and books and CDs, which are cheaper on sites like Amazon.

Using coupons

Manufacturer coupons

BJ’s accepts manufacturer coupons! They accept more than one manufacturer coupon on multi-pack items if the item can be sold individually; however, you can’t exceed the actual retail price when using coupons. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
  • Examples of multipacks: If you’re thinking about buying a 2-pack of Heinz ketchup, you can use a manufacturer coupon on each bottle of the pack as long as bottles can be sold individually. I’ve purchased a 3-pack of Crest toothpaste in the past and was able to use a coupon on each tube.
  • Examples of products that are not multipacks: Cases of water or soda, a box containing 2 bags of pasta, a box containing 2 bags of cereal.

In-store and online coupons

BJ’s in-store coupons generate great deals. These coupons are typically featured by the month and are available at the front entrance and at the service desk. The nice thing about these is that they can be combined with manufacturer coupons for additional savings! Members may also print coupons online, but only one BJ’s store coupon can be paired with a manufacturer coupon.
  • Read more about BJ’s coupon policy here.
Check out Heather and Joanie’s new coupon organization system here!