Are you wondering if wholesale club membership is worth it? What are the advantages of shopping at wholesale clubs? You can get cheaper prices on merchandise, you can get discounted rates on gas, and you can save money on food.
So, is a wholesale club membership right for you? Check out the benefits and see what works best for your budget.
There are several benefits to shopping at wholesale clubs, including lower prices, a wider variety of goods, and bulk purchasing options.
Warehouse clubs can offer lower prices than traditional retailers because they sell in large quantities and have fewer overhead costs. They also typically charge an annual membership fee, which allows them to pass on even more savings to their customers.
In addition to lower prices, wholesale clubs also offer a wider variety of goods than most traditional retailers. This is because they buy in bulk from suppliers and can provide a more incredible selection of items.
WHAT DO WHOLESALE CLUBS INCLUDE?
Bulk purchasing options are another advantage of shopping at wholesale clubs. This can be helpful if you need to buy large quantities of items for your business or family. For example, wholesale clubs typically sell food, cleaning supplies, and other household items in bulk sizes.
Some clubs also offer additional services, such as gas stations, pharmacies, and optical centers. This can be convenient if you need to fill up your gas tank or pick up a prescription while you're doing your shopping.
Most of the wholesale clubs offer gas at a discount price compared to nearby gas stations.
For BJ's, you can check the BJ's app to see the current gas price at your local club. Another perk to gas discounts at BJs is the constant high octane gas promotion. Plus, BJ's will periodically run other gas promotions throughout the year.
For example, in April, they are running a $100 get 50¢/gal of gas. Most warehouse clubs don't offer gas promotions as BJ's does. This is a huge benefit to what other grocery stores offer.
BJ's and Sam's Club offer curbside pickup similar to regular grocery stores. However, shopping online and picking up at a warehouse club is a newer trend.
If you don't have time for grocery shopping, you can order online and choose to pick it up in the club store, or you can wait in your car and have your groceries brought out to you.
These conveniences make the annual membership fee worth it.
Wholesale clubs offer gas and travel discounts. In addition, some clubs will have pharmacies, optical centers, and food courts.
DO WHOLESALE CLUBS SAVE YOU MONEY?
Will shopping at a wholesale club keep you within your budget? The short answer is yes.
While you will have to pay an annual membership fee, the savings on your purchases will typically outweigh the cost of the membership fees. This is especially true if you grab a discount club membership.
For new members, you can shop at BJs Wholesale club for a year for only $25 when you sign up here.
For new members at Sam's club, you will pay $45 for a membership fee and get $45 loaded to your membership card- essentially a free membership.
New members to Costco Wholesale can sign up here and get a $10 shop card to use.
To make the most of your shopping trip, bring along a list of items you need and compare prices with other grocery store prices before you buy. This will help you ensure that you're getting the best deal possible.
For a quick look at some items that are always worth the cost at a wholesale store, tap here.
The easiest way to find out a good deal at wholesale clubs is to follow deal/coupon bloggers.
WHAT STORES CAN YOU BUY IN BULK?
When you think of bulk buying, the top three probably come to mind first- Costco, Sam's, and BJ's, but there are a few other options.
If you want to buy in bulk but don't want to join a wholesale club, a few other warehouse stores can accommodate your needs.
Bulk Barn is Canada's largest bulk food retailer and has over 160 locations.
The store offers a wide variety of dry goods, baking ingredients, snacks, and more.
You can even bring in your containers to fill up the exact amount you need.
Another option for bulk shopping is WinCo Foods in the US.
The store offers various items at discount prices, including produce, meat, and dry goods.
You can also find a selection of organic and natural products.
WinCo does not require a membership fee, so that you can shop there anytime.
For online bulk buying options, check out Boxed. com. The store offers a wide variety of items, including groceries, household goods, and office supplies.
You can also find a selection of organic and natural products.
Boxed does not require a membership fee, so that you can shop there anytime.
If you are looking for one-stop shopping for all your bulk needs, Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club are the way to go. These stores offer everything from groceries to electronics at a lower price.
Advantages of some Warehouse Clubs:
Costco and BJs sell high-quality goods. We read that Costco regularly sells items ranked “best buy” by Consumer Reports. In addition, if you are not satisfied with a product, you can return it without a receipt and receive a full refund.
BJs also offers a 120-day return policy on most items with or without a receipt.
No-haggle pricing: We read that the negotiating is done for you at Costco. The store buys goods in bulk to offer lower prices, and it uses price tags that end at .99 to make the fees seem softer.
One of the main reasons to join a warehouse club is to take advantage of bulk purchasing options. This can be especially helpful if you have a large family or often entertain. In addition, when you buy larger quantities of items, you tend to take fewer trips to the store.
Buying in bulk can help you cut back on spending on items you often use, such as paper towels, toilet paper, and laundry detergent.
If you aren't a fan of extreme couponing- the discounts offered at wholesale stores are enough to help you save money and time.
All three warehouse clubs offer samples. Unfortunately, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Costco, BJ's, and Sam's put samples on hold. In 2022, I've been able to grab samples at all three warehouse clubs.
The hardest part of shopping strategically at wholesale clubs with samples is to avoid impulse buys. But, on the other hand, the samples have a sale price or coupon most of the time, which is exciting for us savers.
If the free sample being offered doesn't have a discount, consider waiting until it does.
Depending on your location, most wholesale clubs offer a food court. Unfortunately, none of the BJ's wholesale clubs in our area have a food court anymore. However, both Sam's Club and Costco offer this perk.
The prices at the food court are meager. For example, you can get fountain soda for under $1 and large pizzas for $10!
Check out our review on the giant pizza at Costco Here.
Some of the wholesale clubs offer a pharmacy. This can be convenient if you need a prescription filled and want to do some shopping while you are there.
One-stop shopping appeals to those who have a busy schedule or a tight time frame to shop and save money.
Many clubs also have complete vision care. This can be helpful if you have vision insurance or are looking to save money on vision care.
Costco and Sam's club accept a variety of insurance plans. On the other hand, BJ's only takes Superior Vision, Davis Vision, and Spectera.
They all run different promotions throughout the year on glasses and contacts. However, as a contact wearer, I find the best prices for these at wholesale clubs.
Cashback On Purchases
Depending on the membership you sign up for, you may receive cashback on your purchases. For instance, BJ's offers 2% cashback on most in-club and online purchases for perks plus members. On the other hand, if you want to choose the credit card option at BJs, you will earn 5% back on most purchases.
At Costco, the executive level membership is a credit card that will earn you 2% cashback.
The Sam's club credit card membership gives you 5% cashback on gas anywhere that Mastercard is accepted (for the first $6,000 a year, then 1% after) 3% cashback on Sam's Club purchases for Plus Members (Club Members earn 1%) 3% cashback on dining and takeout. In addition, 1% cash back on other purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted.
The different membership options are to keep in mind when considering a wholesale club store.
Check out the article here to find out if a BJ's Perks membership is worth the cost.
Decide if it's worth it.
How can I determine if a warehouse membership is worth it?
The primary way to determine if wholesale club membership is worth it is to calculate the savings you would get on your regular purchases from major supermarket chains.
Add up the cost of items you typically buy in a month and compare it to the price of the same things at the wholesale club. When price comparing at a wholesale club, always look at the unit price.
If the cost is lower at the wholesale club, the membership is likely worth it.
We did a post to help you decide if a wholesale club is worth the cost based on your family size. A wholesale membership can be worth it depending on your lifestyle and budget, even if you are single.
It would help if you also considered how often you would use the warehouse stores facilities.
If you live close to a wholesale club and use it frequently, the membership fee is more likely to be worth it.
However, if you live far from a warehouse club or only use it occasionally, the membership may not be worth it.
Finally, consider the type of products you usually buy. If you typically purchase name-brand items, you may be able to find cheaper generic alternatives at a warehouse club. This can be a great way to lower the cost of everyday items.
Big-ticket items are always at great prices during Black Friday sales. However, bulk pricing for seasonal items like patio furniture, fireworks, Christmas trees, etc., is a better deal when compared to other major supermarket chains.
All three warehouse clubs offer a money-back guarantee on their store brands. I love the Kirkland and Wellsley Farm brands. We've done several reviews on BJs brand items on the blog here.
For a list of our favorite Kirkland brand items, tap here.
When things start to get complicated is with the clearance. Warehouse club prices are low, but the savings are incredible when you have clearance prices.
The downside of clearance items is they vary by region. The good news is several blogs share clearance at BJs, Costco wholesale, and Sam's club.
Try It For Free
You can take advantage of promotions to shop at a club for free for a day. In the past, BJ's had a period where anyone could come and shop for free. In addition, there have been 60-day free membership trials in the past.
At Sam's Club, you can shop without a membership and pay a surcharge. The same is true for Costco and BJ's.
If you have a friend who has a Costco membership, they can buy you a Costco gift card, and you can shop with that- without needing a membership card.
How to shop strategically at Warehouse Clubs
Warehouse clubs were often called the $200 Clubs for their low cost. But that was then, and this is now. With the cost of living rising, it's more important than ever to learn how to shop strategically at these clubs.
The goal is not simply to save money but to get the most for your money.
Here are a few tips:
First, don't buy in bulk unless you will use it:
Just because you can buy a 6-pack of ketchup doesn't mean you should. If you only use one bottle every three months, it's not worth it. You're better off buying the smaller size at the grocery store.
The key is to figure out how much you will realistically use and buy accordingly.
The other downside to bulk shopping is if you buy a 6-pack of ketchup, do you have the space to store it all? The sizing for most items at warehouse clubs is more significant than other stores.
Of course, if the item you are purchasing will last a long time before opening, and you got a killer deal on it, by all means, go for the more oversized items at the best deal.
Plan your meals around what's on sale:
This is where a little bit of planning can go a long way. Take a look at the sales flyer and plan your meals around what's on sale that week. This will help you save money on your grocery bill.
All three wholesale clubs send monthly flyers with items that are on sale. If you need something not on sale, check for the store brand price for the best deals.
Avoid purchasing pre-packaged goods:
Pre-packaged goods are often more expensive than their unpackaged counterparts. For example, a bag of pre-cut fruit will cost you more than a package of unsliced fruit.
So, if you're looking to save money, avoid purchasing pre-packaged goods. But, on the other hand, grabbing a premade meal is tempting, especially at Costco, where the premade food items are very appealing.
Take advantage of coupons and discounts:
Most warehouse clubs offer coupons and discounts on certain items. Buying items with a coupon or sale price can be a great way to save money on your purchases. Be sure to take advantage of these coupons and discounts when they're available.
All three warehouse clubs send monthly books filled with items on sale for that month. However, BJ's is the only warehouse store requiring members to clip coupons in the app or booklet.
BJ's is the best warehouse store to use coupons. They are also the only wholesale club to accept manufacturer coupons. So you can use a BJ's store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on ONE item together. We call this a coupon stack.
When you combine coupons, the price is lower than your local grocery store.
WHAT ARE CLUB RETAILERS?
A club retailer is a type of store that only offers its products and services to members. To become a member, you must usually pay an annual fee.
The three most popular club retailers in the United States are Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club.
These stores offer mass purchasing options on various items, including groceries, electronics, and household goods.
Club retailers typically have lower prices than other grocery stores because they buy their products in bulk and pass the savings on to their members.
They also tend to offer a more comprehensive selection of products than other stores.
If you are looking for a one-stop shop for your bulk needs, then a club retailer is the way to go.
WHO OWNS BJ's WHOLESALE CLUB?
In 2011, BJ's was acquired by two private equity firms, Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners. It returned to being a public company in 2018.
BJ's operates 224 clubs in 17 states.
The company is headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts.
If you want to take advantage of the great deals and discounts, warehouse clubs offer, be sure to sign up for a membership. You can usually find coupons or promo codes online to help reduce your membership cost.
Once you're a member, explore all the different ways these clubs can save you money on everything from groceries to home improvement projects.
Have you ever been a member of a warehouse club? What was your experience like?
MORE WAYS TO SAVE:
- The Best High Protein Foods at BJ's
- Don't Miss Out on BJ's P&G Award Promo: Here's Everything You Need to Know
- How to Find BJ's Hidden Clearance
- The Best Deals at BJ's In September
- Halloween Goodies at BJ's
CLICK HERE FOR MORE BJS DEALS! Come Hang and Score Deals with us on Tiktok too! $20 BJ's Membership Deal HERE
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