Recently- well, in truth, almost a month ago- I was contacted by MyBlogSpark and given the opportunity to receive a gift card to BJ's Wholesale Club. I hadn't "warehouse shopped" for quite some time though I try always to find someone with a membership to pick up my yeast for me... if you use yeast and you're not already buying it in bulk this way, you simply MUST start- you'll save a bundle! Anyhow, I digress...
It took me awhile to even GET to BJ's because the closest one to us is fifty minutes away. This past weekend, we found a pocket of time and off we went!
Here are a few notes about my shopping experience at BJ's:
- I was very leery about shopping there so close to Christmas, but they were very well-staffed and had adequate parking.
- The young man at customer service was polite and informative, but not pushy- he told me about their current offers, but didn't drone on and on when I explained how far away I lived.
- The carts are very generously sized making it easy to put our infant seat IN the cart and our skinny 3-year old in the front... with plenty of room to spare.
- BJ's is the only wholesale club I'm aware of that allows manufacturer's coupons AND they encourage you to stack them with their store coupons.
- The annual membership fee at BJ's is $45 and comes with a money back guarantee. This means if a month before your year runs out you decide you haven't saved enough money to make it worthwhile, you can cancel and receive a refund for your entire $45. I was impressed that they stand behind their value that way!
I had all sorts of thoughts on how I was going to print off some great coupons and match them to bulk values and come out way ahead. The fact that our printer was on the blink halted those plans. And... truth? If you don't shop sales and coupons, you can save money just by buying in bulk at a warehouse club. If you are used to matching coupons to the deals, you can really do just as well at a grocery store on most things, in my opinion.
So... what did I buy? Well, with the $25 gift card I was given, I walked out with two organic, free-range chickens, four avocados (which my 6-month old has been enjoying!), three hearts of romaine, a 3 lb bag of limes, eight anjou pears, a 600-ct bag of coffee filters (another item I always try to buy at bulk stores!), and a giant bottle of vanilla extract. The chickens, especially, at $1.09/lb were a fabulous deal as far as I'm concerned.
The verdict? There are deals to be had! I think you have to have a pretty good "unit cost" established in your mind (or in a "price book") before you head out, but you can certainly score some great deals.
Would you like to give it a try yourself?
For a limited time, BJ's Wholesale Club is offering a free 60-day membership to anyone who wants one! You can get more information about setting up your own trial here.
For a chance to win a gift card so you can see how far $25 goes for you, please leave a comment on this post telling me what items you'd like to stock up on at BJ's!
For a second entry, follow @micropreemies on Twitter and let me know you did in the comments!
For a third entry, you may tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Please include @micropreemies in your tweet and leave me a comment back here letting me know that you did!
**This giveaway will run through Friday, Dec. 18th.**
Thanks and best of luck to you!!
Disclaimer: I received the gift card, information, and giveaway from BJ´s Wholesale Club and through MyBlogSpark. As always, my choices and my opinions are strictly my own.