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Old 09-24-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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BJ's/SAMs Club worth it?

My husband and I are contemplating a membership at one of the wholesale clubs (BJ's or Sams Club) and trying to decide if its worth it. I would love to hear from others who have actually saved money using these clubs. It would be so nice to cut the grocery bill and be able to put that much more toward our Disney spending, but I can only come up with arguments against a membership. I just posted an article on my blog about this. Check it out in the link below, and let me know if YOU saved money wholesale shopping!
I am a stay at home mom of 5. Check out my blog about Disney and life with a large family!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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We have a Sams Club membership and have forever. I can't say that I technically "save" that much, but there are things that I can buy there that are cheaper than anywhere else.

I like to check out their meat counter, some stuff is cheaper in bulk than other stuff. I usually only buy chicken and sometimes steak in bulk, for some reason, I prefer to buy hamburger meat as I need it.

There are some frozen/cold items that I find are less expensive, but they aren't things I buy a lot. I do buy pet food there, but not all the time. I buy my Prevacid (generic), because it's cheaper than anywhere else and our Commissary isn't carrying the generic version, yet.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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We have the BJs Gold Memebership. It costs a bit more, but you get 2% cash back on all your purchases. We buy a lot of things there so the membership ends up paying itself back! We tend to buy bottled waters there, household cleaning supplies, dish and laundry detergent. They also tend to have slightly lower prices on gift cards, and appliances and electronics.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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We have had a Sam's membership for several years because I can get a discounted membership through my work. I would not pay the $40 (I think that is the regular price) for a membership otherwise.

I like that I can buy large quantities of items such as dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, etc. because I hate running out of those items. But there are plenty of items that are NOT deals there. I typically can do better by using coupons (which you can't use at Sams) and matching them to sale items, it just takes more time to get those deals.

I don't think it is a money saver, and I do get very tired of them trying to 'upsell' my membership, try to sell me windows, their credit card, trying to fix my car windshield, etc. They hound you every time you go in there!
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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We currently have a Sam's membership. I agree that prices are not necessicarily cheaper at Sam's. I can get meat cheaper at the grocery if I buy on sale or clearance, but if we need a large amount when it is not on sale at the grocery, SAMs is usually cheaper at regular price.

I never by produce at SAMs since we would use it fast enough.

When I go to SAMs I am usually buying thins that I can't get easily elsewhere. I also get large packages of single serve items like chips to put in lunches. Now I live in a rural area whe our local small grocery does not carry some of the products that I like, so sometimes I will stock up at Sams. So mostly we shop there for convience not savings.

When I lived in the big city, we mostly used sams for buying in bulk for cub scout camp outs where we needed to feed many (100 or so) people. I actually like Costco better because of the products that it carried, but a agin it was not for the purpose of saving money.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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We had a SAM's membership that we let expire. Our overall experience was that we ended up spending more money there than by buying at the grocery store, Target, pharmacy by watching sales and using coupons.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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We have a bj's membership. You CAN use coupons and stack them as well. Also if you are buying a multipack of something---like 2 tubs of butter---and then 2 coupons for that same tub of butter, you can use both of them.

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Old 09-24-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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I have a BJs membership with my family (you can add on alternate members for cheap, so we do this and split the cost), and I think it is worth it.

I buy pretty much all my diapers there, and always make sure to buy when I have both a BJs and manufacturer coupon (they will take both!). The squeeze pouches of baby food are much cheaper there, and it is the cheapest place I've found for organic milk. I also tend to buy yogurt and laundry detergent (once again stacking coupons).

If you get one of those free passes in the mail, go in and check them out. Make a spreadsheet of how much things cost, and then you can compare it to your local grocery store and target.

Also the gas at BJs is much cheaper than my local gas station. I think that I get my money out of the membership in gas alone.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #9
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We used to have a Sams membership. I got like a $10 gift card for buying a membership one year, and a free membership the next. In the two years we had the membership, I probably shopped there 5 or 6 times. When the membership expired I never bothered renewing it. It might be a good deal for some, but it was just something I did not use. It always seemed like such a hassle to go there and I couldn't find that much I wanted or found any bargains.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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We do save money with our Sam's membership... but I am not the type who is willing to wait to make something until the meat I need is on sale. The normal prices of meat at Sam's do seem to be cheaper then the normal prices at the grocery store. So, we stock up when we can. Salmon, steak, ground beef, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, pork chops, etc.

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:50 PM   #11

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We have a BJs membership. We have the premium membership mentioned above where I get 2% back on all purchases. My membership pays for itself. As you mentioned some items are not cheaper but many of the items I purchase are a significant savings especially when combined with the BJs coupons. The coupon books are mailed monthly and a couple of times a year special coupon books are added in with large savings.

I save a fortune on deli items. The deli is 30-50% cheaper than my grocery store. With a family of 5 we easily eat the produce. I find the sizes at BJs smaller than Sams which was one reason we switched. I also really like the organic items available. I prefer organic meats, vegtables, fruits and milk. I find the BJs prices much cheaper than our grocery store. I also will not buy store brands in most products and I just don't want to have to wait until the brand I like goes on sale.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #12
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Our family has had a Sam's membership for years. And now I also get a discounted membership through my employer. $40 a year isn't too bad to have the option to get some decent deals. Their gas tends to be about $.5 cheaper than most of the other options, which isn't all that much, but it's something.

I also just got a new cell phone at Sam's, got the Galaxy S3 for $148 when it's $199 everywhere else, so my membership paid for itself right there.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Just about the only thing I buy at Sam's right now is boxes of 12 Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. I can't find them anywhere else.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #14
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I like SAMs. The closest one to us is about a 20 min. drive so I had let my membership expire a couple years ago. I just renewed it a couple weeks ago though and I'm so glad I did. I had been looking for a good deal on a Cuisinart coffee maker (the kcups kind) and everywhere I looked it was $199. I found it at SAMs for $148 and it came with a few kcups and 1 1/2 years supply of water filters. So I renewed my membership to buy that & a huge box of the kcups (donut house-omg! It's wonderful coffee!) anyway I got a free rotesserie chicken for renewing. And we just found out that a SAMs is being build in our town-5 minutes from my house!
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #15
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Oh and the gas was $.08 cheaper than the gas stations around and even $.06 cheaper than the Costco just down the road. Can't wait for ours to open!
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