How to Find The Best Deals at BJ’s Wholesale Club

Recently, a reader had a nice conversation with me on Facebook, where she asked how a shopper would know if they should use their coupons at BJ's, or use them at a grocery store.  How do you know when it is a good deal?

I thought it was an excellent question, and perhaps you have been wondering the same.

Go grab something to drink before you settle in to read the answer.

Are you ready? 🙂 Ok, here are the steps to ensure you are getting a decent deal.

 Check out my video instead!

In a Hurry? Use our Grocery Search bar to type in an item you are looking for- let's say Herbal Essence Shampoo, and all the deals on that shampoo at area stores will show up.

1. Begin by making up your own price book based on things you purchase all the time. 

There is a BJ's Pricebook here for you to use.It takes time to know what a good price is for an item.  A price book would help you keep track of the various stores and their regular store price.

To help you determine a baseline, list out:

– the product
– size (ounces, lbs, etc.)
– everyday price
– everyday unit price
– sale price
– sale unit price
– store

2. Watch the sale cycles at your grocery stores and drug stores.

Scan the flyers each week.  Sales generally run every 6-8 weeks.  You want to find out what the rock bottom sale price is.  But, be careful of the size of items too.  You have to be able to figure out if buying the smaller item that is on sale, with a coupon is less expensive than buying the club item with a coupon.
 In my experience, 65-75% of the time BJ's prices have been a better deal or an equivalent deal with a coupon, than buying a small package on sale at the grocery store.  So, you have to do some number crunching and know the price per unit.

Here is a recent example using Original Cheerios that was recently on sale at Stop & Shop.  We will first discuss everyday price at BJ's, and then do the same scenario using the August BJ's coupon for Cheerios.

BJ's everyday price: $5.69 for 37 oz
Stop & Shop Sale – 4/$10 (14 oz each), buy 4, get free milk on next order
Highest value coupon available: $1/2

BJ's Everyday Scenario:
2 Original Cheerios
$11.38 – $1/2 = $10.38 for 74 oz
Unit price: .14 per ounce

S&S Sale Scenario:
4 Original Cheerios
$10 – (2) $1/2 = $8 for 56 oz (+ free milk)
Unit price: .14 per ounce, but you also got free milk


Do you see that the unit price is the same?  The everyday low price at BJ's is a great deal.  During the sale at S&S you were able to also get free milk. You could have done the deal more than one time in separate transactions.

This sale comes around every 6 weeks or so.  Yet, you can walk into the club any day of the month with a General Mills coupon that is around quite frequently, to get a rock-bottom price.

However, things would have been a bit different if the GM coupon was .75/1 Honey Nut Cheerios. That coupon would have doubled at S&S and the math would have been different.


*Please note these sale prices are just examples of sales in the past. 
Also, let's say  BJ's has a store coupon  – buy 2 GM Kinds of cereal, get 1 free.

So here are the new scenarios.

BJ's August Scenario:
3 Original Cheerios – $17.07
Use B2G1 August Coupon
– $1/2 GM coupon
= $10.38 for 111 oz
Unit price: .09 per ounce

S&S Sale Scenario:
4 Original Cheerios
$10 – (2) $1/2 = $8 for 56 oz (+ free milk)
Unit price: .14 per ounce, but you also got free milk

The BJ's scenario was a much lower unit price.  In this example, you would have to just decide if you wanted the extra cheerios or the free milk. 🙂

Or, shop both the club and the grocery store to build up your pantry so you are getting the best deal until the next sale.

3. A general rule of thumb

My general standard is to save at least 50-60% off of an item for something I am out of and NEED.  If it is something we use, and I have plenty on hand, I will try to wait for a deal where I'm saving 75-90% or even free.

4. Discern the coupon face value when matching it to a sale.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to the value of the coupon:

Is the coupon for $1 or more?Will the coupon double at another store?   I tend to save coupons that double for another store, unless I know that the everyday price at BJ's is already lower than, or equal to the sale price at the grocery store.

– When does it expire?  The expiration date is also a factor to consider.  If it has a short lifespan, and there is no sale on the horizon that you know of, wait as long as you can before using it.

Never throw away a coupon.   I've learned that the hard way.   There are times when purchasing an item you don't need will bring the overall out of pocket (oop) expense down on something you do need.  You can always give the unneeded item to someone else, or donate it.

5. When is the best time to use a coupon?  When you see a rock-bottom price.  But do not fret if you miss a deal.  There will always be another deal!  You can drive yourself crazy, or burn yourself out trying to get all the deals.

This is one of the main reasons I enjoy shopping at the club.  I don't have to stress out.  They already have great everyday values.   Not every item is a steal, but overall, we are saving at least 30% without coupons, vs. full-price at the local grocery chains.

According to the FAQ section:

“Independent research shows that BJ’s Everyday Low Prices can save you more than 30%* off supermarket prices. And, BJ’s delivers low prices every day, not just during sales.
These savings are only available to BJ’s Members and to the Household and Supplemental Members on their accounts.
*30% savings is compared to supermarket prices and is based on the per unit price of a market basket of items. Savings may vary based upon market area and items purchased. Research conducted by Warehouse Club Focus, October 2009.”

6. Stick to a budget and diversify your savings strategies.

I shop mainly at BJ's. I will take advantage of pantry items at my local grocery store when coupons are being doubled and gas points earnings. I tend to try Aldi produce a couple times a month.  But I pretty much get everything I need from BJ's!

7. Track your savings.

A little thing I do (when I have time) is enter my spending into a spreadsheet.  I break it out by store as to what I am saving.   It tallies everything.  How much I spent per transaction.  The before price, the final oop price, the percentage saved, a running sum of my year-to-date savings, etc.

Here is the 2-part formula I use to calculate the percentage saved:

Savings = Total Merchandise Value – Total Out-of-Pocket Expense
% Saved = Savings / Total Merchandise Value

Total Merchandise Value: $13.98
Total Out-of-Pocket Cost: $4.49
Savings: $13.98 – $4.49 = $9.49
% Saved: $9.49 / $13.98 = 68%
These are my best tips on finding good deals and deciding where to use your coupons. What strategies do you find useful in finding a deal?

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Total Comments (2)

  1. Kaitlyn Weber October 22, 2017
    • Tasia October 23, 2017