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View Full Version : Questions re BJ's/Sam's Warehouse


RadioFanatic
01-22-2008, 09:17 AM
I'm getting ready to have a baby (yeah 2/5!), so I see a ton of diapers, formula, etc. in our future. So I've been wondering if dh and I should join either BH's or Sam's (no costco in our area). It just bothers me that to save money I have to pay an annual fee. So I have some questions:

1. What are the annual fees.
2. Is it worth it?
3. Which is better? or Why did you pick where you go?
4. Any way to get a discount on the annual fee?
5. What do you mainly go there for?

Thanks, I can't wait to see the responses!

Jack&Ryan'smom
01-22-2008, 09:28 AM
I've never been to Sam's. But for when I had my babies I loved BJ's! Pampers is my favorite diapers and Bj's carries them (Costco does not). I would also buy formula there. Formula is so expensive...especially when babies are like 8 months old and they drink a ton! I think the membership is toatly worth babies first year.
I think the membership fee is still between $40 -$50. The key when you go is to get just what you need. It's so easy to start grabbing things and before you know it your total is $100.
If you entertain a lot I think it's worth joining too. We buy all our appetizers, paper goods, chips, water, juice boxes there. Much better prices!!!
They also send out a book of coupons periodically that can be great!
I had a friend who split her membership with her parents...they would go once a month together.
Congrats on the baby!!!:)

Lisa_M
01-22-2008, 09:33 AM
We are members of BJ's. DH has a membership through his work that they pay for. I think the annual fee is $35. I'm not sure if it is really worth it or not, but since we don't pay for it, it is worth it to us. Maybe see if you or your DH has something similar through work. When we go we seem to spend a LOT of money, but get things in huge packages. I like BJ's meats and baked goods a lot. Pork chops are usually about $2.65/lb and chicken is about the same, but it is Perdue and in those individually wrapped vaccuum sealed packages. We also buy plastic silverware, and plastic cups there.

We have never had a Sam's Club membership, but my parents did. They hardly ever used it so it wasn't worth it to them. They now have a BJ's membership and use it quite a bit (buying bigger items, items for entertaining and steaks).

One thing that is good about BJ's is they send a monthly coupon book and they take manufacturer's coupons in addition to their BJ's coupons. I'm not sure if Sam's Club has the same policy.


As an aside, did you sign up for the mailing lists of all the major diaper & formula companies? I did and in the last week have gotten 4 containers of formula, a bunch of coupons for formula, diapers, wipes etc...

Jennifer823
01-22-2008, 09:34 AM
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I personally like Sam's better, for the selection they have, but we go to BJs because it is closer. I think we pay $35/yr for BJs. The local schools in our area sell BJs memberships discounted, so there are deals out there. I don't know if Sam's does this. BJs takes manufacturers coupons, Sam's does not. If you plan on supplementing with formula, or using formula exclusively, BJ's has an excellent house brand of formula (it's called Berkely and Jenkins, or something like that) that we used for our daughter. It is just like Enfamil and it is about half the price. We buy a lot of our meat at BJs, you can consistently get a better price there for all meat.

You can go to the clubs and get a one day pass, to check them out for yourself. Try their websites.

jessica52877
01-22-2008, 09:37 AM
When I had my son I found that nothing was cheaper then buying diapers at walmart with coupons, smallest packs, largest coupons. I never once bought a pack of diapers without a coupon.

I priced out Sam's, Costco and BJ's and found non cheaper per diaper, ever, especially if you want to factor in the membership, which I did not.

We did not use formula so I have no idea there. Depending on your location some grocery stores have great sales on diapers alot (harris teeter is one that comes to mind, amazing deals!). I also was not specific on brand and we would use huggies or pampers with a luvs thrown in every once in a great while.

RadioFanatic
01-22-2008, 09:40 AM
As an aside, did you sign up for the mailing lists of all the major diaper & formula companies? I did and in the last week have gotten 4 containers of formula, a bunch of coupons for formula, diapers, wipes etc...

No I didn't - where/how do you do that?

Big Kahuna
01-22-2008, 09:40 AM
I had originally belonged to Sams Club then dropped it in favor of BJ's. To answer your questions specifically:


1. What are the annual fees.

I believe they are around $45.00 per year without a discount. Most pay $35.00 through a deal.

2. Is it worth it?

I must say "yes". Not all things inside are "super deals" or in fact deals at all, but you can easily find enough to make up your annual fee.

3. Which is better? or Why did you pick where you go?

I originally started at Sams Club... But over time became frustrated over some "issues". They have a tendency to carry a product if they can buy it " on sale", but if ....when it comes time to renew a contract, and they don't like the sale offer from the company they just drop the product. Another issue was the mass packaging. I may need ketchup but not 2 48 oz bottles at one time.
Now I find our BJ's has "less change" than Sams on products. Packaging is usually better, their personal brand items Berkley and Jensen (ala BJ) seem to be better than Sams.... and Oh yeah..... BJ's also takes coupons...

4. Any way to get a discount on the annual fee?

Actually yes.. There are several.. one way is that they offer membership discounts through your church. Also sometimes through your employer.

5. What do you mainly go there for?

We have several items that have become staples. Detergent, paper products such as TP, some food items etc...

kfeuer
01-22-2008, 09:45 AM
I do love my warehouse memberships, but I don't think it's worth it strictly for baby expenses. If you watch for sales and coupons, you can do very well on diapers outside of warehouse clubs.

One mistake I made was sticking with Pampers for way too long. I tried a brand of generics that I didn't like, and didn't try any other generics for a long time. Then I finally tried CVS brand diapers because they had such a great deal going, and they worked great for us (and my guy was 2 by then, so he gave them a workout)! Walgreens and CVS put their generic diapers on sale all the time, and they are definitely cheaper then the name brands most times.

As for formula, try to get all the samples you can from your dr. and hospital. Have your family sign up for the mailing lists. Not trying to start a debate (promise) but breastfeeding will definitely save you money, even if you can't do it 100%.

Minniemouse07
01-22-2008, 09:54 AM
We've been members of all three since dd was born in 2001 (and we have a 2yo ds now too). We started w/ Sam's, switched to Costco and now are members of both Costco and BJ's...out of all of them I like BJ's the best.

Things we get routinely

Meat - Pork Chops and Chicken Breasts are always $2.50/lb :thumbsup2
Juice Boxes - I get the 100% Juice Apple and Eve ones for both kids for daycare/school.
Diapers (at BJ's since Costco doesn't sell Pampers)
Some frozen foods - Veggies, chicken nuggets, etc.
Individual Fruit cups
Macaroni and Cheese

Random stuff... DVDs, books, gifts, etc.

Lisa_M
01-22-2008, 10:29 AM
No I didn't - where/how do you do that?

Someone posted a thread with a whole bunch of companies on it. I signed up at these websites: Similac, Enfamil, Nestle, Gerber, Beechnut, Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, Johnson & Johnson and probably more I can't think of. Let me do a little searching and see if I can find the one that has a huge list of things to sign up for moms-to-be. Some links get you extra freebies. If you know what kind of formula you're going to use I can send you my coupons if I have them. I'm going to breastfeed, but I signed up for formula stuff so I can give it away. My Enfamil coupon/check went to a lady on the Moms-to-be thread (are you on that one?) and my containers of formula are heading to Women in Crisis center.

I'm due on the 6th...This is all getting very exciting isn't it :eek:

labdogs42
01-22-2008, 10:35 AM
I belong to Sam's and BJ's. BJ's has a much wider variety of baby stuff including their own brand of diapers which I really like. I also only use BJ's brand of unscented wipes. They are great and cheap! I also liked that they came in huge boxes so I didn't have to buy diapers every week. I'm hoping to be finished with diapers soon, but BJ's served me well for the last three years!

As for the formula coupons, go to the websites and sign up for those coupons! I never used formula, but I sold the coupons on eBay and made quite a few bucks! (weird, I know, but people buy them) Good luck with your new little one!

Disneyoverload42
01-22-2008, 10:39 AM
Sams is our only choice here.

We pay $35 a year for a membership. With 2 in diapers at the same time for awhile, diaper wipes are cheaper at Sam's. As far as diapers, we used Walmart's brand which was cheaper than the Pampers/Huggies that Sam's carried (of course after both of mine were out of diapers, Sam's started carrying generic diapers). Now, we do get our pull ups there occasionally for convenience sake. They run about average with the other stores for a name brand. :confused3 As far as formula, I'm not sure - they never carried ours, but it does seem like they changed what they did carry quite often - and they don't take coupons so I would think you could find it cheaper elsewhere.

Sam's is a place where you have to really figure cost per item. Sometimes it's incredible, but sometimes it's way more expensive. We have made our money back for our membership in gas savings, tire savings and our "Super Saturday Special" (pretzels and a drink for a quick lunch while shopping) so we like it, but I can understand where others who may not use those things don't.

Minniemouse07
01-22-2008, 10:47 AM
I never signed up for the "free" formula because we didn't use any... I actually got peeved at a few of the companies because I somehow ended up on their list and couldn't get OFF of it!

I did sign up w/ Huggies (for dd) and Pampers (for ds) because we got lots of great coupons for them.

Suggestion: Pick up a copy of the book Baby Bargains Secrets by Alan & Denise Fields. They have a website w/ a message board too. They have an entire chapter on diapers w/ a cost analysis of the per diaper cost at different stores.

One of my friends swears by diapers.com and another of my friends gets amazing diaper deals from Amazon.

Lisa_M
01-22-2008, 10:49 AM
No I didn't - where/how do you do that?

Sorry this isn’t compiled more succinctly. Someone on the Dis posted a nice list once, but the search here never works right…

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=574198
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=237222
Two ridiculously long threads with call in freebies (look under the baby section).

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=217942
This is a good list of web links to sign up for.

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=185774
More baby freebies- web links for sign up

http://100megsfree3.com/arlana/freebies/baby.htm
Here’s a list of website links

http://www.beechnut.com/bowl/
For a free Beechnut bowl. They sent me two bowls and 1 spoon :D

These two send out the check coupons with your name on it as well as 2 containers of formula each. Similac sent me a Soy Formula and their regular advance formula, Enfamil sent their Lipil brand with DHA and ARA added.
similac:
https://welcomeaddition.com/joinnow.aspx

Enfamil:
https://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/ConsumerRegisterLoadConsentInfo.do?referralID=301

Also on this week's freebie thread there are some free baby magazine subscriptions, American Baby and Parenting.

Jen_in_NH
01-22-2008, 10:57 AM
I have memberships for BJs and Sam's (my parents bought one and gave me the second card, then I bought the other and gave them the second card)

I love BJs for baby stuff. We use their wipes - they're cheaper than anyone elses, and don't have that nasty smell to them. We also use their formula - identical to Enfamil (I checked the whole ingredient list, as well as the percentages - no difference). The formula is $20/container, as opposed to Enfamil or Similac for $26, and the container is half the size. BJs also has good meats, and takes coupons. They also send out quite a few coupons for baby stuff, usually $4 off.

Sam's is OK. We mostly keep if for the gas prices. I don't think their prices are as good, you can't use coupons (although you can use formula checks), and they don't take Visa. So not really as good.

Bren's Mom
01-22-2008, 11:12 AM
I love BJs for baby stuff. I share a $35 membership with a friend. We don't live together but they had no problem letting us do it. I used Pampers Swaddlers when ds was really little then ended up with Pampers Baby Dry. They're a real bargain at BJs when you combine a mfg Pampers cpn with one from the BJs coupon book/flyer they send out. I also use BJs brand wipes, have found them to be a good value. And when ds was using Soy formula the can of powder there was cheaper per oz than anywhere else and, again, was able to use the mfg formula checks plus the BJs cpn.

Also, about BJs, they let you use a mfg cpn per ITEM not per package. So if you are buying a shrink wrapped 2 pack of Skippy PB and have 2 mfg coupons you can use those PLUS 1 BJs cpn good for the 2 pack. (It states this on their website, or it did last time I checked anyway. I've never had a problem with it.)

We also routinely buy their ready made rotisserie turkey breast and chickens at $6.99 and $4.99 ea. Their Perdue boneless chicken is $2.49 I think and their pork chops and ground beef are great prices also. I buy A1 steak sauce, Kraft Mac & Cheese, cream cheese, milk and cream. And if we're having a party their prices on frozen apps can't be beat.

Bren's Mom
01-22-2008, 11:15 AM
Oh, and one other thing about signing up for formula checks...besides agreeing the breastfeeding is best for as long as you can do it...

Even if your dc ends up only doing well on 1 kind of formula don't throw out the checks from the other brands. Join an online mom's community like at parents.com or the nest and often moms will trade them. So if you use Enfamil but have Similac and someone else is the opposite for the cost of the stamps each of you can have LOTS of extra $$$$ off the formula your child uses. There are names on the checks but it makes no difference.

Good luck all of you preggos!!! :lovestruc

ceecee
01-22-2008, 12:23 PM
Honestly I never bought diapers at Sam's even though we go there a few times a month. It was cheaper using my coupons and watching the stores sales...Kmart, Target, Walmart. I found that my local grocery carried a brand that was identical to Huggies only it was the store brand (I almost never buy store brands, I'm picky) so when there were no sales or coupons these were always $2-3 less a package.

Not so Dumbo
01-22-2008, 01:47 PM
we first were at Sams for few years then switched to Costco because it was closer. After 2 months we switched back to sams. Costco didn't have any of our main items consistantly.
Sams membership is $35 anually.
We buy huggies diapers, huggies wipes, used to buy Simalac and Gerber baby food. We also buy some kids clothes, juice boxes, pet food, snack pack fruit cups, gogurt, indiv. bags of cookies for lunches, peanut butter, jam. Just to name the main things. We've never had a problem of them not carrying an item that we usually buy.

Sandy321
01-22-2008, 02:02 PM
Sam's here -

I started because the price of a gallon of milk was $3+ at the grocery store and Sam's was $2+ I figure I was buying 2 gallons of milk a week and that became a no brainer for our family - and like other's have posted just know your prices...

Laundry detergent
Peanut Butter
Maple Syrup (altho I will add its annoying that you like a product then it suddenly disappears - the other is the size of the product goes down while the price does not - so just know your prices from a WALMART, sales and coupons etc)
paper products
Cheese
Yogurt
eggs
bread
chips, Salsa
snack cakes for lunches

I always go with a list, I always shop the sale flyer first - Meats are usually better priced on sale at the grocery store - usually...

RadioFanatic
01-26-2008, 05:40 AM
Sorry it took me so long to get back here. I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and opinions (haven't made a decision yet) and a big thank you to Lisa for putting together that list for me.

BTW, I do plan to breastfeed; however, I'm making plans in case it doesn't work out b/c both my mom and sis had issues where bf didn't work and I don't know if it's genetic or not.

MissMichelle
01-26-2008, 07:54 AM
I have been a member with both and I may be biased since I am now a manager @ BJ's but I agree with most others comments here on BJ's for diapers and formula...Not to mention oooodles of other items. Just because I work somewhere doesn't mean I have to shop there (why return my paycheck to my employer?? LOL) but with the fact they offer BJ's coupons stacked with manufacturer coupons PLUS I get items at times with an instant rebate I end up saving a ton of $$..You just have to become familiar with the product and whether it is a good bargain for you. Do you really need a 500 count Tylenol? I did since it had a $2.00 instant rebate, a $3.00 BJ's coupon and also a $1.00 manufacturer good off any Tylenol product...So what went from a 500 count for $15.00 I paid $9.00....cheaper then Target 250 count Tylenol....Just an example.

If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer ;)