Free 60 day BJ's trial pass

BJs trialIf you've ever been curious to check out BJ's, the discount membership warehouse, the chain is offering a free 60 day pass. (A membership is usually $45.) There's a BJ's in the Northway Mall in Colonie (it's behind the Target).

The store claims to offer "30% off supermarket prices on favorite brands." We've been once or twice and the prices didn't necessarily jump out at us being super low, but we've heard from some people that they have scored deals there.

Anyone have recommendations/experiences/tips to share?

(Thanks, Fred)


Just like most stores, there's great bargains but also lots of overpriced items.

We buy milk ($2/gallon), eggs, fresh bagels, cheese, and cat litter on a regular basis. They have veggie burgers in bulk, too!

They also have a good selection of organic items, though you need to read the label to see who has certified it.

Unlike Sam's, you don't need to show a member ID to enter -- so its totally worth going in to see if your family will save $$. Oh, and the BJs in Colonie has a liquor store that has member prices for the public!

I signed up last year when gas prices were higher. Their gas is consistently cheaper than most others in the area. The gas savings alone have definitely outweighed the membership cost.

They keep mailing us these offers so I signed up recently (for free).
The biggest shock is that prices are no cheaper there! Candy bars are even more expensive and the packages are huge. And the selection is quite limited... The only thing which is significantly cheaper is bottled water.

I wouldn't recommend buying perishable stuff there. Salmon fish was 6.99 a pound last week (in huge trays, as usual) and it looked filthy....

I've bought hotdogs from there. Inside the package, all looked well and hot-doggy. Upon opening the hot dogs, they fell apart and began to smell rank. And then I looked at the expiration date I should have looked at while still inside the store. Months and months past.

Former BJ's member. Quit when it became obvious that at BJ's they do not value your time one bit. When they should have 4-5 cashiers, they have 2-3. When I kept seeing this happen I asked the Mgr why they never have enough cashiers to get people checked out quicker, he responded, "in a warehouse environment, with lower prices, one has to expect that we would not have the same # of cashiers as say a price chopper". I'd wait 10-15 minutes to pay for 10 items. I never went back. When a retailer says we don't give a hoot how long you sit your a#@ in line, I can no longer patronize them. BJ's unwillinness to pay for two more cashiers cost them my business. I understand that BJ's won't service at a "high" level but after I've filled my cart, I want to pay and get out, not unnecessarily stand in line for 15 minutes.

I'm a big fan of BJ's. Yes, you have to be willing to buy in bulk, but if you want to stock up on paper towels, TP, etc., it's great. Also, snack food/lunchbox items, baby stuff and those kinds of things are excellent. We buy all of our diapers/wipes/formula there because that stuff is FAR, far cheaper than in any supermarket. Also, I buy contact lenses/glasses there because if you have to pay out of pocket, they're much cheaper (and, if you buy a few times a year, it totally makes up for the membership cost).

I don't buy the perishables, breads, etc. because we don't go through those quantities fast enough, but for dry goods, I think it's great. Oh, and if you use the self-checkout, it's much faster!

Keep in mind (though I'm sure everyone has figured this out on their own) that the prices might *seem* higher, but you're buying at a higher volume, and the price may be cheaper by the ounce, or pound, or what-have-you. It can be daunting to dish out all that extra dough, but when you won't have to buy ibuprofen again for another 18 months, you begin to realize that the system has its perks.

Good pros: BJ's and Sam's are a great place to buy Christmas presents and shop for parties, and to stock up on toiletries like the aforementioned ibuprofen, toothpaste, shampoo, TP, etc... Electronics, video games. DVD's, etc are also cheaper there. I second Katherine on the glasses and contacts and "bjs shopper" about the gas.

Some cons: it is not a good place for fresh produce and meats. Dry goods (like breakfast cereal) may go stale before you can get through the massive box. And yes- the lines can be horrible.

On the fence: I'm still not sold on the jewelry, and the fashions seem to be about 10 years behind the times. At least you can always stock up on timeless items like undies, socks, T-Shirts and PJs.

My husband & I ran the math, and it turned out that we'd save enough on his razor blades there that we'd make back the cost of the membership. Any other savings are a bonus above and beyond that.

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